second banana


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second banana

n. Slang
1.
a. A person who supports or is subordinate to another.
b. A person who is lesser in status or importance: "It became how he defined himself—the second banana, the second tier, the good but not great" (Douglas Perry).
2. A comedian who plays a supporting role to the leading comedian, especially as a straight man.
3. Something that is ranked second in comparison to something that is ranked first: "New York may be second banana to Los Angeles when it comes to the film and television industry, but the city's supporting role is larger than New York officials had realized" (Terry Pristin).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

sec′ond banan′a



n.
1. a comic who supports the leading comedian, esp. in burlesque or vaudeville.
2. any person who plays a secondary role. Compare top banana.
[1950–55]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.second banana - a performer who acts as stooge to a comedian
performer, performing artist - an entertainer who performs a dramatic or musical work for an audience
2.second banana - someone who serves in a subordinate capacity or plays a secondary role
subordinate, subsidiary, underling, foot soldier - an assistant subject to the authority or control of another
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
On completion of the first banana, the artist cautioned that the second one would not be identical - and so the second banana was given 'designer status' by the addition of the famous Fyffes label.
Donna then hopefully waved her trunk at Prince Philip, who then gave her the second banana.
I may/ be second banana to Ebsen, but it's work,/ and the money's good."
We cannot accept playing second banana to "Bawston'' and those other, smaller New England cities, and assume rightful stature in the region as long as we continue to accept the status quo.
At the same time, newer players are also taking casting chances their elder brethren usually wouldn't, such as elevating Jeffrey Tambor--about as accomplished a second banana as there is, as "The Larry Sanders Show" directly and symbolically cast him--to a breakthrough leading-man turn in "Transparent," at the not-exactly "key demo" friendly age of 70.
In the chat show role of second banana, Michael, with his dry sense of humour and poker-faced delivery, acts as saboteur, even ganging up with Paxman to point out Jack''s failings as an interviewer, as a student and as a son, generally.