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Published by api-19836512

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Published by: api-19836512 on Nov 30, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Big fish in a small pond
This term is used to refer to an important or highly-ranked person in
asmall group or organization.
"He could get a job with a big company but he enjoys being a big
in a small pond."
Call the shots

If you call the shots, you are in command of the situation and
make all the important decisions. (Also : call the tune.)
"Ask Julie - she's the one who calls the shots."

Call the tune

The person who calls the tune is the one who decides and is
in control of the situation.
"He shows a lot of authority but in fact it's his wife who calls
the tune."

Carry weight

If a person or organization carries weight, they are influential or
"I'm glad she's on our side - her opinion carries a lot of weight."

Too many chiefs, not enough

This expression refers to a situation where there are too many
people giving instructions and not enough people doing the work.
"The business wasn't successful. There were too many chiefs
and not enough Indians."

The corridors of power
This term refers to the higher levels of government or
where important decisions are made.
"The matter is the subject of much discussion in the corridors of
power at the present time. "
Crack the whip

If you crack the whip, you use your authority to make someone
obey you or work more efficiently, usually by threatening them.
"Every so often I've got to crack the whip to make sure we meet the

Draw a line in the sand

If you draw a line in the sand, you establish a limit beyond which
certain situation or activity will not be accepted.
"That's it! We're going to draw a line in the sand and make this our

Force someone's hand

If you force someone's hand, you make them do something
unwillingly or sooner than planned.
"The interviewer forced his hand and made him reveal his

Get your skates on

If you tell someone to get their skates on, you want them to hurry
"You'd better get your skates on or you'll be late! "

With a heavy hand

Dealing with or treating people with a heavy hand means acting
discipline and severity, with little or no sensitivity.
"He ran the juvenile delinquent centre with a heavy hand."

Iron fist/hand in a velvet glove

This expression is used to describe someone who, behind an
appearance of gentleness, is inflexible and determined.
"To impose the necessary reforms, the leader used persuasion
followed by force - an iron fist in a velvet glove."

Lay down the law

Someone who lays down the law tells people very forcefully and
firmly what to do.
"The volunteers helped in a disorganized way. They needed
to lay done the law."

My way or the highway!

If you say to someone "it's my way or the highway" you are
telling that person that either they accept what you tell them to do
or they leave the project.
"You don't have much choice when someone says :
"It's my way or the highway."

Pull the plug (on something)

If you pull the plug on something, you put an end to it or provide
no more support for it.
"There were so few enrolments that the school decided to pull
the plug on the yoga class.

Pester power
This expression refers to the power children exert over their

by continually nagging or pestering them until they accept to buy
advertised toys or fashionable products.
"Pester power leads busy parents to buy more and more for their

Pull the plug (on something)

If you pull the plug on something, you put an end to it or provide
no more support for it.
"There were so few enrolments that the school decided to pull
the plug on the yoga class.

Put one's foot down.
To put one's foot down means to exert authority to prevent
something from happening.
Put the squeeze on someone

If you put the squeeze on somebody, you put pressure on them
to force them to act in a particular way.
"Bob was reluctant to replace his colleague until the boss put the
squeeze on him."

Rule the roost
If you rule the roost, you are the most important and powerful

in a group or community.
"Officially David runs the company, but it's his father who really

the roost."
S eal of approval
If a project or contract receives a seal of approval, it receives

support or approval from higher authorities.
"We can't conclude the deal without the director's seal of approval."

The tail wagging the dog
This expression is used to refer to a situation where there is a
of roles, with a small or minor element of something having a

influence on the most important element.
"If you let your children decide on everything, it will be a case of

the tail
wagging the dog."
Take it upon yourself
If you take something upon yourself, you do it without asking for
permission or agreement.

"My colleague took it upon herself to redecorate the office during

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