big fish in a small pond

(redirected from big frog in a little pond)

a big fish in a small pond

A situation in which one person has more power, influence, knowledge, or experience than others within a small group. It often implies that the person may not have as much clout in "a bigger pond," i.e., a larger group or arena of some kind. Since she was so popular and well-known within the walls of her small high school, Jennifer was used to being a big fish in a small pond. Once she started attending a large state university, however, she suddenly realized that it would take a lot more effort to make friends. His coarse management style made it evident that he was used to being a big fish in a small pond. That attitude certainly won't be tolerated by anyone at his new company.
See also: big, fish, pond, small

big fish in a small pond

Also, big frog in a little pond. A person who is important in a limited arena; someone overqualified for a position or in relation to colleagues. For example, Steve has both a Ph.D. and an M.D., yet he's content with his practice at a rural hospital; he prefers to be a big fish in a little pond . The expression big fish has been slang for an important or influential person since the early 1800s. The addition of in a small pond as a metaphor for an unimportant organization is more recent, as is the substitution of frog. Another variant is the proverb Better a big fish in a little puddle than a little fish in a big puddle.
See also: big, fish, pond, small