plays second fiddle to VS takes a back seat to

SLAL

Senior Member
FARSI
Hello.

Would you please tell me if the two sentences mean the same thing, I am not sure the second sentence is OK, though?

- He plays second fiddle to his brother.
- He takes a back seat to his brother.

Thanks a lot.
 
  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    They do not mean the same thing. "he plays second fiddle" means "he never (quite) comes up to his brother's standard" - despite how hard he might try. Whereas "takes a back seat" means he allows his brother to take the lead/the initiative.
     

    SLAL

    Senior Member
    FARSI
    Thanks again.

    What about the following sentences?

    - Other issues must take a back seat to this crisis.
    - Other issues must play second fiddle to this crisis.

    Best regards.
     
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