dick-measuring contest

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dick-measuring contest (plural dick-measuring contests)

  1. (vulgar, figuratively) A situation in which people (usually men) compete, often over superficial characteristics, to demonstrate their worthiness, power, etc.
    • 2000, Max Barry, Syrup: A Novel (movie tie-in), Penguin →ISBN
      “Because I'm a woman in a dick-measuring contest,” 6 says. “Business is a man's game, and they don't like me playing. Opening my mouth is a challenge to their masculinity.”
    • 2008, Gary Don Rhodes, Stanley Kubrick: Essays on His Films and Legacy, McFarland
      What began as a chance to serve genius— better than diving in to that moat in Zenda, eh, Fred? Degenerates into a vulgar dick-measuring contest: show me your genius and I'll show you mine. Only Kubrick won't play. He keeps his zipped up.
    • 2009, David Wong, John Dies at the End, Macmillan →ISBN, page 153
      You won't get five feet inside the door with a gun before nine guys in suits tackle you.” / “And shove your head in a vise,” John added, helpfully. / I said, “Well, I don't like our chances without the gun. Unless Jim wants to try to quote Bible verses at it.” / Jennifer put up her hands, said, “Guys, let's not make this a dick-measuring contest, okay?”
    • 2011, Sophie Littlefield, Rebirth, Harlequin →ISBN
      "Not everyone," the guard retorted. "You have to earn it." / "Yeah, what'd you do to earn it, buddy? Rack up a dozen merit badges? Learn to tie your kerchief in a pretty knot?" / Cass shot him a look. She didn't doubt that Dor was baiting the man on purpose, trying to draw him into a dick-measuring contest so he would be less likely to question their story that they were together.
  2. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see dick,‎ measuring,‎ contest.