too big for (one's) breeches(redirected from too big for his breeches)
too big for (one's) breeches
Overconfident in one's importance, skill, or authority; behaving as if one is more important or influential than one actually is. He's gotten too big for his breeches ever since he got that promotion. John's been too big for his breeches now that he's been scouted by pro teams.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
too big for one's britches (breeches)
Conceited, self-important. This expression, alluding to becoming so swelled with self-importance as to burst out of one’s clothes, sounds ancient but dates only from about 1900, as does the closely related too big for one’s boots. The latter appeared in Sir Henry Maxwell’s Life of W. H. Smith (1894): “Sometimes a young man, ‘too big for his boots,’ would sniff at being put in charge of a railway bookstall.” And H. G. Wells (Kipp, The Story of a Simple Soul, 1905) wrote, “He’s getting too big for ’is britches.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer