One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A man of high status or importance in a social group, organization, business, etc.; a leader, a boss.
2North American"big man on (the) campus" (also with capital initials): a (superlatively) popular or influential male student at a college or university. Abbreviated BMOC.
3Cultural Anthropology. In Melanesia: a leader of a social group; (now) specifically a leader whose status or authority is founded on characteristics such as economic or social success, rather than heredity.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in The Times. From big + man.
big man/ˈbɪɡ man/
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