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Last updated at 13:13 BST, Thursday, 17 October 2013

Chasing your tail

Whales in Australia

Whales near Fraser Island in Australia. Photo: Seaworld Australia via Getty Images

Today's Phrase

If you are chasing your tail, you are busy doing a lot of different things but not achieving very much.

Examples:

I've been chasing my tail all day, but I haven't got anything done! What a waste of a day!

Organising a meeting for next week has been impossible. I've been chasing my tail trying to sort out a date, venue and agenda... I'll try again tomorrow!

Similar phrase

To run around like a headless chicken. If you run around like a headless chicken, you use a lot of energy and effort in an attempt to do many things - but without getting any real results.

Example:

I've been running around like a headless chicken all day trying to get ready for my holiday, but it's already 7.30pm and I've still got loads to do!

Interesting fact

Humpback whales are known for their acrobatic ability to jump out of the water, and also for the beautiful and complex songs performed by males.

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