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Johnny-come-lately (plural Johnny-come-latelies or Johnnies-come-lately)

  1. (idiomatic, also attributive) A newcomer; a novice; an upstart.
    Synonyms: greenhorn, newcomer, novice; see also Thesaurus:newcomer, Thesaurus:beginner
    She might take offense if some Johnny-come-lately thinks he can do a better job.
    • 1963 [1961], Fannie Hurst, God Must Be Sad, New York: Pocket Books, page 79:
      Morris now shared financial decisions with a woman, a female Johnny-come-lately. Imagine the eventuality of Morris's share of their fortune ever falling into such Johnny-come-lately hands. God forbid!
    • 2005 September 10, Martin Jacques, “Great leaps and bounds”, in The Guardian[1]:
      In a field increasingly populated with Johnnies-come-lately, Gittings is a Johnny-come-early: one only has to read this book to feel the depth and span of his knowledge.
    • 2014 August 21, Mike Pender, “Food safety too crucial to be left to johnny-come-lately ministers”, in The Guardian[2]:
      The government should give the agency its independence back so that it can get on with the task of protecting consumers in relation to food without political interference from johnny-come-lately ministers.
    • 2018, E. Khayyat, Istanbul 1940 and Global Modernity, Lexington Books, →ISBN, page 213:
      All these Johnny-come-latelies typically come out as irreverent, vulgar or immature and childlike.


Further reading[edit]