MEANING: noun: Someone conspicuously successful, especially one likely to attract hostility.

ETYMOLOGY: From tall, from Old English getæl (quick, prompt) + poppy, from Old English popæg/popig. Earliest documented use: 1858.

NOTES: The word poppy has been used for a prominent person for a long time. The earliest example in the OED is from a 1641, a use by John Milton. Making it “tall poppy” is just a little inflation (or elongation)
Tall poppy syndrome is the tendency to cut someone down to size, someone who is successful, rich, or prominent. The expression is popular in Australia and New Zealand. A similar expression is that the nail that sticks out gets hammered down.

TAIL POPPY - the last flower in the row

TALL HOPPY - Charley, the six-foot rabbit

TALL PUPPY - Clifford the Red Dog when he was young