VATICAN CITY — By now, news that Pope Francis has fired yet another Vatican big shot is hardly shocking.
He was the first big shot political insider whom I spoke to regularly, whose home phone number I had, things like that.
He was no big shot, and really never has been, building just a small portfolio of property.
"important person," 1929, American English, from Prohibition-era gangster slang; earlier in the same sense was great shot (1861). Ultimately a reference to large type of gunshot.
•Often used sarcastically: a big-shot chest surgeon/ big-shot notions
A very important person; influential person; leader; big cheese, biggie •Thought to have been taken over from the idiom of Prohibition-age gangsters: eight big shots of various farmers', manufacturers', or veterans' organizations/ ''Hey, bigshot,'' his father would bellow on the telephone (1920s+)