I'm working on a list of slang terms one hears in AmE and/or BrE business situations whose meanings aren't apparent by looking up individual words in the dictionary. What follows is what I've got so far. Can anyone add to this list?

stay on your toes

go for the gold

sit on your butt / sit on your bum

just warming a seat

golden handshake

golden parachute

use your head

use some elbow grease

reach for the stars

use your noggin

show him/her the door

on the tip of the tongue

off the top of the head

fly by the seat of the pants

wing it

fake it

get lost / tell him or her to get lost

(something or someone) didn't go over

(something or someone) went over

(something or someone) bombed

fall on the face

egg on the face

hit the target

fell short

get one's knickers in a twist

the squeaky wheel gets the grease
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Bad Business Slang

Let’s give him a plastic cup and see what he fills it with.

I’d like to chain that question to the radiator for a few months.

We need to stop worrying about the low hanging fruit and start going after the injured pack animals.

We’ll look up that skirt when we come to it.

This organization is all chiefs and no plagues.

I’d like to double-tap that issue to be sure.
We’re still feeling our way around the meat locker on that one.
Not all the expressions in your list are restricted to a business context, of course.

get the pink slip

at the end of the day

a power play

build an empire

go paperless

feed the dragon

kick someone upstairs

be on special assignment

glass ceiling

customer focus

customer centric

run it up the flagpole (and see who salutes)

get buy-in

bureaucratic nightmare

top of the line


human resources

exception pay

low-hanging fruit (Thanks for reminding me, Mr. M.)

office politics

the corner office
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
CalifJimNot all the expressions in your list are restricted to a business context, of course.
You're absolutely right! We hear / use those expressions in many different situations but since most of my students are studying 'Business English' I thought it would be useful to cobble together a list of the ones we do use also in business contexts.

It's amazing how many times I'm asked what something like these expressions mean and then students go on to explain that these instances are the point when they lose the gist in meetings, business conversations or teleconferences because their minds became preoccupied with such an unfamiliar (odd) string of words.

I thought a list, with explanations of the terms, might be useful for others besides my own students.

PS - I think I might have chosen a better thread title for this.
lose the gist ... because their minds became preoccupied with such an unfamiliar ... string of words

I know the feeling very well. It has happened to me whenever I have tried to learn another language. It's very easy for me to put myself in their shoes. Emotion: smile
on the page
on the mark
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
get into a p*ssing contest (rude)
And the tables, which I've mentioned here before: what do they bring to the table, we're offering you a seat at the table, etc.

This is a great idea! It would make a cute little book. Maybe "cute" is the wrong word.
Neighbor used one this afternoon & I saved it for you: "get off the dime," to make a decision.

Oh my goodness. I'm going to try to interject a few of Mr. M's at work and see what happens. It was like "MadLibs for business jargon"

I think you may want to differentiate between absurd business jargon that makes us all roll our eyes (like "we're engaged in our visioning process to see how we can leverage our human capital for a synergistic solution") and idioms that are used in the business world that may require a bit of an explanation.

On the other hand, maybe the only difference between the two types is that the second set has been around longer and we all rolled our eyes when they first came out too. A lot come from sports and war.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
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