Every language has its nuances, phrases, and idioms. For a language like English spoken in so many countries worldwide, the colloquialisms and idioms may be different in each country. For larger countries, the English language can seem to change from region to region, even within the same country. In America, the Northeast, the south, and the Midwest not only have different idioms but completely different accents making each area of the United States seem like a foreign country.
American Business Idioms
Many American English idioms are used from coast to coast when it comes to business and the workplace. Here are some of the most common ones Business professionals need to know.
- Bail — to leave a place abruptly.
- 24/7 (pronounced “twenty-four-seven”) — working non-stop, seven days a week
- A buck — slang term for an American dollar
- To call it a day — to stop working for the day.
- Pull the plug — to stop working on something.
- Pull one’s weight — to do one’s share of the work.
- Reality check — to think realistically about a situation
- To step up to the plate — to do one’s best
- To bite the bullet — to make a difficult decision.
- Keep something under wraps – to keep something secret.
- Hang out — To casually gather together or spend time with someone in a social manner
- My gut tells me — my instinct is telling me something.
- Knock — To speak negatively, to disparage, to badmouth
- Lighten up — To relax and take things too seriously. Typically stated as an appeal to someone who is acting uptight.
- Piece of cake — A metaphor to describe something easy or effortless
- Plead the fifth — References the fifth amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which allows a witness in court to refuse questions on the grounds that they risk self-incrimination
- Screw up — To make a mistake, i.e., mess up
- Pass the buck — to blame someone else for something
- To keep one’s eye on the prize — to stay focused on the end result and not let minor setbacks get in the way.
- Wrap something up — To finish or complete something.
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