[straw-baws, -bos]

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for straw-boss

Historical Examples of straw-boss

  • 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.

  • 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

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 a straw 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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.