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a big fish in a small pond

A situation in which one person has more power, influence, knowledge, or experience than others within a small group. It often implies that the person may not have as much clout in "a bigger pond," i.e., a larger group or arena of some kind. Since she was so popular and well-known within the walls of her small high school, Jennifer was used to being a big fish in a small pond. Once she started attending a large state university, however, she suddenly realized that it would take a lot more effort to make friends. His coarse management style made it evident that he was used to being a big fish in a small pond. That attitude certainly won't be tolerated by anyone at his new company.
See also: big, fish, pond, small

a big frog in a small pond

A situation in which one person has more power, influence, knowledge, or experience than others within a small group. It often implies that the person may not have as much clout in "a bigger pond," i.e., a larger group or arena of some kind. Since she was so popular and well-known within the walls of her small high school, Jennifer was used to being a big frog in a small pond. Once she started attending a large state university, however, she suddenly realized that it would take a lot more effort to make friends. His coarse management style has made it evident that he was used to being a big frog in a small pond. That attitude certainly won't be tolerated by anyone at his new company.
See also: big, frog, pond, small

a little frog in a big pond

Someone within a large operation or organization who is less important or less qualified than those around them. This thankless IT support job is really getting old. Ever since I started here, I've just been a little frog in a big pond.
See also: big, frog, little, pond

a small frog in a big pond

Someone or something within a larger operation or organization who is of less importance or less qualified than those around him, her, or it. This thankless IT support job is really getting old. Ever since I started here, I've just been a small frog in a big pond.
See also: big, frog, pond, small

across the pond

Across the Atlantic Ocean, almost always referring to either the British Isles or the United States, depending on which side of the ocean the speaker is from. I think we're going to head across the pond to London for our vacation this summer. Well, I have several relatives living across the pond in Boston, so we may go there on holiday this year.
See also: across, pond

cross the big pond

To cross the Atlantic Ocean, almost always referring to travel to the British Isles from the United States, or vice versa. I think we're going to cross the big pond to London for our vacation this summer. Well, I have several relatives living in Boston, so we may cross the big pond and visit them on holiday this year.
See also: big, cross, pond

pond scum

1. A layer of freshwater algae that forms on the surface of still, stagnating water (such as a pond). I pushed him into the water, and he came out covered in slimy, stinking pond scum.
2. An extremely repugnant, vile, wretched person. You're worse than a rat, worse than a maggot—you're nothing but pond scum! I would never let my daughter date pond scum like you!
See also: pond, scum
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

big frog in a small pond

an important person in the midst of less important people. (Alludes to a large frog that dominates a small pond with few challengers.) I'd rather be a big frog in a small pond than the opposite. The trouble with Tom is that he's a big frog in a small pond. He needs more competition.
See also: big, frog, pond, small
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

big fish in a small pond

Also, big frog in a little pond. A person who is important in a limited arena; someone overqualified for a position or in relation to colleagues. For example, Steve has both a Ph.D. and an M.D., yet he's content with his practice at a rural hospital; he prefers to be a big fish in a little pond . The expression big fish has been slang for an important or influential person since the early 1800s. The addition of in a small pond as a metaphor for an unimportant organization is more recent, as is the substitution of frog. Another variant is the proverb Better a big fish in a little puddle than a little fish in a big puddle.
See also: big, fish, pond, small

frog in a small pond

See also: frog, pond, small

little frog in a big pond

Also, small frog in a large pond. An unimportant or unqualified individual in a large organization or other setting. For example, Coming from a small school, Sandy felt lost at the state university-a little frog in a big pond . This phrase is the counterpart of big fish in a small pond.
See also: big, frog, little, pond
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.

