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Difference between Get tied up and Get tied up in knots

get tied up —(coll.)

1. become deeply involved with smb.:

  • Mazie had just managed to get out of a terrible marriage and she didn’t want to get tied up with anyone.

2. be held up or kept busy with people or things:

  • I meant to come round yesterday evening, but I got tied up with people.

get tied up in knots—(coll.) become very anxious or worried:

  • Don’t get tied up in knots over grammar. It’s not worth it and it will only put you off writing.

Note: The expression does not correlate in meaning with the phrase get knotted—(UK sl.) used to rudely tell a person to go away (and stop being annoying ):

  • I don’t know why you didn’t tell him to get knotted and be done with it.