low on the totem pole

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Derived from totem poles, traditional sculptures of wood made by American Indians, usually with several figures carved one above the other. The vertical order was mistakenly perceived by the non-Indians to correspond with the figures' rank of importance.

Adjective[edit]

low on the totem pole

  1. (idiomatic) Least important.

Translations[edit]