top banana


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top banana

The person with the most authority, power, or influence in a group or organization. Primarily heard in US. When I was top banana of the business, I used to charge the most outrageous things to the company credit card. You'll only get a truthful answer if you manage to talk to one of the top bananas.
See also: banana, top

top banana

Also, top dog. The principal person in a group, organization, or undertaking, as in His plan was to be top banana within ten years, or Now that she's top dog you can't get hold of her at all. The first term comes from show business, where from the early 1900s it has signified the leading comedian (possibly the original allusion was to Frank Lebowitz, a burlesque comedian who used bananas in his act). It also gave rise to second banana, for a supporting actor, usually a straight man. Both were transferred to more general use in the second half of the 1900s, as in executive Peter Barton's statement, "There is a certain pain to being a second banana, but you have to have an ability to sublimate your ego," quoted in The New York Times, May 15, 1996. The variant, top dog, originated in sports in the late 1800s and signified the odds-on favorite or winner in a contest; it alludes to the dog who wins (comes out on top) in a dogfight.
See also: banana, top

top banana

the most important person in an organization or activity. informal, chiefly North American
The two expressions above originated in US theatrical slang. The top banana was originally the comedian who topped the bill in a show, while the second banana was the supporting comedian.
See also: banana, top

top banana

1. n. the lead comedian in a burlesque or vaudeville act. The top banana didn’t show up for the gig.
2. n. the boss; the leader or head of something. (see also big cheese, big enchilada.) You’ll have to ask the top banana. He’s out right now.
See also: banana, top

top banana

Headliner comedian in a vaudeville show. The phrase is said to have originated with a vaudevillian named Harry Steppe in 1927 from a skit in which three comics tried to figure out how to share two bananas. Steppe also claimed to have first used “second banana” to refer to the cast's number two comic. Comedian Phil Silvers popularized the phrase “Top Banana” when he used it as the title of his Broadway musical and movie.
See also: banana, top
References in periodicals archive ?
Top Banana, whose headquarters are in Stourbridge, helps businesses engage their employees through inspiring events and communications, working with national and international brands.
Other clock vendors suggested that the decreasing margins in the industry may have driven OSP to return to its core product lines and, at least temporarily, abandon its Top Banana division.
Rather than having a coach or a top banana tell them what to do, girls cooperate in a web of relationships for the sake of preserving the friendship.
On this note, the registration of the project strengthens the initiative of putting ARMM on the map as fourth top banana producer in Mindanao and a key player in the country's banana industry," Hataman said.
Tadeco is one of the country's top banana plantation for export.
TOP Banana is the leadership events company dedicated to connecting speakers with their audiences - both mentally and emotionally.
X-FACTOR top banana Simon Cowell, left, celebrated his 50th birthday with a colossal bash at some Georgian pile.
TOP BANANA: Youngsters (left to right) Tom Askew, Lucy Lindley and Oliver Peters join the world record banana eating event during the Fairtrade event held at Holmbridge Parish Church (AC060309Dbana)
Born in Gotham, Burton started as a dancer, hoofing on Broadway in shows such as "Top Banana," starring Phil Silvers.
TOP BANANA: One of the young chimps during the test
That's what I wrote the day David Taylor (right) was interviewed to be the SFA's top banana. A position he's used to politic himself into a million-Euro seat at UEFA's top table.
The dealers are great, the quality's top banana and the Jag's always been a bit more diverting than the Merc, which will always be another couple of grand more to buy (so there's more to lose) and more expensive to maintain.
Mark 'Top Banana' Holden recorded a 3-0 victory over Simon Whatley and three- time former semi-finalist Peter Evison had little trouble in seeing off his friend Mark Landers, who never got going as he went down 3-0.
MARK HOLDEN has to take on the darts demons as well as the board every time he toes the oche, but the Top Banana is still a fruity price at 5-4 to see off Denis Ovens at the Circus Tavern.
The Commission said Ecuador, the world's top banana producer, would from July 1 get "increased opportunities" to sell its bananas in the European Union.