spread a little thin

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Does 'spread a little thin' here mean 'a little too busy'?

IN BEIJING AND DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINAIf Gao Caixia were a farmer, she might be spread a little thin. Down the hall from her office at a branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) here in Beijing, seeds from a strain of unusually soft rice and a variety of wheat with especially fat grains and resistance to a common fungus sprout in a tissue culture room.

Source: Science
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  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    This seems to be a joke, nothing more. It is using 2 or more meanings of "spread thin".

    In her actual work (she is not a farmer) she may be "a little too busy". Specifically "spread a little thin" means "trying to do too many things". If you can handle 5 activities, but your boss give you 8, you are "spread too thin".

    But farmers "spread seeds" thinly on the ground. They don't make a pile of seeds in one spot. They "spread them out".
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