burn the candle at both ends—dissipate one’s energy by doing too much:
- But as you are determined to live it up and have a good time, you must watch your health and try not to burn the candle at both ends.
Note: The expression does not correlate in meaning with the phrase row with both oars—(also: row with both oars in the water) be smart enough or mentally alert:
- I wondered if he rowed with both oars in the water. How could a Harvard man have come to such a sorry state?
butter one’s bread on both sides—be in very comfortable circumstances; be well provided for:
- He’s got marble floors in there, crystal figurines on the shelves…. Like we say at home, he butters his bread on both sides.
Cf.: know on which side one’s bread is buttered—know where one’s interest lies:
- The judges of the lower and superior courts know on which side their bread is buttered. They would strain a point in favor of the highest political opinion of the day.