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Difference between Be on the top line and Sweat on the top line

be on the top line —(coll.) be in the highest state of perfection, readiness, etc.:

  • It cannot be but harmful to the patient to be attended by a doctor who through sheer exhaustion is not on the top line.

sweat on the top-line —(sl.) be close to attaining or obtaining smth.:

  • Here was I sort of sweating on the top line, and I finally got the offer about two days before my time at British Steel expired.