chief


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Related to chief: Chief Joseph

(there are) 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. One of many expressions often considered offensive for making reference to Native American stereotypes or tropes. 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

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

big white chief

An important, successful, or influential person. The phrase is usually used humorously, but is potentially offensive due to its likely origin as a pseudo-Native American term. Jacob thinks he's a big white chief now that he's been promoted to assistant manager. I'm the big white chief around here, so you have to do what I say.
See also: big, chief, white

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

head 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, cook, head, 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

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, bottlewasher, 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

chief cook and bottle washer

Individual who has most of the many and quite varied responsibilities in an enterprise. This slangy Americanism originated in the first half of the 1800s. Alluding to kitchen duties, the term is used far more broadly, as in “Mr. Miller described himself as the ‘president, chief cook and bottle washer’ of his company” (New York Times, Nov. 7, 1992).
See also: and, bottle, chief, cook, washer

too many chiefs and not enough Indians

Too many bosses and not enough workers. This expression, also stated more hyperbolically as all chiefs and no Indians, originated in the first half of the 1900s. Although the term refers to native American tribal organization, it is not considered offensive.
See also: and, chief, enough, Indian, many, not
References in classic literature ?
A Chief may, and often does, play almost an entire game without leaving his own square, where, mounted upon a thoat, he may overlook the entire field and direct each move, nor may he be reproached for lack of courage should he elect thus to play the game since, by the rules, were he to be slain or so badly wounded as to be compelled to withdraw, a game that might otherwise have been won by the science of his play and the prowess of his men would be drawn.
There was only one player upon the Black side that might dispute the square with the enemy and that was the Chief's Odwar, who stood upon Gahan's left.
Another private conference was held between him and the old managing chief, who now seemed more inflated than ever with mystery and self-importance.
"Let them go!" thought the chief justice, with somewhat of an old Puritan feeling in his breast.
The Chief Inspector, stooping guardedly over the table, fought down the unpleasant sensation in his throat.
Upon the bank before the river stood the chief, his spear raised in a horizontal position above his head, as though in some manner of predetermined signal to those within the boats.
"That old bachelor who made the rules ought to be skinned alive!" declared Scraps, and would have said more on the subject had not the door opened to admit a little Horner man whom the Chief introduced as Diksey.
On hearing the declaration of the Jewish doctor, the chief of police commanded that he should be led to the gallows, and the Sultan's purveyor go free.
As the boat was shoving off, a second chief stepped into her, who only wanted the amusement of the passage up and down the creek.
Hunt transferred his camp across the river at a little distance below the village, and the left- handed chief placed some of his warriors as a guard to prevent the intrusion of any of his people.
Chiefs, who announced themselves Christians and were welcomed into the body of the chapel, had a distressing habit of backsliding in order to partake of the flesh of some favorite enemy.
"Some people," said the Chief Counselor, "enjoy getting angry."
"She is welcome," returned the chief of the latter nation, still more emphatically.
When I had been led before the chief I saluted him and spoke to him--the words you laid upon my tongue I told to him.
"Yea, my lords," answered the old chief with a smile, which was reflected on the faces of his companions; "/if/ ye do this thing, we will be satisfied indeed."