call (all) the shots

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call (all) the shots

To dictate how a situation or agenda proceeds, as from a position of authority. My staff has to do what I say because I'm the boss, and I call all the shots here! Mom calls the shots for Thanksgiving dinner, so you better get her approval for any dish you want to bring.
See also: call, shot

call (all) the shots

to decide on the course of action; to be in charge. Why do you have to call all the shots? Do what you're told. I'll call the shots.
See also: call, shot

call the shots

 and call the tune
Fig. to make the decisions; to decide what is to be done. Sally always wants to call the shots, and Mary doesn't like to be bossed around. They don't get along well. Sally always wants to call the tune.
See also: call, shot

call the shots

Exercise authority, be in charge, as in It's up to the boss to call the shots. This term probably alludes to determining accuracy in target practice. [Mid-1900s] Also see call the tune.
See also: call, shot

call the shots

INFORMAL
COMMON If you call the shots, you are the person who makes all the important decisions in an organization or situation. Is the military really the power behind the President now? Who really calls the shots? He had to be the one calling the shots, in control of everything. Note: This may refer to someone shooting and saying which part of the target they intend to hit. Alternatively, it may refer to a snooker or pool player saying which ball they intend to hit or which pocket they intend to hit it into.
See also: call, shot

call the shots (or tune)

take the initiative in deciding how something should be done; be in control. informal
Call the shots was originally an American phrase, first recorded in the 1960s. Call the tune comes from the saying he who pays the piper calls the tune , which dates from the late 19th century.
1996 Sunday Telegraph Britain is no longer run from Downing Street. It's Brussels that calls the shots.
See also: call, shot

call (all) the shots

tv. to decide on the course of action; to be in charge. Why do you have to call all the shots?
See also: all, call, shot

call the shots

verb
See also: call, shot

call the

shots/tune Informal
To exercise authority; be in charge.
See also: call
References in periodicals archive ?
If it's easy to understand Shaq no longer wanting to be a part of a team that now has Kobe calling the shots, it doesn't figure to be easy to trade him.
You think you're free to choose your retirement investments, but your boss is probably calling the shots.
Major League Baseball will not allow McCourt, or anyone else, to start calling the shots until approved as an owner.
Tom Craft wasn't the man San Diego State athletic director Rick Bay initially envisioned calling the shots for the Aztecs.
Actually, Ryan Dean has been the backup setter all along, but with Brian Edwards calling the shots, Dean has mostly played in the back row.
The man calling the shots here is Gary Fleder, as uninspired a plodder (``Kiss the Girls,'' ``Don't Say a Word'') as they come.
And from a pragmatic point of view, the companies want a skilled labor force and they're calling the shots on the skill level of these graduates.
But because he is the one calling the shots, he'll continue taking the bullets for his band of bumblers and he'll soldier on.