Definition of tall poppy syndrome in US English:

tall poppy syndrome


Australian, NZ
  • A perceived tendency to discredit or disparage those who have achieved notable wealth or prominence in public life.

    • ‘Yes, tall poppy syndrome can be bad, but it sure does come in handy sometimes!’
    • ‘There is also something of the tall poppy syndrome in there - that peculiarly Scottish trait that says to be proud of what you have done is in some way wrong.’
    • ‘Ryan attributes the criticism to a sort of tall poppy syndrome.’
    • ‘Also Tom Lyon, Allen Sparks, Jeff Huey, and Billo sent me donations recently and Tom sent a picture that reminded me of Australia's tall poppy syndrome.’
    • ‘Apply what the Australians call the tall poppy syndrome.’
    • ‘I think in Australia we have something that we all are aware of and that's the tall poppy syndrome.’
    • ‘I mean, everybody knows the tall poppy syndrome but it tends to be in your own backyard.’
    • ‘She's quite smart and may in fact go far in the game as the ‘stronger’ players fall victim to the tall poppy syndrome.’
    • ‘Maybe she's a bit too confident, and it's tall poppy syndrome.’
    • ‘Australia's tall poppy syndrome refers to a tendency for Australians to downplay achievement to the extent of being disdainful of such people, and so to cut them down to size.’
    • ‘That's either more conservative vitriol or a global tall poppy syndrome.’
    • ‘They're the people who've been evicted, and in a way it's kind of the tall poppy syndrome of Australia tearing people down, bringing them down to your own level.’
    • ‘And I think it's condescending of personalities like Nikki Webster to say that the only reason people don't like them is because of tall poppy syndrome.’
    • ‘The publicity helped her first album but as I predicted, as tall poppy syndrome is still prominent in this country, she became too big and her second album, which I believe is better than the first, has suffered.’
    • ‘I think it might be the tall poppy syndrome, but I also think people have their own tastes and develop a real hatred for what they don't like and tear it to pieces.’
    • ‘The resulting backlash will be dismissed as so much tall poppy syndrome.’
    • ‘If anyone's setting herself up for becoming the next victim of tall poppy syndrome, it must be Jana.’
    • ‘There is a cultural tendency I have found as well, whether it is the tall poppy syndrome but nonetheless a element of putting down people, their ambitions and their achievements.’


1980s: see tall poppy.


tall poppy syndrome

/tɔl ˈpɑpi ˈsɪnˌdroʊm/