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A phrase or expression that is commonly used to mean something other than its literal meaning.
“An expression not really analyzable from its grammatical construction or from the meaning of its component parts.” Webster's College Dictionary
Literal translation does not give the meaning.
Act of God
Something unfortunate and uncontrollable happens due to natural forces which prevents you from doing something you're supposed to do.
- Often used in contracts to refer to natural events (earthquakes, floods, etc.) that may prevent performance of the contract.
Our company is big and successful now, but would not have survived if it wasn't for our angel investors.
An individual who invests in a company during the early stages of a corporation's existence when the risks are usually highest.
automakers had to bite the bullet and cut jobs. .Bite the bullet When demand for cars went down in the United States.
S. to take a difficult step Origin: During U. .Bite the bullet To make a difficult or painful decision. Civil War. doctors sometimes ran out of whiskey for killing pain. A bullet would be put in wounded soldier's mouth & he would "bite the bullet" to distract him from the pain and keep him quiet so the doctor could perform the surgery.
.Blockbuster The movie Aftershocks was a major blockbuster this year at the Chinese box office.
a huge hit. Blockbuster ideas or events can similarly have a big impact.Blockbuster A big success. Origin: Derived from blockbuster bombs used during WWII by British Air Force which were huge and created a large explosive force. . Big budget Hollywood films that are very successful are also known as blockbusters.
Daimler/Chrysler. Mercedes is a cash cow for its parent company. .Cash Cow With strong annual sales and a world renowned brand name.
Cash Cow A product. or business division that generates a lot of cash (or profit) for a company. without requiring much investment. Origin: Business metaphor derived from the idea of a cow that can be milked on an ongoing basis with little expense after being acquired. . service.
To advance in one's career. but climbed the corporate ladder to eventually become the president.Climb the corporate ladder He started working in an entry level position at a big corporation. . To move up in the hierarchy of a corporation.
" this means comparing things of the same type (a valid comparison). To compare two things that are not alike. . If someone says "compare apples to apples. An invalid comparison.Comparing apples to oranges Comparing New York to Arkansas is like comparing apples to oranges.
A cruel and aggressive world where people just look out for themselves. . People. often compete to get what they want.(Its a) dog eat dog world Its become more of a dog eat dog world as businesses keep trying to out-compete each other. like dogs. Origin: Dates to 1500's when wild dogs observed fighting for food.
Face the music Enron executives finally had to face the music and admit that they were involved in some illegal activities. Admit that there's a problem. . Deal with an unpleasant situation.
they combine work and leisure or social activities. When people mix business with pleasure.Mix business with pleasure Seminars or training sessions that include leisure activities are a good way of mixing business and pleasure. .
. but it's more risky at the present time.Play the market It's always tempting to play the market. Buying stocks and shares of companies in the stock market in the hope of making a profit when you sell them.
Official rules and bureaucratic paperwork that prevent things from being done quickly.Red tape If there wasn't so much red tape. . the company would be up and running already.
To shift the blame for something to somebody else. .Pass the buck Take responsibility for your actions and stop trying to pass the buck.
the company had to cut jobs and lower salaries. To motivate others. . the president called a meeting to rally the troops and plan for the next year. a troop is a military unit. Military origin: Rally = to call together. In order to maintain morale. To get employees motivated.Rally the troops Due to the economic recession.
Reality check The sales department has consistently overestimated demand for our products. Maybe its time for a reality check. Thinking seriously about something (said when you don't like something that's being suggested because its not realistic or practical). .
you better follow regulations & behave (shape up) or you'll be sent overseas to war (ship out). military in WWII .Shape up or ship out Your job performance has been unsatisfactory so you better shape up or ship out. An order to improve your behavior or leave (suggesting that if you don't improve. . Origin: Used by U. you'll be fired).S.
Through the roof The price of oil over the past few years has gone through the roof. . Very high. higher than expected.
. An abnormally favorable contract or agreement between two parties.Sweetheart deal Opponents say that the contract was awarded to the builder as part of a sweetheart deal. and is therefore illegal.
An agreement between a company and an high-level executive specifying that the executive will get significant benefits if his employment is terminated A golden parachute is a type of sweetheart deal. the CEO left with a $10 million golden parachute.Golden parachute Even though his company had been experiencing huge losses. .
. Can be especially boring for outsiders.Talk shop I don't like to go out with my girlfriend's colleagues from work because they always end up talking shop. Talking about work or business in social situations.
. A short period when there's high pressure to achieve a result.Crunch time I haven't been going to class or studying so it's crunch time to study for the Business English test tomorrow.
Down to the wire Lawyers often have to work down to the wire to have contracts ready by a deadline. To work until the last minute (just before a deadline). . American racetracks placed wire across the track above the finish line to help determine which horse's nose crossed the line first. Origin: In 19th century.
– Viewed negatively as unoriginal in American culture. . He's just a yes man.A yes man Don't expect Barry to argue with the boss. An employee who always agrees with the boss or does whatever the boss says.
Bait and switch This store is famous for its bait and switch tactics. A deceptive business practice of advertising a low-priced item to attract customers. . then telling them that the product is out of stock and persuading them to buy a more expensive article.
it is open. honest and legal. If a situation or business is described as above board.Above board There are no secret negotiations. Our dealings have always been above board. .
. to which they supply a product or service.Carve out a niche A person or company who carves out a niche focuses on a particular segment of the market. and develop their expertise in that area. In today's competitive market it's better to carve out a niche and try to become the best in that area.
and leaves no room for competition. . they have cornered the market.Corner a market If a company dominates an area of business. By importing large quantities and selling at low prices. it is said to have cornered the market.
you are accusing them of giving money to someone in order to gain an unfair advantage. .Grease somebody's palm If you accuse someone of greasing somebody's palm. it is common practice to grease government officials' palms. or to obtain something they want. In some countries.
Free hand If you have a free hand. . especially in a job. you have permission to make your own decisions. My boss has given me a free hand in the choice of agent.
Business is business a way of saying that in financial and commercial matters. I'm sorry but business is business!" . friendship or personal feelings should not be allowed to have any influence. "I'll hire your brother only if he is the best candidate.
.business before pleasure I'm afraid.Business before pleasure it is considered preferable to finish one's work before going to relax and enjoy oneself. I'd love to have lunch with you but I've got a report to finish .
this expression means that everything is continuing in a normal way in spite of the difficulties. It was business as usual at the supermarket the day after the hold-up.Business as usual After an unpleasant or unexpected event. .
"Our competitors are more creative than us they really think outside the box.Think outside the box People who think outside the box try to find innovative ideas or solutions. .
if not dishonest. deals in business or politics.Wheeling and dealing Someone accused of wheeling and dealing is thought to be involved in complicated. Since the beginning of the election campaign. there's been a lot of wheeling and dealing going on. .
"There were smiles all round when the contract was signed .Win-win situation The term win-win refers to a situation or proposition where both or all parties benefit from the outcome.it was a win-win situation." .
good and bad. His refusal to accept any help meant that he had to learn the hard way. rather than from the advice or guidance of others. you learn through your own experience. .Learn the hard way If you learn the hard way.
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