in the catbird seat

(sitting) in the catbird seat

In a powerful or influential position. The phrase likely refers to the catbird's preference for high tree branches (a position that helps it to avoid predators). As the CEO's assistant, you are definitely sitting in the catbird seat. I know you were hoping to be elected president over Joe, but, as vice president, you're in the catbird seat if he resigns.
See also: catbird, seat
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

in the catbird seat

Sl. in a dominant or controlling position. Sally's in the catbird seat—telling everybody where to go. I hold all the aces. I'm in the catbird seat.
See also: catbird, seat
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

in the catbird seat

in a superior or more advantageous position. North American informal
This expression is said to have originally referred to a baseball player in the fortunate position of having no strikes and therefore three balls still to play (a reference made in James Thurber 's short story The Catbird Seat).
See also: catbird, seat
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

in the catbird seat

mod. in a dominant or controlling position. I hold all the aces. I’m in the catbird seat.
See also: catbird, seat
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

catbird seat, (sitting) in the

Being in a position of advantage or superiority. The term originated in the American South, where the catbird is quite common. It is thought to allude to the bird’s habit of singing from a very high perch in trees. It came into common usage in the 1940s when Mississippi-born sportscaster Red Barber would use it, for example, for a pitcher who was almost certain to strike out all the batters. Barber said he himself first heard the term in a poker game where he had bluffed all but one player into dropping out, but the remaining player, who had said from the start that he was sitting in the catbird seat, proved to have an ace and an ace in the hole. James Thurber used the expression as the title of a short story about a mild-mannered accountant who was so irritated by a colleague using this and other terms that he planned to murder her.
See also: catbird
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
* No, Carol Shea It Ain't So is not in the catbird seat in the 1st C.D.
Bill Cray was always in the catbird seat on Evens And Odds as he tracked Prime Exhibit while eying pacesetter Jonny Mudball.
On William Luke Marbury, Sr., see William Luke Marbury Jr., In the Catbird Seat (Baltimore, 1988), chapters 2, 3, 5.
Take "sitting in the catbird seat." The expression was popularized by Red Barber, the colorful broadcaster for the Brooklyn Dodgers, who also spread the likes of "tearing up the pea patch" and rhubarb, used to mean 'an argument on a baseball diamond.' The Mississippi-born Barber once explained that "sitting in the catbird seat" was a Southern expression for which he had literally paid.
Now Schaitberger is the envy of all those other union leaders who wrote off Kerry and leapt onto the "Dean Express." "He's certainly in the catbird seat," says one official of the AFL-CIO, of which IAFF is a member.
"They are overcapitalized and under-leveraged"--in short, they are in the catbird seat.
Now look at how he is in the catbird seat. The FBI calls a meeting with the contracts shop and the IG.
With the Saints in the catbird seat, the Thunder apparently figured they had 'em just where they wanted 'em.
"Therapists used to be in the catbird seat, and now they're being eaten," adds Monroe.
With dizzying swiftness, the religious right went from being in the catbird seat to being in the hot seat.
He recognized the fact that although the Downtown Manhattan market was in the doldrums, it was poised to come back, and that the players who were previously committed would be the ones in the catbird seat as the market picked up.
That's an absolutely wonderful coup." Whether his observations solve a puzzle or simply change it, "He's in the catbird seat, and he has the pleasure of having theorists fight it out."
When the market really opens up, these guys will be in the catbird seat."
Instead, it started out 1993 very likely in the catbird seat, clean and clear of $1 million of debt, with a shorter name and a new major product line, and once again under single-family ownership.
At a time when the self-styled tea partiers of New Hampshire are doing jumping jacks and victory dances, you'd think a like-minded organization--the uber-libertarian Free State Project--would be sitting in the catbird seat.