big cheese

(redirected from The Big Cheese)
Also found in: Acronyms.

big cheese

An important, successful, or influential person. Jacob thinks he's a big cheese now that he's been promoted to assistant manager. I'm the big cheese around here, so you have to do what I say.
See also: big, cheese

big cheese

Also, big shot or gun or wheel or enchilada . An important, powerful person; the boss. For example, She loved being the big cheese of her company; the big guns in Congress are bound to change the President's bill; you'd better not act like a big shot among your old friends; Harry was the big wheel in his class ; and You'll have to get permission from the big enchilada. The first term dates from the late 1800s and its origin is disputed. Some think it comes from the Urdu word chiz or cheez for "thing," but others hold it plays on the English word "chief." Big gun is much older, dating from the early 1800s; big shot became very popular in the late 1920s, particularly when used for underworld leaders of gangsters; big wheel dates from about the same period. Big enchilada, often put as the big enchilada, is the newest, dating from the early 1970s.
See also: big, cheese

a big cheese

mainly BRITISH, INFORMAL
If you describe someone as a big cheese, you mean that they have an important and powerful position in an organization. Maire is undoubtedly the big cheese of the Jura wine producers. Several big cheeses from the State Department attended the conference. Note: Big cheese can also be used before a noun. He was a big-cheese divorce lawyer. Note: The word `cheese' in this expression may be a corruption or misunderstanding of the Urdu word `chiz' or `cheez', meaning `thing'. This started being used in English in about 1840 because of the British presence in India. Later the word came to refer to a person or boss.
See also: big, cheese

a big cheese

an important and influential person. informal
Other versions of this phrase substitute fish , gun , noise , shot , or wheel for cheese . These are mainly self-explanatory, with the exception of cheese itself, which is of doubtful origin but may be from Persian and Urdu chiz meaning ‘thing’. As a phrase, big cheese seems to have originated in early 20th-century US slang, as did big noise. Big wheel in this metaphorical sense (as opposed to the fairground ride known as a Ferris wheel) and big shot are similarly US in origin (mid 20th century). Big fish may have connotations either of something it is desirable for you to catch or of the metaphorical expression a big fish in a small pond .
See also: big, cheese

big cheese

n. the boss; the key figure; the leader. Here’s a note from the big cheese telling me to come in for a chat.
See also: big, cheese

big cheese, the

The boss, an important person; also, a self-important person. This term is a slangy Americanism dating from the late nineteenth century, and its etymology is disputed. Some believe it comes from the Persian or Urdu word chiz or cheez for “thing”; others believe it is simply a play on the English word chief. There are several synonymous usages, among them big gun, big shot, and big wheel. The first dates from the 1830s. An 1834 citation has it, “The big guns of the nation are there [in Washington].” The last two expressions both date from the 1930s.
See also: big

big cheese

A very important person. The phrase seems to have come from, literally, a very large wheel of cheese. After President Jefferson was given one of Cheshire in 1802, other dairies made and displayed huge wheels for publicity purposes. The cheeses attracted lots of attention, and so it wasn't much of a jump to referring to someone who attracted attention as a “big cheese.” Although some have suggested that “cheese” came from the Hindu word “chiz,” for “thing” that the British heard as “cheese,” no paper trail exists to show that Americans started using the phrase though any transatlantic connection. Similar “big” phrases are more common, such as big deal and big wheel.
See also: big, cheese
References in periodicals archive ?
Known for their exceptional pizza, The Big Cheese has become a quintessential Miami Italian restaurant that serves a wide variety of Italian classics using only premium ingredients from around the globe.
The Big Cheese Festival offered an apology to event attendees due to the shortage of cheese during the event.
Despite sporadic torrential downpours festival-goers still come flocking to the town for the popular festival We've raided our archive for pictures taken at the Big Cheese Festival over the years.
Or try one of their new pizzas including the Triple Pepperoni, The Big Cheese or the BBQ Pulled Pork & Cheese.
Sean said: "This will be my first visit to the Big Cheese, but I've heard it is one of the best summer events in south Wales so I'm very excited to be involved.
With the course having attracted big crowds for the two 'gratis' years and made pounds 270,000 in the second of them, Chris Palmer, the big cheese at the Northamptonshire venue, has decided there is no need to revert to charging punters for entry.
The big cheese: Edelweiss Creamery in Monticello, Wis.
NORTH-based bakery chain Greggs is the big cheese when it comes to sandwiches, according to the consumer magazine Which?
Originally written in 1933, this long overlooked classic follows the rise and fall of Frans Laarmans who, despite his low regard of a certain dairy product, finds himself the big cheese in an Edam exporting firm.
THOUSANDS of people made their way to Caerphilly over the weekend for the Big Cheese festival.
CLICK ON To more pictures of The Big Cheese log on to: WalesOnline.co.uk /gallery
WITH so many fantastic things going on this weekend, Ponty's BigWeekend with JLS, The Big Cheese in Caerphilly and WOW on theWaterfront, Kam and I asked people to get in touch with why they love living in Wales.
Available from their stand in the Food Hall at The Big Cheese in Caerphilly today and tomorrow CWM Rhondda Ales was established on the family farm above Treorchy in 2015 and they produce a range of beers, both bottled and on draught.