February 14, 2006

high roller

Posted in Idioms at 10:34 am by Feng

high roller — a popular person, a VIP [urban dict]

Recently, the traffic of the “fenglish” blog has been rising fast. After seeing so many people left comments on the blog, a friend joked to me, “Feng, you are a high roller now!” I hadn’t heard of this phrase before, but I felt it was a compliment. I looked up the dictionaries, but found that the connotation of this phrase seemed not positive (see dictionary.com, m-w.com). So I asked him to clarify, and he explained, “If a rich person spends a lot of money in a casino, he is called a high roller. People in the casino will treat him like a VIP and butter him up.” It seems not bad at all to be a high roller, if you picture what would be going on … I choose to believe him, not the dictionaries.



  1. Saar Drimer said,

    What I meant was that now you are “hanging with the big boys.” 🙂
    good job.

  2. DPAdams said,

    I agree with your friend’s definition. “High roller” doesn’t normally carry a negative connotation.

  3. Toni said,

    Technically, your friend’s definition and the dictionary definitions are the same. The dictionary versions just put a slightly more negative spin to it.

  4. I think there is a connotation missing from your definition of ‘high roller.’ Yes, he’s popular, but why is a high roller popular? It’s because he’s willing to take big risks, often because he can afford to lose a lot. Also, as a high roller, he is someone the casinos will cater to and go out of their way to treat well, because they want him to come back. It’s a position of respect, but also someone you don’t want to disrespect. “I can’t believe you gave such a small room to a high roller.”

  5. Feng said,

    Yes, thanks for clarification.

  6. Cilly said,

    Yes, basically a ‘high roller’ has a lot of money; everything else is subsequential.

  7. Gift said,

    Nice resource, very interesting reading. retirements gifts

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