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big shot

an important or prominent person

TRANSLATION

big shot = ein hohes Tier, ein großes Tier --- GOOGLE INDEX big shot: approximately 3,000,000 hits

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

The guests included several US senators and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, as well as the head of the FBI and numerous BIG SHOTS from the US media.

(The London Independent)

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I’m not a BIG SHOT. I’m just a little shot that keeps on shooting.

- motivational speaker Ruben Gonzales

Did you
know?

big shot
noun, slang

- an important or influential person

(The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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WORD ORIGIN

The phrase big shot can be traced all the way back to the development of the gun in the 15th century. When the gun was first invented, there were two basic types: small guns that could be carried by soldiers (musket rifles for instance) and so-called great guns or big guns, which were heavy pieces of artillery on wheels such as cannons.

In the 19th century, in a reference to the power of these large weapons, Americans began to use the phrase "big gun" to describe important and influential men, mainly those involved in business and politics. Around the middle of the 19th century, the term "big shot" began to appear, which was a reference to the large bullets and shells used in big guns. A big shot was also a mining term that described a series of blasts.

Sometime in the early 20th century, the phrase "big shot" made its way into the world of sports, particularly boxing. Famous boxers and their opponents were often referred to as big shots. The phrase then entered the mainstream and since then has been used to describe high-powered people from all walks of life, from Hollywood executives and Chicago gangsters to Wall Street tycoons.

(source: World Wide Words, Wikipedia)

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SYNONYMS

VIP, big cat, big cheese, big deal, big enchilada, big fish, big gun, big man on campus, big wheel, bigwig, dignitary, fat cat, head honcho, heavy-hitter, high man on the totem pole, high-muck-a-muck, mogul, nabob, notable, somebody, tycoon

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ANTONYMS

working stiff, lackey, flunky, hired help, hack, dogsbody, gopher

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SMUGGLE OWAD INTO TODAY'S CONVERSATION:

"We expect lots of big shots to attend the opening ceremony."

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