chief

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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

One who is 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

too many chiefs and not enough Indians

There are too many people trying to manage or organize something, and not enough people willing to actually do the work. (This phrase may be considered offensive or inappropriate in the United States.) Everyone wants to be the brains of this project, but there are too many chiefs and not enough Indians!
See also: and, chief, enough, Indian, many, not

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

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

too many chiefs and not enough Indians

OFFENSIVE or

too many chiefs

If there are too many chiefs or too many chiefs and not enough Indians in an organization, there are too many people in charge and not enough people doing the work. This bank has 21 executive directors. No surprise, then, that some insiders say there are too many chiefs.
See also: and, chief, enough, Indian, many, not

big white chief

a person in authority. humorous
This expression supposedly represents Native American speech, and also occurs as great white chief .
1971 Roger Busby Deadlock You'd think he was the bloody big white chief instead of an OB technician.
See also: big, chief, white

chief cook and bottle-washer

a person who performs a variety of important but routine tasks. informal
See also: and, chief, cook

too many chiefs and not enough Indians

used to describe a situation where there are too many people giving orders and not enough people to carry them out.
See also: and, chief, enough, Indian, many, not

there are too many ˌchiefs and not enough ˈIndians

(British English, informal) used to describe a situation in which there are too many people telling other people what to do, and not enough people to do the work
See also: and, chief, enough, Indian, many, not, there

chief

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

verb
See also: and, bottle, chief, cook, washer
References in periodicals archive ?
One of the ironies of the conquest period is that the invention of tribal sovereignty seemed necessary for one of the avowed goals of early colonialism: the destruction of chiefship and the "civilization" of the native.
Chiefship was, paradoxically, both attacked and elevated.
Thomas Koelble and Edward LiPuma are doing important work on chiefship and liberal democracy.
Some suggest that these initiatives increasingly transformed chiefship from a locally based institution to something that was top down from the center, with councils to be put up for development and political participation.
While British officials and missionaries continued to be charmed by the Baganda gentlemen who worked for them in chiefships and other positions of authority, the clashes of the 1940s left Baganda looking for more than manners, grace, and effective hospitality in their leaders.
Tamukedde, both of whom received their principal preparation for chiefships as they worked in Protectorate clerkships, are examples of the new bureaucrats.
Fijian chiefship what it is: allegiance is denoted by the term
analyse in terms of gender, kinship, chiefship, ideas of the person and
The tension between hierarchy and equality given respectively by relations between kin within the household and kin relations between cross-cousins as affines across households can be historically related to the nature of chiefship.
9] The dispute addressed in this essay concerned who had a right to the paramount chiefship, where these persons' ancestors came from, and whether or not they were installed.