a big fish in a small pond

If someone is a big fish in a small pond, they are one of the most important and influential people in a small organization or group. In Rhodesia I was a big fish in a small pond. As a big fish in a small pond, Smith found it easy to dominate fashion photography in Australia. Note: This expression can be varied, for example by using pool instead of pond or by talking about a small fish in a big pond. Being a big fish in a tiny, stagnant pool clearly gives controversial journalists ideas way above their station. Now I'm the smallest fish in a very big pond. Note: You often use this expression to suggest that someone would be less important or interesting if they were part of a larger organization or group. Note: Another American expression for this is a big frog in a small pond.
See also: big, fish, pond, small

a big frog in a small pond

AMERICAN
If someone is a big frog in a small pond, they are one of the most important and influential people in a small organization or group. He liked being a big frog in a small pond. Note: The usual British expression for this is a big fish in a small pond.
See also: big, frog, pond, small
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a big fish in a small (or little) pond

a person seen as important and influential only within the limited scope of a small organization or group.
See also: big, fish, pond, small
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

across the ˈpond

(informal, especially British English) on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean from Britain/the US: And now let’s hear some news and gossip from across the pond, with our reporter in New York.
See also: across, pond
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

pond scum

n. a mean and wretched person; a worthless male. (Collegiate. An elaboration of scum, less crude than scumbag. Also a rude term of address.) Get your hands off me, you pond scum!
See also: pond, scum
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

big fish in a small pond

An individual who is important or prominent only in a small group. This cliché, of American provenance, is used both disparagingly (“He’s the firm’s general counsel, but since there are only three employees he’s just a big fish in a small pond”) and more positively (“She didn’t get accepted to the university, but it’s better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond”).
See also: big, fish, pond, small
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
"Maggie's nowhere about the pond, mother," said Tom; "she's gone away."
You may conceive the terrified search for Maggie, and the difficulty of convincing her mother that she was not in the pond. Mrs.
The first time I passed Mill Pond Bank, Herbert and I were pulling a pair of oars; and, both in going and returning, we saw the blind towards the east come down.
We've gone and lost your father's flat, Diana, and I have a presentiment that we'll not be allowed to row on the pond any more."
It is not mysterious, it is not even odd, that a jailbird should take his gun to Pilgrim's Pond. Our people aren't like the English, who will forgive a man for being rich if he throws away money on hospitals or horses.
"That's how the whole thing looks supposing this Rian made for Pilgrim's Pond to kill Todd.
Some of the others seemed to have gone to the lower windows or on to the steps, and were calling up to him that Falconroy had gone for a stroll down to the Pilgrim's Pond an hour before, and could not be traced since.
"I fear you don't read the Society papers properly," he said, and began to read out in a monotonous voice, "`Or locked in the jewelled bosoms of our city's gayest leaders; but there is talk of a pretty parody of the manners and customs of the other end of Society's scale.' There's been a big Slum Dinner up at Pilgrim's Pond tonight; and a man, one of the guests, disappeared.
Usher read the headlines, "Last-Trick's Strayed Revellers: Mirthful Incident near Pilgrim's Pond." The paragraph went on: "A laughable occurrence took place outside Wilkinson's Motor Garage last night.
MUZAFFARGARH -- District officer fisheries Syed Baqar Hussain Kazmi said on Friday that fish catching season was drawing nearer and fish farmers need to maintain water level in ponds at five feet.
Col Saeed Mohammed Al Muhairi, chief of the Manei police station, said: "T.A.F's father managed to rescue the 9-year-old daughter of his brother, but could not save his own daughter as he arrived late." He has urged residents to avoid such ponds.
The species, known as tilapiang Gloria and also molmol locally, is depriving bangus of food in the ponds, according to Julie Perez, head of Malimgas-Aliguas Dagupan Vendors Federation, a group which includes bangus growers.
In a recent interview, Dr Comfort Nkgowe from department of Wildlife and National Parks revealed that there were two ponds at Nxaraga village and during their assessment, they found out that due to low water levels, many hippos had relocated from Nxaicha pond to Nxaraga pond which had more than 200 hippos.
ENPNewswire-August 30, 2019--University College London: Bringing farmland ponds back to life to protect Britain's wildlife