Origin of totem
Examples from the Web for totem
He would never deign me with any sort of acknowledgment, because I was too low on the totem pole.Chloe Sevigny on ‘The Cosmopolitans,’ New York’s Frat Boy Takeover, and ‘Asshole’ Michael Alig|Marlow Stern|August 24, 2014|DAILY BEAST
That is something I look at as a totem of what movies used to be.The Director Isn’t Done Yet: An Interview With Steven Soderbergh|Andrew Romano|August 1, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But as the U.S. killed all those leaders, the strikes continued and began working their way down the totem pole.
“Totem” is by a very young Singaporean artist named Chun Kai Feng, now having his first solo show at Fost Gallery in Singapore.
She was willing to talk to the most senior people or the lowest person on the totem pole.
I withdrew the—a—contents—and substituted for them my totem.Fernley House|Laura E. Richards
Examples of the totem in myth are, as has been said, frequent.An Introduction to Mythology|Lewis Spence
Binger states that the manati was the totem of the Mande group, to which perhaps belonged originally the Susu and the Dyula.
The lizard is a totem, a worshipful animal in New Caledonia.Custom and Myth|Andrew Lang
The nephew asserts that he paid $2060 for the carving and making of the totem.Alaska|Ella Higginson
Word Origin for totem
animal or natural object considered as the emblem of a family or clan, 1760, from Algonquian (probably Ojibwa) odoodeman "his sibling kin, his group or family," hence, "his family mark;" also attested in French c.1600 in form aoutem among the Micmacs or other Indians of Nova Scotia. Totem pole is 1808, in reference to west coast Canadian Indians.
An animal, plant, or other object in nature that has a special relationship to a person, family, or clan and serves as a sign for that person or group.
see low man on the totem pole.