Everyday Business English Idioms You Should Know
Business English contains a variety of idioms that can be heard frequently in the workplace. There are phrases to describe certain industry occurrences, as well as those used to discuss the everyday reality of working life.
Not understanding everyday business English idioms can leave you feeling lost in normal conversation with your colleagues. Learning them will not only help you have speak with people around the office, but they can also help you have an easier time speaking with recruiters at interviews, your boss, and other higher ups (individuals with positions out-ranking your boss) at your workplace.
In this blog, we define 15 commonly used workplace idioms. Luckily these expressions are used rather often, so once you know what they mean you just have to commit some time to practicing and listening to their usage in order to master them.
15 Everyday Business English Idioms
Learning these common business phrases will help you feel more confident in a variety of different work situations. Pick out a few of your favorites, and try practicing them the next time you’re at work!
- Head Hunter – if you’ve ever used a professional to help you find a job then you’ve used a head hunter – one who helps place you in a position and fills positions for companies (also known as a professional recruiter).
- Between Jobs – when you’re at an interview and the recruiter asks about what you’ve been doing between jobs, they are referring to what you’ve done while you were unemployed.
- Multitask – when speaking with a recruiter, or reading a job description, you’re likely to come across a requirement that employees be able to multitask. This refers to the ability to handle multiple job responsibilities at the same time.
- Land a Job – if you’ve been applying to jobs recently, and get an email that says “congratulations you’ve landed the job” this refers to you getting a job or an offer of employment.
- Perks – while speaking with Human Resources about the job you just landed, you may hear them talk to you about the job perks. These are the benefits that come with a job (such as travel money, insurance, holidays, or other incentives).
- Holding Down a Job –you may hear someone talking about how they have been holding down a job. This is referring to being employed or maintaining employment.
- Game Plan – you’re sitting in a meeting, and your manager starts the conversation by saying “what’s the game plan for the event next week”. Here your manager is asking what the plan of action is to hold the event.
- On the Same Page – at the end of a conversation with your boss about a new task you’ve been assigned, they may ask if you’re “on the same page” about what needs to be done. Here you are being asked if you understand fully and or agree with what needs to be done.
- Cut to the Chase – if you’re asking a colleague for help, and are describing in detail what you need, they may ask you to cut to the chase. This means skip the details and tell them the important information.
- Cut Corners – if you’ve been called in to your boss’ office regarding the fact that you’ve been cutting corners, it means that you haven’t been performing all the work you need to do, or you’ve been doing things that aren’t necessarily allowed to get the job done faster.
- Troubleshoot – if you run into a problem at work, your manager may ask you and your colleagues to troubleshoot. This means to try different things to find a solution to the problem or simply to problem solve.
- Working like a Dog – if you’re speaking to your colleagues and hear them mention how they are working like a dog, this means that they are working extremely hard.
- Burn Out – you may hear those same colleagues discussing how they feel burned out. This means they feel tired and overworked.
- Moon Lighting – if your work friend talks about how they’ve been moonlighting for some extra money, they are referring to working a second job along with the one they currently have.
- Pay Hike – if your boss comes to you one day and offers you a pay hike, they are referring to an increase in salary or a raise.
Perfecting Your Business English for the Workplace
Knowing business English idioms is a great way to build upon your knowledge of workplace language. However, for those looking to truly perfect their skills, a Business English course may be the best option.
These courses help current and aspiring professionals learn the proper English usage for the workplace. This includes vocabulary and grammar for writing, meetings, and social conversations, email and phone etiquette, and language for negotiations and presentations.
Language Connections offers an 8 week, Business English course in Boston. Our program is taught by native, English speaking professionals who cover topics including resumes, interviewing, and workplace interactions. Class sizes are small to help promote one on one time with the instructor, as well as to foster a comfortable and constructive learning environment.
Don’t let business English idioms confuse you in the workplace. Gain the knowledge you need to feel comfortable in everyday conversation with your colleagues today!
Register for our next Business English Course to improve your professional communication and expand your business English vocabulary.
For more information contact our Language Training Department:
Phone: (617) 277-1990