straw boss

straw boss

noun
a member of a work crew, as in a factory or logging camp, who acts as a boss; assistant foreman.

Origin:
1890–95, Americanism

Dictionary.com Unabridged

straw-boss

[straw-baws, -bos]
verb (used with object)
to act as a straw boss to: She was assigned to straw-boss the night shift.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

straw boss

A subordinate boss, a worker who supervises other workers as well as performing regular duties. For example, Jim was pleased when he was promoted to straw boss. This term alludes to the person's position as a straw man, that is, a front or cover for the real boss and of only nominal importance. [Late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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