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Related to chief: Chief Joseph

be the chief cook and bottle washer

To be involved in many aspects of a particular situation. Because so many people have left our department recently, I'm the chief cook and bottle washer, doing every little task that comes up.
See also: and, bottle, chief, cook, washer

chief cook and bottle washer

Fig. the person in charge of practically everything (such as in a very small business). I'm the chief cook and bottle washer around here. I do everything.
See also: and, bottle, chief, cook, washer

Too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

Prov. Too many people want to be the leader, and not enough people are willing to follow to do the detail work. Everyone on that committee wants to be in charge. Too many chiefs and not enough Indians. We'll never finish this project if everyone keeps trying to give orders. There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians.
See also: and, chief, enough, Indian, many, not

be chief cook and bottle washer

to be the person who is responsible for cooking meals and washing the pans and dishes It's my birthday party, so Alan is chief cook and bottle washer tonight.
See also: and, bottle, chief, cook, washer

too many chiefs (and not enough Indians)

too many bosses, and not enough people to do the work I can't find anyone to do the photocopying. There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians in this company.
See also: chief, many

chief cook and bottlewasher

A person in charge of numerous duties, both vital and trivial, as in We have no secretaries or clerks; the department head is chief cook and bottlewasher and does it all . [Slang; c. 1840]
See also: and, chief, cook


n. the person in charge. (Also a term of address.) You got a couple of clams to pay the toll with, chief?

head cook and bottle washer

and chief cook and bottle washer
n. someone who is in charge of trivial things as well as the important things. Ten years I’m here, and I’m just the head cook and bottle washer. The chief cook and bottle washer ends up doing everything that has to be done.
See also: and, bottle, cook, head, washer

chief cook and bottle washer

See also: and, bottle, chief, cook, washer
References in classic literature ?
Moreover, Bulalio, chief of the People of the Axe, has not offended against me, but against an elephant whose trumpetings are done.
When he had fought his way through the crowd and reached the chief of police,
As the chief justice lingered an instant at the door a trumpet sounded within, and the regiment came clattering forth and galloped down the street.
Two other chiefs there were with whom I had it in my mind to speak, and where are they now?
Then the guards took the Chief Counselor, and bound him with chains to prevent his struggling, and threw him away.
The Chief told the man that his joke had not been understood by the dull Hoppers, who had become so angry that they had declared war.
Scarcely had he left the chief than the latter called two of his warriors, to whom he whispered a few instructions.
As they came nearer Gahan saw that one was indeed Tara of Helium, but the other he did not recognize, and then they were brought to the center of the field midway between the two sides and there waited until the Orange Chief arrived.
When he returned, cavalierly ignoring the chief, he addressed himself to the old man.
The Buli of Gatoka, seated on his best mat, surrounded by his chief men, three busy fly-brushers at his back, deigned to receive from the hand of his herald the whale tooth presented by Ra Vatu and carried into the mountains by his cousin, Erirola.
In attempting to express his gratification, the Chief of Police thrust out his right hand with such violence that his skin was ruptured at the arm-pit and a stream of sawdust poured from the wound.
Nay, I beheld their chief,' replied the scout, 'tall as a glittering rock.
On asking the chief the use of them, he replied, that if two or three of his men were shot, their neighbours would not see the bodies, and so be discouraged.
Chief Inspector Heat of the Special Crimes Department changed his tone.
This chief, who had been among the last to obey the vociferous summons of Weucha, no sooner reached the spot where his whole party was now gathered, than he threw himself from his horse, and proceeded to examine the marks of the extraordinary trail, with that degree of dignity and attention which became his high and responsible station.