tall poppy syndrome

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From tall poppy + syndrome.


tall poppy syndrome (uncountable)

  1. (Australia, New Zealand) The tendency to disparage conspicuously successful people.
    • 1997, David Dale, The 100 Things Everyone Needs to Know About Australia[1], page 52:
      One of Australia′s healthiest national traits is the Tall Poppy Syndrome, which involves taking a sceptical view of people who are rich, powerful or successful, and cutting them down to size when they appear pretentious.
    • 2006, Greg Norman, The Way of the Shark[2], page 83:
      Interestingly, the media in the United States are least prone to the tall poppy syndrome, which is one of the many things I admire about America.
    • 2007, Graham Greenwood, A Truckie′s Dream: The Allan Scott Story: His Official Biography, Wakefield Press, Australia, page 86,
      For Allan Scott, one of the ironies of owning a media outlet or being a business success is he becomes a target for other media, a potential victim of the tall poppy syndrome.
    • 2007, Neal M. Ashkanasy, 9: The Australian Enigma, Jagdeep Singh Chhokar, Robert J. House, Felix C. Brodbeck (editors), Culture and Leadership, Across the World, page 316,
      The extracts coded as indicative of the tall poppy syndrome reflect the deeply rooted nature of this phenomenon, identified by Feather (1994a) and other researchers. The syndrome is often moderated by other Australian characteristics, and reinforces the enigma of Australian leadership.
    • 2008, Kristie Theobald, Irish Angels, Lulu, page 97,
      Speaking of bullying, a few years later in Society and Culture class I wrote an essay, agreeing with the statement that the tall poppy syndrome was alive and well in Australia.



  • OED 2006