Are You a ‘Big Fish in a Little Pond?’

And now Text and Their Tales from VOA Understanding English.

On today’s demonstrate we chat about an idiom involving fish and a pond. A pond is a compact overall body of water. It is ordinarily more compact than a lake.

And our idiom right now is “to be a large fish in a compact pond.”

“A massive fish in a little pond” describes a man or woman who is pretty well identified or important in a compact group but is not recognised or vital outdoors that compact group.

For instance, a high-carrying out significant university scholar in a compact town could be a large fish in a modest pond. He may well sense extremely-assured or overly-vital, or he may simply not know how little his “pond” is — until he moves on to a massive college.

He must contend with hundreds of students who had been also the greatest at their large schools. His pond just received a a lot larger and is now filled with several much more fish.

Listed here is a different example.

A youthful singer was well-known in her little town. She wished to shift to a massive town to increase her singing job. Her close mates and family supported her but also warned her. Below in our smaller city, they reported, you are a major fish in a little pond. The moment you shift to New York Metropolis, that is heading to transform. Ideal be completely ready!

For some men and women, this can be a painful realization – in some cases termed a wake-up contact.

At times when we use the expression “a huge fish in a little pond,” we increase phrases to better explain the fish and the pond. For example, the singer’s buddies could say that she will be a very modest but proficient fish in a quite huge competitive pond.

Now, some persons like currently being a massive fish in a modest pond. They never ever grow their circle of close friends or operate surroundings. Occasionally they do not just take possibilities that improve their surroundings, or pond. By keeping in a smaller pond, it is safer. There are less dangers and also fewer competition.

The Meriam-Webster on the net dictionary states that the expression “big fish” has been slang for an important or influential particular person since the early 1800s. The addition of “in a tiny pond” — to suggest an unimportant organization — is a lot more the latest.

The dictionary goes on to clarify yet another way to use the idiom “a massive fish in a small pond.” It can also explain a scenario in which one particular person has more electric power, influence, knowledge, or practical experience than other individuals inside a smaller team.

So, in some cases we use this expression to explain individuals in an insulting way. We are indicating that they want to stay in a little pond just to come to feel additional critical. Their placement of authority is not questioned by the other fish in the pond.

And which is all the time we have for this Terms and Their Stories. Till next time, I’m Anna Matteo.

Anna Matteo wrote this tale for VOA Mastering English.


Words in This Story

idiom – n. an expression that cannot be recognized from the meanings of its individual phrases but need to be acquired as a whole

pond – n. a physique of water typically smaller than a lake

assured – adj. possessing or demonstrating sureness and optimism

wake-up call – n. something that serves to alert a individual to a problem, danger, or will need

possibility – n. a great chance for advancement or progress

slang – n. really casual words and phrases utilized by a group of men and women

authority – n. electrical power to influence or command assumed, impression, or habits