last of the big spenders, the

the last of the big spenders

An ironic expression used when one is making a small or frugal purchase. Did you just order toast and a water? Wow, the last of the big spenders!
See also: big, last, of, spenders
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

last of the big spenders, the

A tightwad. This term, often used deprecatingly of oneself, originated in the United States during the 1920s, presumably referring at first to the lavish extravagances of the boom preceding the Great Depression. During the Depression it began to be used ironically and self-deprecatingly, as it still is (for example, “I picked it up at a yard sale—I’m the last of the big spenders”). Possibly by design but more probably by coincidence, the term echoes the much older “After great getters come great spenders,” which originated in the sixteenth century, and “Great spenders are bad lenders,” from the seventeenth century, which became proverbial.
See also: big, last, of
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Called Last Of The Big Spenders, the episode, starring James Bolam as Terry Collier and Rodney Bewes as his sidekick Bob Ferris, was last seen in 1965.