I have read this in a book.

"His name's Thunder (a jumpy horse). You have to show him who's boss." Flo looked at Thunder. She was pretty sure he was boss.

If I write, I will write "the boss" In both lines. Why the writer is not using"the" here. Would boss and the boss change meaning. please explain.

1 Answer 1


Using a definite article here would be correct for most nouns, but "boss" here is treated more like a title or a name, as in "What should we do, boss?"

"Show him who's boss" is somewhat idiomatic, and most native speakers would not say, "Show him who's the boss." Because of the idiomatic use in the dialogue portion (I assume this is not an employee relationship), the author continues to use boss as a title in the narration.

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