big brother :
the state perceived as a sinister force supervising citizens' lives
the big C
cancer - informal
a big cheese = a big fish = a big gun = a big noise = a big shot = a big wheel
an important and influential person – informal
These are mainly self-explanatory with the exception of cheese itself, which is of doubtful origin but may be from Persian and Urdu chTz meaning thing. As a phrase, big cheese seems to have originated in early 20th-century US slang, as did big noise. Big wheel in this metaphorical sense (as opposed to the fairground ride known as a Ferris wheel) and big shot are similarly US in origin (mid 20th century). Big fish may have connotations either of something it is desirable for you to catch or of the metaphorical expression a big fish in a small pond.
an important or impressive event
used as an ironic exclamation to indicate that you do not think something is as important or impressive as another person has suggested – informal
the big five
a name given by hunters to the five largest and most dangerous African mammals : rhinoceros, elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard.
the big lie
a gross distortion or misrepresentation of the facts especially when used as a propaganda device by a politician or official body
the big smoke
London - British informal
Any large town chiefly Australian
the big three = the big four
the dominant group of three, four, etc. – informal
1998 - Sunday Telegraph - The notion that someone outside the so-called Big Four—the ministerial group which meets before Cabinet - might be given such status is uplifting.
big white chief
a person in authority – humorous
This expression supposedly represents Native American speech, and also occurs as great white chief.
1971 - Roger Busby - Deadlock - You'd think he was the bloody big white chief instead of an OB technician.
give someone the big E
Reject someone typically in an insensitive or dismissive way - British informal
The E in the phrase is from elbow : give someone the big elbow
has the same meaning.
make it big
become very successful or famous – informal
talk confidently or boastfully – informal
be ambitious – informal
too big for your boots
conceited – informal
big brother :
big brother To HOME PAGE
Idioms Index – Previous Page