BIG CHEESE, BIG FISH IN A SMALL POND, and BIG SHOT: American English Idioms #15

Welcome to American English Idioms: Lesson 15. In this lesson you have 3 American English idioms to read, listen to, translate, and pronounce in English. Please focus and do your best so that you can learn and improve your knowledge of American English idioms. Don’t forget to use the comments section below to share your thoughts and what you’ve learned today.

Directions 1: Watch the video 2 or more times, and pay close attention to the audio and text.

Directions 2: Read the following text in English, then translate it using the translator on this page into your language if needed. When you finish, feel free to write a comment in the comments section below and let us know how you feel about what you’ve learned, as well as what you’ve learned.


The term “BIG CHEESE” is used to describe an important, powerful or influential person in the academic world. These people are typically well-known scholars who have made significant contributions in their field of study, or they may be professors with many years of teaching experience and degrees under their belt. Teachers who are BIG CHEESES often command higher salaries than other teachers in the school district because of their seniority and experience.

A big cheese is an individual who has more power than others in their society. They are often seen as the most important person in their society, and often gain more power by obtaining higher rank or status. Being a big cheese can also be more of a label, where the label is given to someone based on what they wear, do for work, or how they act.

The term BIG CHEESE is used in academia to describe an influential or powerful person. The term is typically used when referencing the power behind the scenes in politics. For example, many might say that George H.W. Bush was a BIG CHEESE during his administration because he was able to gather support for his policies even though the public often did not approve of them.

The BIG CHEESE is an individual who possesses a great deal of power, influence, or fame. These people are often remotely located and inaccessible to those who do not know how to speak their language . It is important for the BIG CHEESE to be maintained and cared for as if it were a precious commodity or product that can be bought and sold or shared among friends. If the BIG CHEESE becomes unrecognizable then it will be discarded and replaced with someone else.


The term BIG FISH IN A SMALL POND refers to an individual who is considered important primarily because the setting or place is limited. This can be attributed to small scale, closed off settings or probably most kids of cloistered communities. The result of having a limited pool of people that are all on the same level, due to their lack of exposure to the outside world, has allowed these individuals to accumulate power and influence which may not be necessarily deserved.

This term is used to identify a person who may be important in a limited sphere of activity. A small-town politician, for example, may be considered a big fish in the small pond that is their constituency. This term can also refer to something or someone who is unusually large in an area where they are the only one of their kind. In this definition, the phrase can be used literally when referring to a large fish when compared with other fish in the same water tank.

The term “big fish in a small pond” is one of the most misunderstood idioms. It refers to people who appear to be effective or accomplished because they are surrounded by less capable people. The opposite of this phrase, “small fish in a big pond”, refers to the opposite scenario. However, both expressions are more often used figuratively than literally.

It is difficult for people with ambition to always be the big fish in the small pond. This term means that although a person may feel important because they are in a situation where they are one of the more noteworthy people, they are still only considered prominent because of their location and not because of their true skill.


A person who displays a high level of authority in a particular domain typically has a high status. The term big shot is often used to refer to someone who is seen as holding a high position of power within a particular field, and is often associated with the business world. It can also be used in reference to someone who has done something they are proud of, such as having made an important discovery or accomplished an impressive feat.

A person with an entrenched position in the professional world, which is acquired through both individual and group efforts. They are usually characterized by their wide-ranging knowledge of the field, strong leadership skills, and intimate understanding of the business. A Big Shot typically has a deep level of command or control over something that qualifies them to be an expert.

A “BIG SHOT” is an important, powerful, or influential person with the capability to affect change on a grand scale. A “BIG SHOT” has the ability to influence “MULTIPLE LEVELS OF SOCIETY.” A “BIG SHOT” is not defined by their rank, but more so by their capacity to make decisions that are able to expand beyond themselves.

A BIG SHOT is a powerful and influential person who exerts great control over other people. Their influence can often become an addiction, especially in the case of those who are not as powerful as them. They may also be addicted to power and fame, which can make their behaviors difficult to understand. A BIG SHOT will do things that others might not be able to do or would never even consider doing because they have the power and wealth that enables them to do so.

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