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too big for (one's) britches

Overconfident in one's importance, skill, or authority; behaving as if one is more important or influential than one actually is. He's gotten too big for his britches ever since he got that promotion. John's been too big for his britches now that he's been scouted by the NBA.
See also: big, britches

too big for one's britches

Rur. too haughty for one's status or age. Bill's getting a little too big for his britches, and somebody's going to straighten him out. You're too big for your britches, young man! You had better be more respectful.
See also: big, britches

wear the britches (in the family)

 and wear the pants (in the family)
Rur. to be in charge in the family. Jane bosses her husband around something scandalous. It's clear that she wears the britches in the family. I don't intend to let my wife wear the pants in the family. Mary's a strong-minded woman, but her husband still wears the britches.
See also: britches, wear

too big for one's britches

Also, too big for one's boots. Conceited, self-important, as in Ever since he won that tournament he's gotten too big for his britches, or There's no talking to Jill anymore-she's just too big for her boots. This metaphoric idiom alludes to becoming so "swollen" with conceit that one's pants or boots no longer fit. [Late 1800s]
See also: big, britches

too big for your boots


too big for your britches

If someone is too big for their boots, they behave as if they are more important or clever than they really are. Note: In the second expression, `britches' is also spelled `breeches'. I was often accused of being too big for my boots. If you ask me, he's too big for his britches since he struck it rich. Note: You can also say that someone gets too big for their boots or gets too big for their britches. In Britain, people seem to have a thing about not letting someone get too big for their boots. Getting too big for their britches, kids these days. Think the whole universe should revolve round them. Note: Britches are trousers which reach as far as your knees.
See also: big, boot

too big for your boots

conceited. informal
See also: big, boot

too ˌbig for your ˈboots

(informal) thinking that you are more important than you really are: His political rivals had decided that he was getting too big for his boots.
See also: big, boot

too big for (one's) britches

Overconfident; cocky.
See also: big, britches
References in periodicals archive ?
presents this fascinating look into early twentieth century eastern Texas via the outlaw Leather Britches Smith.
If I had it to do over, I'd grab myself by the seat of the britches and it wouldn't have happened.
He shoved me to the ground,/fell on me, so distracted/with fumbling at his britches,//he didn't notice/I'd grabbed a rock/and hit him with it,/again and again and again,/in a shrieking frenzy.
Dahl looked the part of a lady-killer with long, piratical locks, leather britches and a blousy white shirt.
But despite sacrificing everything for us and saving our collective britches, they get little of our attention.
IT'S official again: America is too big for its britches and getting bigger.
We stood there in our riding britches and spurs, with bandoliers round our shoulders.
I know how to face fire without soiling me britches and turning tail.
You might expect a neighborhood to get too big for its britches when it's home to a culinary academy, at least half a dozen destination restaurants, world-class Anchor Steam beer, and an urban winery too.
Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver, cofounders of Split Britches, revive their popular "lesbian noir" comic pulp drama (written with Holly Hughes) in which clothes do make a woman-and a man.
I expect to have a higher profile this time, but honestly that also means I anticipate more reviewers are going to think I'm getting too big for my britches and take it upon themselves to knock me back a little.
Best known for bondage britches, minicrinis and vertiginous shoes, Viv has gone back to her roots as a good ol' Derbyshire lass by teaming up with Matlock-based knitwear makers John Smedley.
In particular, Uncle Sam would get even bigger for his britches.
White minstrels answered with: "When women's rights is stirred a bit / De first reform she bitches on / Is how she can wid least delay / Just draw a pair ob britches on.