Posted by ESC on June 24, 2006
In Reply to: Long pole in the tent posted by RRC on June 24, 2006
: : : : I've heard this expression twice this week -- once in staff meeting in Kentucky and just now on a national television news program, NBC Today:
: : : : LONG POLE IN THE TENT -- The central issue or main task.
: : : Is this new? Or do you have to be born in Kentucky? I've never heard it, although it seems appropriate, if you can keep the younger members from tittering. SS
: : Oh, I'd giggle.
: Coincidentally, I had lunch yesterday with some people I used to work with and we discussed an occasion back in about 1995 (in Texas) when our boss accidentally misused this phrase to our great amusement.
You all need to settle down. Anyway. I was goggling for an image of an actual long pole in the tent. Couldn't find a good one. But I did find an office slang site that gives a different meaning to the phrase than the one that I came up with.
From 'long pole in the tent,' the person or group most behind schedule, thus holding up the entire program.