big cheese

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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

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 ?
One thing you can count on with the Big Cheese is that even if the weather is not that good - the fun never stops and a great time will be had by all.
Sue Osborne enjoys herself at the Big Cheese PETER BOLTER
Or try one of their new pizzas including the Triple Pepperoni, The Big Cheese or the BBQ Pulled Pork & Cheese.
CLICK ON To more pictures of The Big Cheese log on to: WalesOnline.
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.
Face it, the PGA Tour has turned into a rich boy's rat race, and there's some John Cleese character setting the odds that Phil Mickelson will never become the big cheese.
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.
ADMISSION: Free The Big Cheese & Beer Expo is a major highlight of the NI Year of Food and Drink programme, shining a spotlight on some of the finest craft beers and cheeses being produced locally as part of Brewing and Distilling month.
The Big Cheese @ Owain Glyndwr Playing Fields, Caerphilly (today) TO paraphrase the classic Monty Python cheese shop sketch: Are you peckish?
In Caerphilly, the Big Cheese Festival has grown from small beginnings to become a highlight of the calendar, for the town and surrounding area.
One company not associated with the big cheese, Bright Child in Santa Monica, has managed to attract tots for more than four years.
Or try one of their new pizzas, including the Triple Pepperoni, The Big Cheese or the BBQ Pulled Pork & Cheese.
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.
The spirit of The Big Cheese is still being promoted by local traders, including Alison and Andy Walton, who run the Vive La Baguette snack bar.
He was the big cheese, I was unseeded and won the '39 national juniors,'' Schroeder said.