As the title says, is there another expression for "my manager's manager"?

For example, in the large company I currently work for, there are 4 managers and the CEO above me.

If there is no single expression for the manager's manager, what do people use to refer to that person's manager? Is it just "manager's manager's manager"?

  • 'The big boss' might work. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 19 '14 at 19:55
  • 1
    Great-manager ? – Rusty Tuba Dec 19 '14 at 20:09
  • Whatever expression you come up with, it most likely won't be as clear as "my manager's manager." Is there any particular reason you can't just use that expression? – Nicole Dec 19 '14 at 20:19
  • @Nicole, no particular reason. It's just that english is not my first language and I thought that there might be another way to express "my manager's manager". – coderworks Dec 19 '14 at 20:26
  • My boss, two levels up? – WS2 Dec 19 '14 at 23:20

The term that I have heard used in a couple of large organizations is 2nd-level manager. This can of course be extended as necessary for the depth of the hierarchy: your boss is your "1st-level manager", your boss's manager is your "2nd-level manager", that person's boss is your "3rd-level manager", etc.

In the organizations that I have been in, this is always a relative term; the person that your boss calls their 2nd-level manager is your 3rd-level manager.

  • I think I've heard this, too. – Barmar Dec 19 '14 at 21:12
  • 1
    You'll also hear "second-line manager", with the same meaning. (Except I've never heard a first-line manger refer to my third-line as his second-line -- the "lineage" is fixed in the org chart.) – Hot Licks Dec 20 '14 at 3:34

Grandboss or Grandmanager is very informal, somewhat nonstandard, but comprehendable. It can be extended to formations like great-great-grandboss.

For instance, it is used in Alan Munford's How Managers Can Develop Managers, but the author defines the term before using it:

grand boss i.e. a manager above the learner's immediate manager

  • 3
    I have never ever heard this term used. Not even as a joke. – Robusto Dec 19 '14 at 20:26
  • 1
    Yeah, it seems like a term that may have been coined specifically for that book, since he would be talking about several levels of management frequently. – Barmar Dec 19 '14 at 20:31
  • It is used in this workplace stack exchange answer. There are 34 uses in the Ars Technica OpenForum Boardroom. I've never heard it spoken in person. – jejorda2 Dec 19 '14 at 20:46

"My manager's manager" sounds awkward partly because there are already three syllables in one instance of manager, so doubling (or tripling) the word doubles (or triples) the syllable count.

However, "my boss's boss" (or even "my boss's boss's boss") sounds a lot less awkward.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.