too big for one's britches

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Alternative forms[edit]


US origin, 19th c.[1]


too big for one's britches (not comparable)

  1. (idiomatic) Disturbingly confident, unacceptably cocky.
    Synonym: too big for one's boots
    • 1989, Edwin M. Reingold, "Hard Times for Teflon Tom," Time, 22 May:
      A diffident, dedicated man, Bradley seemed the personification of rectitude. He never got too big for his britches.
  2. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: Too large to fit into one's pants.


  1. ^ Too big for your breeches” in Gary Martin, The Phrase Finder, 1997–.