on one's shoulders

Idioms & Phrases

on one's shoulders

As one's responsibility, as in The king carries his entire country on his shoulders, or The success of the conference rests on Nancy's shoulders. This metaphoric use of shoulders as the burden-bearing part of the body dates from the late 1300s.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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