Meaning of tall poppy in English:

tall poppy

noun

informal mainly Australian, mainly New Zealand
  • A person who is conspicuously successful and whose success frequently attracts envious hostility.

    • ‘this is a nation that likes to win, but it also prides itself on its tendency to cut down tall poppies’
    • ‘Finns don't cut tall poppies down to size.’
    • ‘In 2002, the world-renowned manager and prototypical tall poppy, retired.’
    • ‘Aussies rarely lose their sense of humour and love to poke fun at pomposity and 'tall poppies'.’
    • ‘Your country is notorious for knocking down its tall poppies.’
    • ‘Call me Australian, but I love seeing a tall poppy get knocked down.’
    • ‘With his reputation for bluster and pomposity, the tall poppy was levelled in his near-death head-on on a West Australian highway.’
    • ‘Those who boo him expose themselves as the biggest morons in sport and the dark side of the tall poppy Aussie psyche.’
    • ‘This is not the Australian way - slagging the underdog and propping up the tall poppies.’
    • ‘"Mate, I am definitely not a Tall Poppy," he says with pained insistence.’
    • ‘I'm not going to sugar-coat my personality just because an anonymous reviewer thinks that this tall poppy deserves a cutting.’
    • ‘He may have to make a self-transformation from a tall poppy into a shrinking violet.’
    • ‘Why do people get so much joy from cutting down tall poppies?’
    • ‘We hate tall poppies, but woe betide the All Blacks when they lose.’
    • ‘Abroad, he is a literary star but at home the novelist is a vulnerable, isolated and often unpopular figure - a tall poppy surrounded by sinister men with scythes.’
    • ‘How does this tall poppy keep her head out of the clouds?’
    • ‘Two months ago another very rich "tall poppy" was felled by accusations of financial impropriety.’
    • ‘Australians love to deride tall poppies, and that's all very well, I love doing it myself.’
    • ‘I was expecting tall poppies to be gleefully lopped, hacked and triumphantly danced on, but instead they were treated with a strange degree of respect.’
    • ‘Who are the tall poppies whose talent and drive must be restricted and restrained?’
    • ‘Tall poppies aren't objects of admiration here, but scorn.’

Origin

Mid 19th century from an obsolete sense of poppy‘a conspicuous or prominent person or thing’, probably with reference to Tarquinius Superbus, a king of ancient Rome who demonstrated how to deal with potential enemies by cutting off the heads of the tallest poppies in his garden (Livy 1.54.6).