What term would I use to describe the act of “jumping” over a person’s position who has held office longer or in a higher position than oneself.

e.g: Being promoted to become the boss that my current boss reports to.

Basically I get the opportunity to move up the rank that my own boss (who has held his post longer than myself) would have been up for, hence skipping him as he now reports to me not the other way around.

I hope that made sense.

  • 1
    I added the request tag, please edit the other two tags. If your question is regarding just AmE or just BrE keep that tag. Otherwise you can delete both tags.
    – Helmar
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 11:20
  • Not a dead-on match, but an important variant of this phenomenon is percussive sublimation, a term introduced in The Peter Principle. (Oddly, the Wikipedia article on The Peter Principle omits this valuable addition to the English lexicon.)
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 12:11
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    I've surpassed my boss and now he/she reports to me.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 14:48

3 Answers 3


It sounds as though such a person is about to leapfrog over his superior and land a corporate position in which his erstwhile superior/boss has now become his subordinate or underling.

leapfrog: to go straight from a job or position that was lower in status than someone's to one that is higher than theirs (Macmillan Dictionary).


I would describe this as "leap-frogging."

"Leap-frog" is a childhood game.

  1. A boys' game in which one player places his hands upon the bent back or shoulders of another and leaps or vaults over him. Also, a jump or leap of this description. (OED)

Merriam-Webster has a better example of this metaphorical usage:

Skipping his last two years of high school, he leapfrogged his classmates and went to college.

  • 2
    Great minds think alike! Did you leapfrog over me or did I leapfrog over you? croak-croak-croak! Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 4:32
  • not quite sure why MW thinks it's gender specific?
    – jk.
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 12:23
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    @jk Did you ever try playing leapfrog in a skirt? You could argue that girls don't wear skirts these days, but I'm not sure children of the 21st century still play leap-frog either.
    – Ubiquitous
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 14:53
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    @jk. That's actually OED, but your point stands. Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 19:48
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    @PeterPoint Well, guess it depends on who ends up with more votes :P Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 19:50

I would simply say "I was promoted above my boss."

You can say the same thing for any promotion, really. "I was promoted above my co-workers" for a single step up. The reference to "my boss" implies that you've moved up two steps rather than just one, and that your former boss is now your subordinate.

  • @JoeBlow I think you have leapfrogged over me and sounded off unfairly against poor old Steve-O. Croak & thrice croak. Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 1:56
  • @JoeBlow Quite so, Joe Blow. Someone is blowing kisses at me in cyberspace. I've just turned into a Prince! Pete Prince, formerly known as: Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 19:49

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