totem


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low man on the totem pole

The person (not necessarily a man) with the least amount of experience, authority, and/or influence in a social or corporate hierarchy. It can be a little daunting going from being a senior in high school to low man on the totem pole again as a college freshman. I know I'll be low man on the totem pole with this internship, but it will at least give me a place to start in my career!
See also: low, man, on, pole, totem

low on the totem pole

Having the least amount of experience, authority, and/or influence in a social or corporate hierarchy. The president has made it clear that the environment is low on the totem pole for his administration. I know I'll be low man on the totem pole with this internship, but it will at least give me a place to start in my career!
See also: low, on, pole, totem

high man on the totem pole

Fig. the person at the top of the hierarchy; the person in charge of an organization. I don't want to talk to a vice president. I demand to talk to the high man on the totem pole. Who's in charge around here? Who's high man on the totem pole?
See also: high, man, on, pole, totem

low man on the totem pole

Fig. the least important or lowest-ranking person of a group. I was the last to find out because I'm low man on the totem pole. I can't be of any help. I'm low man on the totem pole.
See also: low, man, on, pole, totem

low man on the totem pole

Low in rank, least important person, as in I just joined the board so I'm low man on the totem pole. This slangy expression is thought to have been invented by the American comedian Fred Allen about 1940 and caught on despite its lack of application to a genuine totem pole.
See also: low, man, on, pole, totem

the low man on the totem pole

AMERICAN, INFORMAL
If you describe someone as the low man on the totem pole, you mean that they are the least important person in an organization or a group. He is a quality-control coach, the low man on the totem pole of the staff. Note: You can also just say that a person or their position is low on the totem pole. At other studios, those writers who were low on the totem pole were treated rudely. Note: If someone is important in a group or organization, you can say that they or their position is high on the totem pole. Kassam would only say that his job was `high on the totem pole' at the hospital where the disease was found. Note: A `totem pole' is a tall wooden pole with symbols on it, that is a traditional object for Native Americans.
See also: low, man, on, pole, totem

low man on the totem pole

Last in line, lowest-ranking, least important. The humorist H. Allen Smith used this phrase as the title of a book (1941) after the radio comedian Fred Allen had used the term to describe him in an introduction to an earlier book. The position on an actual totem pole, by the way, has no such significance. Nevertheless the term caught on quickly enough to become a cliché.
See also: low, man, on, pole, totem
References in periodicals archive ?
Dean Dockray who felled the three larch trees for the new totem poles Neil Denham
Ray Hughes from the Museum of Museums in Trafford with the repainted totem pole and a plaque (inset) that was originally at its base
Caption: I like how this elephant's head projects off the totem and the rest of his body is hidden behind the grass texture on the cylinder.
The designers behind the TOTEM collection come from all over Taiwan, and most of them are young women in their early to late twenties.
(2)a If a person x has killed a totem animal, x is s subject to the ceremony of purification.
A useful "Author's Note" concerning the importance of totem animals is also included.
Durkheim provides several compelling examples of the sacred power of the totem image, largely drawn from the pioneering ethnographic work of Spencer and Gillen.
"Totem poles show you who lives there," explained Brainard, who is a member of the Coos Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indian tribes.
Aside from the great apparel, the decor inside TOTEM, designed in a similar architectural spirit as the first store located in Jawaharat Shatti, has a unique look, reminisA[degrees] cent of the industrial age but with a softer touch.
The low man on the totem is reserved for the most honored and most revered; the foundation of the tribal group.
La construccion suscitada a seis manos desde el arco conceptual tensado por este libro practica una cartografia de la cultura y de la historia contemporaneas, a traves de Sigmund Freud y del pensamiento desplegado en Totem y tabu.
Su autor, a los 57 anos de edad, comento a su colega Sandor Ferenczi el 13 de mayo de 1913: "Hoy puedo volver a escribirle porque ayer puse fin al trabajo sobre el totem [...] Despues de La interpretacion de los suenos [...] en nada he trabajado con tanta seguridad y entusiasmo".
M2 EQUITYBITES-October 29, 2013-SFX acquires Australian festival producer Totem OneLove(C)2013 M2 COMMUNICATIONS http://www.m2.com
Formerly the Cultural Interpretive Services department of Huna Totem Corporation, Alaska Native Voices will offer a cultural tourism resource and consulting service to other Native peoples, cultural groups, and communities around the world.
"Discovering Totem Poles: A Traveler's Guide" is the first guidebook to focus on the complex and fascinating histories of the specific totem poles visitors encounter in Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver, Alert Bay, Prince Rupert, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) Ketchikan, Sitka and Juneau.