Why Is Big Brother Called Big Brother?

It’s no secret that the term “Big Brother” has gained substantial notoriety in recent years. What may be less well known, however, is the origin of the phrase.

For decades, the expression “Big Brother” has been used to invoke feelings of surveillance and worrisome scrutiny – but the truth is far more interesting than fiction. In fact, over 45 million people tuned in to watch the first season of the hit show, “Big Brother,” and since then over 57 million people have been drawn to its unique brand of reality TV. So why is “Big Brother” called “Big Brother” and how did it all start?

This article will explain the history and origin of the phrase, so you can understand why it has come to represent what it does today.

What is Big Brother?

Big Brother is a term used to refer to a powerful entity that is watching and controlling people, often in the form of mass surveillance.

It is derived from George Orwell’s novel 1984, where a powerful authoritarian government uses advanced technology to monitor citizens’ every move. It is often used in a metaphorical sense to refer to any oppressive regime, especially those that use surveillance for social control.

Why is Big Brother Called Big Brother?

Big Brother gets its name from the book 1984, where Big Brother is the figurehead of the oppressive, total surveillance society that the characters experience. Big Brother symbolizes the constant surveillance of the population by the state, and is often used as a metaphor for oppressive regimes, especially when discussing surveillance.

George Orwell’s Novel

The origin of Big Brother is found in the novel 1984 by George Orwell.

In the novel, Big Brother refers to an oppressive, totalitarian regime that relies on constant surveillance of everyday people to maintain its power. The novel follows the story of a man named Winston, who lives in a society controlled by Big Brother.

Throughout the story, Winston comes to understand the power of Big Brother and just how far it will go to maintain its grip on power.

Power of Surveillance

Big Brother symbolizes the government’s use of surveillance technology to monitor the population. This powerful entity can use the data it collects to manipulate people and control their behaviors.

This is why Big Brother is often used as a metaphor for oppressive regimes and totalitarian governments that rely on surveillance to stay in power.


The term Big Brother originates from George Orwell’s novel 1984, which itself is a reflection of the surveillance-based regimes seen in some governments.

Big Brother symbolizes the government’s use of surveillance technology to control its people and manipulate their behaviors. By understanding the origin and symbolism of the term, it’s easier to understand why Big Brother is often used as a metaphor for oppressive regimes.


https://www. sparknotes. com/lit/1984/summary/https://www. merriam-webster. com/dictionary/Big%20Brother https://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Big_Brother_(Nineteen_Eighty-Four)#:~:text=Big%20Brother%20is%20a%20character,totalitarian%20regime%20in%20George%20Orwell’s%20198

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