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who died and made you boss

slang A set phrase used to express frustration with another's bossiness. A: "You have to clean your room and take out the trash before you go out tonight." B: "Geez, who died and made you boss?" Who died and made you boss? Quit telling me what to do!
See also: and, boss, die, made, who

boss (one) around

To tell one what to do. This phrase is often used to emphasize someone's behavior as controlling and/or unwarranted. You can't boss me around just because Mom isn't here! My friend at work got promoted, so now he thinks he can boss me around.
See also: around, boss


A confident, capable woman who pursues her own ambitions instead of working for others or otherwise settling in life. (Despite the name, a girlboss does not necessarily have her own business.) The phrase was popularized by Sophia Amoruso, founder of the fashion company Nasty Gal. Why are you still working in this dead-end job? You need to be more of a girlboss and take control of your life.

show (one) who's boss

To demonstrate authority or dominance over one so that it is clearly recognized, especially by means of defeat or some form of subjugation. You can't keep letting your employees walk all over you like that. You need to show them who's boss. You saw what their players said about us on Twitter. Let's go out there and show them who's boss in this conference.
See also: boss, show

boss (one) about

To tell one what to do. This phrase is often used to emphasize that someone's behavior is controlling and unwarranted. You can't boss me about just because Mom isn't here! My friend at work got promoted, so now he thinks he can boss me about.
See also: boss

straw boss

A mid-level or junior supervisor with minimal authority over others. My official title was kitchen manager, but I was really just a straw boss since I couldn't do more than schedule shifts and order supplies. She's nothing more than a straw boss, but Janet acts like she runs the place now.
See also: boss, straw

boss someone around

to give orders to someone; to keep telling someone what to do. Stop bossing me around. I'm not your employee. Captain Smith bosses around the whole crew. That's his job.
See also: around, boss

boss around

Tell someone what to do, give orders. For example, David complained that his older sister was always bossing him around. The use of boss in the sense of "to dominate" dates from the mid-1800s, and around was added a few decades later.
See also: around, boss

straw boss

A subordinate boss, a worker who supervises other workers as well as performing regular duties. For example, Jim was pleased when he was promoted to straw boss. This term alludes to the person's position as a straw man, that is, a front or cover for the real boss and of only nominal importance. [Late 1800s]
See also: boss, straw

show someone who's boss

make it clear that it is yourself who is in charge.
See also: boss, show, someone

show somebody who’s ˈboss

make it clear to somebody that you have more power and authority than they have: I think it’s time we showed these people who’s boss, don’t you?
See also: boss, show, somebody

boss around

To give someone orders in a forceful and unpleasant way: My older brothers and sisters are always bossing me around. What gives you the right to boss around everyone on the playground?
See also: around, boss


mod. excellent; powerful; superior. That is a boss tune.

boss dick

n. a cop; a police officer. (see also dick = detective.) The boss dick slugged me in the face and said I should be more careful.
See also: boss, dick

boss lady

n. the woman in charge. You’ll have to ask the boss lady.
See also: boss, lady

boss man

n. the man in charge. I guess the boss man is about ready to retire.
See also: boss, man

straw boss

n. a foreman; anyone who is second in command. I don’t mind being a straw boss as long as they pay me.
See also: boss, straw
References in periodicals archive ?
Some bosses focused their attention on setting the bar at the right level such that their international protege was challenged but not overwhelmed.
What bosses think: Too much time would be spent out of the workplace, plus poor attention to personal hygiene.
I had a number of difficult bosses including two Prime Ministers, some Ministers as well as bureaucrats.
Be it a class or a piece of equipment, bosses need to know how to provide you with the tools and resources necessary for your job.
So, yes, line the bad bosses up against the wall, but let's not forget that the real problem is Bossism, with all its nasty effects.
Bosses in IT and telecoms are 10 times more likely to adopt the style of David Brent from The Office and try to be an entertainer - more interested in being everyone's best friend than getting results.
Transport bosses are most likely to play the role of tyrant, putting profit before people.
His bosses cited the latest accident as part of a pattern of ``failure to improve to an overall level of competency.
At worst, they develop resentful attitudes towards their bosses or quit.
It's no secret that bad bosses prompt a lot of managers to consider greener pastures.
Sink marks in injection molded plastic parts develop when material in the region of thick features such as ribs or bosses shrinks more than the material in the adjacent wall.
I look back fondly on those bosses who didn't micromanage.