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.

BIG CHEESE an important, powerful or influential person

1. You can tell he’s the big cheese in this city because everyone listens to what he says – even the mayor.

2. She must really think she’s a big cheese. She speaks to her co-workers as if they were her servants.

Synonyms: bigwig; big shot; big wheel; head honcho

BIG FISH IN A SMALL POND a person who is considered important primarily because the place or setting is small

1. I accepted a teaching position in a small village overseas because I will have responsibilities that I wouldn’t be able to get for years in a big city. I like the idea of being a big fish in a small pond.

2. Diane was a big fish in a small pond in her hometown, but when she moved to New York City, nobody knew who she was.

BIG SHOT an important, powerful, or influential person

1. The company’s big shots are getting free trips to Hawaii this year.

2. Now that you’ve been made a vice-president, you’re really a big shot, aren’t you?

Synonyms: big wheel; bigwig; big cheese; head honcho, heavyweight

The expression big shot is of ten used sarcastically or disparagingly

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