call the shots


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

call (all) the shots

To dictate how a situation or agenda proceeds, as from a position of authority. My staff has to do what I say because I'm the boss, and I call all the shots here! Mom calls the shots for Thanksgiving dinner, so you better get her approval for any dish you want to bring.
See also: call, shot

call (all) the shots

to decide on the course of action; to be in charge. Why do you have to call all the shots? Do what you're told. I'll call the shots.
See also: call, shot

call the shots

 and call the tune
Fig. to make the decisions; to decide what is to be done. Sally always wants to call the shots, and Mary doesn't like to be bossed around. They don't get along well. Sally always wants to call the tune.
See also: call, shot

call the shots

Exercise authority, be in charge, as in It's up to the boss to call the shots. This term probably alludes to determining accuracy in target practice. [Mid-1900s] Also see call the tune.
See also: call, shot

call the shots

INFORMAL
COMMON If you call the shots, you are the person who makes all the important decisions in an organization or situation. Is the military really the power behind the President now? Who really calls the shots? He had to be the one calling the shots, in control of everything. Note: This may refer to someone shooting and saying which part of the target they intend to hit. Alternatively, it may refer to a snooker or pool player saying which ball they intend to hit or which pocket they intend to hit it into.
See also: call, shot

call the shots (or tune)

take the initiative in deciding how something should be done; be in control. informal
Call the shots was originally an American phrase, first recorded in the 1960s. Call the tune comes from the saying he who pays the piper calls the tune , which dates from the late 19th century.
1996 Sunday Telegraph Britain is no longer run from Downing Street. It's Brussels that calls the shots.
See also: call, shot

call the ˈshots/the ˈtune

(informal) be in control: Ask Jenny — she’s the one who calls the shots around here.
See also: call, shot, tune

call the shots

verb
See also: call, shot

call the shots

Be in charge, make all major decisions. This colloquialism, dating from the mid-1900s, probably alludes to target practice. David Baldacci used it in Hour Game (2004): “Okay, I was right; the feds call the shots and take the glory.” See also run the show.
See also: call, shot
References in periodicals archive ?
Although the handicapper has taken quite a severe view of that run, Call The Shots will be suited by the step up in trip today and, with Tony Dobbin booked to ride him, is fancied to get the better of the in-form Influence Pedler.
Chris Pinches, aged 51, chairman of Call the Shots, said the contest had been held for the past two years and last year attracted 10 entries.
Tomorrow's seminar is free to Call the Shots members and pounds 5 (pounds 2.50 if unwaged) for non-members.
AMERICAN sugar daddy Randy Lerner may call the shots at Aston Villa these days, but 'Deadly' Doug Ellis - the chairman who named a stand after himself - still holds court in his former kingdom.
FILMMAKING group Call the Shots and the Leamington Film Co-op are holding a Trail Blazers 48- hour trailer challenge over the weekend of August 21 and 22.
In its favour, Holiday: We Call the Shots did provide a different take on what has become a familiar stop on the tourist trail, as we visited venues such as La Defence and local markets rather than the typical Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysees.
The ruthlessness of tycoons such as Roman Abramovich means they want to call the shots.
Call the Shots, which operates out of the Depot Studios, Bond Street, Coventry, is offering the chance to gain valuable experience in film-making and to see the end result on the big screen.
Paul Hardy, Call the Shots production co-ordinator, said: "Ninety seconds is a perfect length in which to practise film-making skills because it can be shot in a single day and also because the length forces you to tell an efficient story without diversions.
"Call the Shots will be shooting two films over two days and people who get involved will have the opportunity to work at a different job each day so they can gain the maximum experience."
Sir Bobby Robson is more interested in Southampton's pounds 6million-rated James Beattie, but the Dutch star (left) is trying to call the shots after being released by Barcelona for free.
Jack Van Spall, aged 12, of Deppers Bridge, near Southam, has just been given the job of taking part in a CBBC show in the Call the Shots series, which starts a run in July.
There is a new-found confidence about Jayne, currently presenting Holiday - You Call The Shots. Ironically, it is down to her being single again.
Last year, she spent months out of the country making LA Pool Party, then went straight into filming Holiday On A Shoestring and Holiday - You Call The Shots. But if her job is to blame for her failed romance, she has no regrets.
Lynch admits he's approaching the end of his playing days - and while he's enjoying life on the field, he's still eager to call the shots and would jump at the chance of calling the shots off the field again.