the last of the big spenders

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Many of the original episodes have been lost, but a 1965 show, entitled The Last of The Big Spenders, was unearthed in 2001 and saw future EastEnders star Wendy Richards playing a character called Lynn.
Many of the original episodes have been lost, but a 1965 show entitled The Last Of The Big Spenders was unearthed in 2001 and saw future EastEnders star Wendy Richards playing a character called Lynn.
This 1965 episode is called The Last of the Big Spenders. Inset, Rodney Bewes pictured in 2007 BBC
Qatar-backed PSG may not be the last of the big spenders either, with Dr.
The last of the big spenders. Scotland's failure to recruit England Under-21 star Andy Driver for international duty because he had less than five years schooling north of the border has upset Kenny McGowan, Stirling.
On returning my change, the assistant, angry at her own mistake, made some comment about me being the last of the big spenders.
So you might think I am careful with my pennies - but once I get to an airport, hey, I'm the last of the big spenders.
It's about time everyone in football got their heads around the fact that the last of the big spenders might just have left town.
And while the last of the big spenders reckons it needs pounds 650,000 to decorate his official des.
Coalition ministers like to pretend that Labour was the last of the big spenders. But in 2007 UK government spending as a proportion of GDP was lower than that in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
The stranger-than-fiction story of how this former nun turned into the last of the big spenders is told in a neatly-balanced mix of drama and documentary as parents, teachers, students and fraud squad officers all chip in with their accounts of what a nightmare she was.
Until recently, 13 out of 20 episodes of 60s series The Likely Lads were missing, but a team of amateur collectors uncovered an edition called The Last of the Big Spenders.
Hardly the last of the big spenders, but it was nearly midnight and there was only five minutes of bidding left.
Peter Reid hardly qualifies as the last of the big spenders, but many Wearside critics will be surprised to learn he has actually outspent both Newcastle's Kenny Dalglish and Middlesbrough's Bryan Robson since the turn of the year.