chief

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(there are) too many chiefs and not enough Indians

There are too many people trying to manage or organize something, and not enough people willing to actually do the work. One of many expressions often considered offensive for making reference to Native American stereotypes or tropes. Everyone wants to be the brains of this project, but there are too many chiefs and not enough Indians!
See also: and, chief, enough, Indian, many, not

be the chief cook and bottle washer

To be involved in many aspects of a particular situation. Because so many people have left our department recently, I'm the chief cook and bottle washer, doing every little task that comes up.
See also: and, bottle, chief, cook, washer

big white chief

An important, successful, or influential person. The phrase is usually used humorously, but is potentially offensive due to its likely origin as a pseudo-Native American term. Jacob thinks he's a big white chief now that he's been promoted to assistant manager. I'm the big white chief around here, so you have to do what I say.
See also: big, chief, white

chief cook and bottle washer

One who is involved in many aspects of a particular situation. Because so many people have left our department recently, I'm the chief cook and bottle washer, doing every little task that comes up.
See also: and, bottle, chief, cook, washer

head cook and bottle washer

One who is involved in many aspects of a particular situation. Because so many people have left our department recently, I'm the chief cook and bottle washer, doing every little task that comes up.
See also: and, bottle, cook, head, washer

chief cook and bottle washer

Fig. the person in charge of practically everything (such as in a very small business). I'm the chief cook and bottle washer around here. I do everything.
See also: and, bottle, chief, cook, washer

Too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

Prov. Too many people want to be the leader, and not enough people are willing to follow to do the detail work. Everyone on that committee wants to be in charge. Too many chiefs and not enough Indians. We'll never finish this project if everyone keeps trying to give orders. There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians.
See also: and, chief, enough, Indian, many, not

chief cook and bottlewasher

A person in charge of numerous duties, both vital and trivial, as in We have no secretaries or clerks; the department head is chief cook and bottlewasher and does it all . [Slang; c. 1840]
See also: and, bottlewasher, chief, cook

too many chiefs and not enough Indians

OFFENSIVE or

too many chiefs

If there are too many chiefs or too many chiefs and not enough Indians in an organization, there are too many people in charge and not enough people doing the work. This bank has 21 executive directors. No surprise, then, that some insiders say there are too many chiefs.
See also: and, chief, enough, Indian, many, not

big white chief

a person in authority. humorous
This expression supposedly represents Native American speech, and also occurs as great white chief .
1971 Roger Busby Deadlock You'd think he was the bloody big white chief instead of an OB technician.
See also: big, chief, white

chief cook and bottle-washer

a person who performs a variety of important but routine tasks. informal
See also: and, chief, cook

too many chiefs and not enough Indians

used to describe a situation where there are too many people giving orders and not enough people to carry them out.
See also: and, chief, enough, Indian, many, not

there are too many ˌchiefs and not enough ˈIndians

(British English, informal) used to describe a situation in which there are too many people telling other people what to do, and not enough people to do the work
See also: and, chief, enough, Indian, many, not, there

chief

n. the person in charge. (Also a term of address.) You got a couple of clams to pay the toll with, chief?

head cook and bottle washer

and chief cook and bottle washer
n. someone who is in charge of trivial things as well as the important things. Ten years I’m here, and I’m just the head cook and bottle washer. The chief cook and bottle washer ends up doing everything that has to be done.
See also: and, bottle, cook, head, washer

chief cook and bottle washer

verb
See also: and, bottle, chief, cook, washer

chief cook and bottle washer

Individual who has most of the many and quite varied responsibilities in an enterprise. This slangy Americanism originated in the first half of the 1800s. Alluding to kitchen duties, the term is used far more broadly, as in “Mr. Miller described himself as the ‘president, chief cook and bottle washer’ of his company” (New York Times, Nov. 7, 1992).
See also: and, bottle, chief, cook, washer

too many chiefs and not enough Indians

Too many bosses and not enough workers. This expression, also stated more hyperbolically as all chiefs and no Indians, originated in the first half of the 1900s. Although the term refers to native American tribal organization, it is not considered offensive.
See also: and, chief, enough, Indian, many, not
References in periodicals archive ?
The invention of sovereignty naturalized some political principles, most obviously chiefship. At the same time other geographies of power and authority came to be fragmented and marginalized.
One of the ironies of the conquest period is that the invention of tribal sovereignty seemed necessary for one of the avowed goals of early colonialism: the destruction of chiefship and the "civilization" of the native.
Chiefship was, paradoxically, both attacked and elevated.
Thomas Koelble and Edward LiPuma are doing important work on chiefship and liberal democracy.
While British officials and missionaries continued to be charmed by the Baganda gentlemen who worked for them in chiefships and other positions of authority, the clashes of the 1940s left Baganda looking for more than manners, grace, and effective hospitality in their leaders.
Tamukedde, both of whom received their principal preparation for chiefships as they worked in Protectorate clerkships, are examples of the new bureaucrats.
Fijian chiefship what it is: allegiance is denoted by the term
analyse in terms of gender, kinship, chiefship, ideas of the person and
Toren 2000 for a more detailed discussion of chiefship and its
Long-running instances of political veiqati are evident in the `General History of the Country of Sawaieke' (Na i tukutuku raraba ni vanua ko Sawaieke) recorded by the officials of the Lands Commission in 1916.[9] The dispute addressed in this essay concerned who had a right to the paramount chiefship, where these persons' ancestors came from, and whether or not they were installed.
`effective') and thus gains the daughter of the land chief and later the paramount chiefship which is voluntarily surrendered to him by the older man.
Fijian chiefship, Hocart argued, was concerned to bring about and to maintain prosperity and the story shows Biu to be an effective warrior and provider.
Indeed, the records of the Lands Commission investigation show that all the ancestors of all the people of Sawaieke country came from elsewhere.[15] But there is no suggestion in the records that an ancestor of the NaRai who created the first paramount to hold the title Takalaigau had wrested the chiefship from an earlier incumbent who was the chief of another, possibly, indigenous people.
Fourthly, and given Ratu Tomasi's emphasis on his Bauan ancestor's descent through a woman who was daughter to a lands-people chief in Sawaieke country, it seems very possible that Ratu Damudamu made his claim on his grandfather as a vasu (sister's child, even if at several removes); the privilege of the vasu is to `take without asking' from the mother's people and if `grandfather Veidre' indeed held the title NaRai, as Ratu Tomasi's account suggests he did, then what he had to give was the paramount chiefship -- for only Narai can install a paramount in office, however he cannot be compelled to do so, except perhaps by the threat of superior force of arms.
When one analyses these records it becomes apparent that Fijian chiefship had retained its dual nature, that in their rise to power the war chiefs (Na Sau) had not yet managed to render hierarchy absolute, for, as I show below, it was still predicated on its antithesis -- equality between persons who relate to one another as cross-cousins across households, and within and across clans and other larger collectivities.