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A newcomer or late arrival to a group or activity. The rest of the staff wasn't too fond of Greg, a Johnny-come-lately who received praise from the manager after just one week on the job. Hurry up, Johnny-come-lately, we've already started today's drills!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
A newcomer, as in She may be a Johnny-come-lately on the board, but she's doing a fine job with publicity. [1830s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
You call someone a Johnny-come-lately if they get involved in an activity or organization when it has been happening or has existed for a long time and therefore have little knowledge or experience of it. Having arrived on the scene relatively recently, Sylva is regarded by many other managers as a Johnny-come-lately. Note: Johnny-come-lately can also be used before a noun. We advise members to ensure that they are dealing with a reliable and long-established company — not some Johnny-come-lately firm that's just set up round the corner. Note: This name used to be given to new or inexperienced sailors in the American navy.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
n. someone new to a situation or status. This Johnnie-come-lately doesn’t know what it was like in the old days.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
A late arrival; a newcomer. This term originated in the early nineteenth-century British navy as Johnny Newcomer, meaning a seaman new to a ship. In the United States it was changed to Johnny-come-lately, first appearing in print in Charles F. Briggs’s novel, The Adventures of Harry Franco (1839).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer