Low Man on the Totem Pole

Rate this phrase:(0.00 / 0 votes)
Lowest ranked person, the person who is given least importance in a group, gang, or organization


  • Many years ago, it was customary among Native Americans to carve, images and symbols in long wood sticks or shafts. The symbols depicting human figures and faces were called totems and the tall pole was being called totem pole. We know “lowest” means very low or least such as “lowest pay”, “lowest score”, but perhaps the lowest face or figure on the totem pole was least important. The person who made this idiom might have thought that way, but we only know the phrase really caught on.

Nobody gives Rex any attention because he is dumb and low man in totem pole in the group.

Submitted on February 25, 2019


Find a translation for the Low Man on the Totem Pole phrase in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Український (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to Low Man on the Totem Pole

How to pronounce this phrase?

  1. Alex
    US English

Discuss this Low Man on the Totem Pole phrase with the community:


Use the citation below to add this Low Man on the Totem Pole definition to your bibliography:


"Low Man on the Totem Pole." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 25 Feb. 2020. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/low-man-on-the-totem-pole_44843>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest human-edited phrases collection on the web!

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.