a tall poppy

a tall poppy

a privileged or distinguished person.
The Roman tyrant Tarquin was reputed to have struck off the heads of poppies as a gruesomely graphic demonstration of the way in which the important men of a captured city should be treated. In recent years, the term tall poppy syndrome has also developed, referring to a tendency to discredit or disparage people who have become rich, famous, or socially prominent.
1991 Lynn Barber Mostly Men Journalists on the whole tend to be egalitarian-minded and contemptous of tall poppies, but I prefer the prima donnas.
See also: poppy, tall
References in periodicals archive ?
It may be somewhat more intrusive for entrepreneurs because they can be considered both individual tall poppies and their organisation can also be a tall poppy.
Now with the America's cup lifted, every Australian is a winner - every Australian is a tall poppy.
She must have been spewing about this embarrassing family development and yet she proved herself to be a tall poppy.