2

Does "big cheese" mean a celebrity or an important person?

I think there is a difference between celebrity and an important person.

And can I use big cheese in a context that denotes I'm referring to a celebrity?

Can I use it like this?

"Will Smith is a big cheese."

  • 1
    It's the same as the head honcho. Except to a mouse. – Hot Licks Aug 17 '16 at 12:44
  • Hello, David. You can search Google for definitions by adding "define" in front of a word. For example, search for "define big cheese". – NVZ Aug 17 '16 at 12:47
  • This site has a helpful picture of a big cheese: idioms4you.com/complete-idioms/big-cheese.html – GrimGrom Aug 17 '16 at 12:48
  • @NVZ I already did that I'm just confused as I explained in the question – David Powell Aug 17 '16 at 12:48
  • It doesn't normally apply to celebrities. See my above link: "the most important or influential person, usually in an organization, business or government." – GrimGrom Aug 17 '16 at 12:48
3

Big cheeseDictionary

noun, Older Slang. 1. an influential or important person
"Who's the big cheese around here?"

A big cheese — TFD

humorous an important or powerful person in a group or organization.
"Apparently her father is a big cheese in one of the major banks."

It doesn't sound okay when you say "Will Smith is a big cheese." Instead, you should mention a group or organisation. For example, this is much better.

"Will Smith is a big cheese in the film industry"

| improve this answer | |
  • can I use it like this " Will Smith is a big cheese. " ? – David Powell Aug 17 '16 at 12:47
  • 1
    No, I would say more like: "Will Smith is a big cheese in Hollywood." – GEdgar Aug 17 '16 at 12:50
  • 1
    FWIW I would use big cheese in more specific circumstances rather than just to denote a persons general popularity - e.g. "Will Smith is a big cheese at the Screen Actors Guild of Naff Movies", "Donald trump is the big cheese at Trump Intl.", etc – Toby Aug 17 '16 at 12:50
  • 1
    @DavidPowell No, I don't think that sounds okay. But try instead, "Will Smith is a big cheese in the film industry". – NVZ Aug 17 '16 at 12:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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