1. Quote - Listen to the quote and guess what the slang means.
“He’s a big fish in a little pond – Chief of Police in a 4 cop town, and, uh, you know, he doesn’t want to go anywhere. I think he thinks he can do no wrong.”
- Denzel Washington, actor, talking about his character in the new movie Out
1. Definition - Study the definition.
a person who has more skills than are necessary for his/her position, a person who is smarter and more talented than most of the other people around him/her, a person who feels that s/he should be doing something more important with his/her life because s/he has the ability to do so
2. Use - Learn how the slang is used.
You can use “big fish in a little pond” to describe a person whe feels like s/he’s too good for the situation s/he’s in. For example, a person who wants to move to Los Angeles and become a famous actor might feel like a big fish in a small pond is she’s living in a small town in Kansas.
Being a big fish in a small pond is not a bad thing. It’s not an insult to be called a big fish in a small pond. A person who feels like a big fish in a small pond doesn’t necessarily think the situation s/he’s in is a bad situation – s/he just wants something better.
1. Examples - Hear some example sentences.
””I’ve got to get out of this town. It’s just too small. I’m tired of being a big fish in a small pond. I want to move to a big city like New York or LA.”“
””Jeff has always been a big fish in a little pond when it comes to sports. He’s just so much bigger, faster and more talented than the other kids his age.”“
””I don’t like Mary. She has this attitude like she’s so much smarter than everyone else. It’s like she thinks she’s the big fish in a small pond, which is totally untrue. She’s no better at her job than we are at ours.”“
””Before he moved to Paris, Juan was a big fish in a small pond. Once he got there, he realized that there are a lot of intelligent and talented people in this world.”“
1. Winners - See who guessed the slang definition correctly.
Someone’s so brainy that the place s/he’s workin’ at doesn’t seem to offer enough to show her/his talent.
by Heather (Bean Town, U.S.)
False sense of importance, of superiority, Winner in a no competition.
by Srikanth (Bangalore, India)
big fish in a little pond = the biggest in the smallest :-). he’s the most important person in a village
by ninoslav (Zagreb, Croatia)
If you’re “a big fish in a little pond”, you must be a big man or the powers that be in a small community.
by yoshi (Tokyo, Japan)
He thinks he is more than he really is.
by Marcia (Sapiranga, Brazil)
like a frog in the little pool. He thinks he know everything in the world.
by siriporn (Bangkok, Thailand)
a person of value in a place where there are not very many experts or skilled people
by Jack (Hangzhou, China)
A big fish in a little pond: A person who is important in only a very limited area or who has influence among only a very small group of people.
by Natalio Gagliardi (Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina)