15 Most Common Business Idioms You Should Know 1

15 Most Common Business Idioms You Should Know

There are many idioms used in the Business World.  If you don’t understand these expressions, it’s easy to get lost in a conversation.

Common Business Idioms

Below is a table of 15 most common business idioms used at work.

List of Most Common Business Idioms

No.Business IdiomsExplanation
1Yes manA person who always agrees with his boss.

E.g. ‘Being a yes man keeps me out of trouble, and it might even lead to a promotion!”

2Call it a dayTo quit work and go home; to say that a day’s work has been completed.

E.g. “I’m tired. Let’s call it a day.”

The boss was mad because Bill called it a day at noon.”

3Hit the nail on the headTo identify something exactly; to arrive at exactly the right answer.

E.g. “He hit the nail on the head when he said the problem was the thermostat”

4Grey area (UK) / Gray area (US)This means something that is not clearly defined and needs careful judgment.

E.g. “It exists in a grey area between legal and illegal.”

“It’s a grey area isn’t it?” (Meaning the speaker is talking about an unsure concept).

5Get the ball rollingTo begin; to start some action; to set in motion.

E.g. We really need to get the ball rolling on this project. The deadline is in October, and it’s already September.

6Back to the Drawing BoardThis means that a previously established plan isn’t working and that it is time to re-plan.

E.g. “My job interview went horribly! I have to go back to the drawing board.”

7Thumbs UpShows that someone or something is good, especially when it comes to performance or action with good results.

E.g. “That’s good. You deserve a big thumbs up for such a great presentation!”

8Big pictureThis means the overall perspective or objective, not the fine detail.

E.g. “Although we all have all specific tasks to do, our leader makes sure we don’t lose sight of the big picture.”

9On the ballTo be Alert, active, or attentive; on top of things.

e.g. “If I had been more on the ball I would have asked when he called me.”

10On the same page In broad agreement, or sharing a common general understanding or knowledge

E.g. “I want to make sure we’re all on the same page with this new project.”

11Ground-breakingThis means innovative, different than other things of its type.

E.g. “This product is certainly a ground-breaking technology.”

12Read between the linesTo infer a meaning that is not stated explicitly

e.g. “If you read between the lines a little, you will realize that he has deeper motives”

13Put the cart before the horseTo put things in the wrong order or with the wrong priorities; to put something inconsequential as more important than something more essential.

E.g. “There’s no point trying to write the report when you haven’t got a clear idea of what to write. You don’t want to put the cart before the horse.”

14See someone’s pointThis means that you understand their reason for having a certain opinion, or for feeling a certain way.

E.g. “Yes, I see your point. Let me double-check that and get back with you.”

15Get down to workTo get serious and focus on what you need to do to accomplish a challenging goal

E.g. “You know what, Harry? You just need to get down to work!”


15 Most Common Business Idioms You Should Know 2

Skip to toolbar