Posted by RRC on April 28, 2007
In Reply to: Spinning plates posted by yaron malkin on April 28, 2007
: I was wondering what are the origin and meaning of the phrase:"spinning plates" ?
Literal plate spinning is a sort of juggling act where you keep as many plates spinning as you can on top of poles. If a plate stops spinning, it will fall and break so you have to visit each plate as it slows to speed it up again. The more plates you have, the more frantically you must dash from plate to plate to plate to keep them all spinning.
Figuratively, you are frantically busy keeping track of lots of things. Another similar phrase from juggling, "to have a lot of balls in the air."