big cheese


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big cheese

An important, successful, or influential person. Jacob thinks he's a big cheese now that he's been promoted to assistant manager. I'm the big cheese around here, so you have to do what I say.
See also: big, cheese

big cheese

Also, big shot or gun or wheel or enchilada . An important, powerful person; the boss. For example, She loved being the big cheese of her company; the big guns in Congress are bound to change the President's bill; you'd better not act like a big shot among your old friends; Harry was the big wheel in his class ; and You'll have to get permission from the big enchilada. The first term dates from the late 1800s and its origin is disputed. Some think it comes from the Urdu word chiz or cheez for "thing," but others hold it plays on the English word "chief." Big gun is much older, dating from the early 1800s; big shot became very popular in the late 1920s, particularly when used for underworld leaders of gangsters; big wheel dates from about the same period. Big enchilada, often put as the big enchilada, is the newest, dating from the early 1970s.
See also: big, cheese

a big cheese

mainly BRITISH, INFORMAL
If you describe someone as a big cheese, you mean that they have an important and powerful position in an organization. Maire is undoubtedly the big cheese of the Jura wine producers. Several big cheeses from the State Department attended the conference. Note: Big cheese can also be used before a noun. He was a big-cheese divorce lawyer. Note: The word `cheese' in this expression may be a corruption or misunderstanding of the Urdu word `chiz' or `cheez', meaning `thing'. This started being used in English in about 1840 because of the British presence in India. Later the word came to refer to a person or boss.
See also: big, cheese

a big cheese

an important and influential person. informal
Other versions of this phrase substitute fish , gun , noise , shot , or wheel for cheese . These are mainly self-explanatory, with the exception of cheese itself, which is of doubtful origin but may be from Persian and Urdu chiz 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 .
See also: big, cheese

big cheese

n. the boss; the key figure; the leader. Here’s a note from the big cheese telling me to come in for a chat.
See also: big, cheese

big cheese

A very important person. The phrase seems to have come from, literally, a very large wheel of cheese. After President Jefferson was given one of Cheshire in 1802, other dairies made and displayed huge wheels for publicity purposes. The cheeses attracted lots of attention, and so it wasn't much of a jump to referring to someone who attracted attention as a “big cheese.” Although some have suggested that “cheese” came from the Hindu word “chiz,” for “thing” that the British heard as “cheese,” no paper trail exists to show that Americans started using the phrase though any transatlantic connection. Similar “big” phrases are more common, such as big deal and big wheel.
See also: big, cheese
References in periodicals archive ?
Revellers at Caerphilly's annual Big Cheese Festival enjoyed feasting on a range of food and drink and were treated to a display by actor-turned-cheesemaker Sean Wilson, alias Coronation Street's Martin Platt PICTURES: PATRICK OLNER
Sean said: "This will be my first visit to the Big Cheese, but I've heard it is one of the best summer events in south Wales so I'm very excited to be involved.
CLICK ON To more pictures of The Big Cheese log on to: WalesOnline.
South Wales Police said no arrests home from the Big Cheese event in Caerphilly, where we'd been all day with our granddaughters.
SAY CHEESE: A street performer entertains passers-by at The Big Cheese CROWD PLEASERS: JLS on stage in Pontypridd last night
The week-long project began with visits from Yasmin Maassarani, Commercial Editor at the Liverpool Daily Post & Echo, and photographer Tony McCardle from Big Cheese.
Face it, the PGA Tour has turned into a rich boy's rat race, and there's some John Cleese character setting the odds that Phil Mickelson will never become the big cheese.
5% ABV, 500ml bottles, available from their stand at The Big Cheese Festival in Caerphilly today and tomorrow TY Gwyn started making cider in rural Monmouthshire but moved across the border to Herefordshire a few years ago and now make and sell cider just outside of Pontrilas, just off the main Abergavenny to Hereford road.
THIS week's Celebrity Big Cheese award goes to Sharon Stone for her refreshing take on the perils of the paparazzi and the modern day obsession with bodily perfection.
Domino's Pizza's new big cheese has picked up a PS1.
Editor, looking at Big Cheese, asks: "Would you like a cup of tea?
The Big Cheese @ Owain Glyndwr Playing Fields, Caerphilly (today) TO paraphrase the classic Monty Python cheese shop sketch: Are you peckish?
One company not associated with the big cheese, Bright Child in Santa Monica, has managed to attract tots for more than four years.
And to add to the weekend's events, in Caerphilly, the Big Cheese Festival began yesterday, with more than 80,000 visitors expected over the weekend.
big cheese is a huge ccessful female The mentor, 23, added: home one night to chat about telling me things he wanted keep the programme as fresh things he liked, which was "He told me that he really girls.