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[straw-baws, -bos] /ˈstrɔˌbɔs, -ˌbɒs/
verb (used with object)
to act as a straw boss to:
She was assigned to straw-boss the night shift.

straw boss

a member of a work crew, as in a factory or logging camp, who acts as a boss; assistant foreman.
Origin of straw boss
An Americanism dating back to 1890-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for straw-boss
Historical Examples
  • A straw-boss, to be sure, but still a boss—and now he had lost his job.

    Bat Wing Bowles Dane Coolidge
  • He was a new man, and therefore was expected to take signals from the oldest man on the job,—a sort of straw-boss.

    The Last Spike Cy Warman
  • One time the grown men and women was choppin' two rows to our one, and a straw-boss slave twit us and call us lazy.

  • What would happen if Rennie, the dear mother and straw-boss of us all, should slip before a car and be seriously injured to-night?

    The Crimson Thread

    Roy J. Snell
  • Bud Spillman, out of all the hundreds of thousands of possible men, had been made his straw-boss at the "Trailer."

    Plowing On Sunday Sterling North
  • Swamp's End—and the roaring hilarity thereof—for man and boy, straw-boss and cookee, of the lumber-jacks!

  • He had bluffed the straw-boss, sure enough; but still the thing wasnt entirely satisfactory.

    The Snow-Burner Henry Oyen
Slang definitions & phrases for straw-boss

straw boss

noun phrase

  1. The foreman of a work crew
  2. Any assistant chief or subordinate director

[1894+; said to be fr the arrangement of a threshing crew, where the chief would superintend the grain itself, and the second the straw; perhaps fr Dutch stroodekkerbaas]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with straw-boss

straw boss

A subordinate boss, a worker who supervises other workers as well as performing regular duties. For example, Jim was pleased when he was promoted to straw boss. This term alludes to the person's position as astraw man, that is, a front or cover for the real boss and of only nominal importance. [ Late 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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