Common Idioms & Phrases to Describe People in Organizations/Business


Learn some Common Idioms & Phrases to Describe People in Organizations/Business.
  1. Angel Investor/Seed Investor – a person who invests money or provides financial backing to start-ups in exchange for ownership equity. Example: I have been planning to set up my own organization for the past 8 years, but could not find an angel investor.
  2. Armchair critic – one who knows or pretends to know a lot about something in theory rather than practice. Example: Mona is not an armchair critic. She has applied a lot of policies and knows their pros and cons so she can guide you in every aspect.
  3. Bean counter – an accountant or bureaucrat or the one who puts emphasis on the control of expenditures. Example: Some people in his organization strongly dislike him as he is a bean counter.
  4. Big fish in a small pond – a person who has an important position in a small company or organization. Example: Some people enjoy being big fish in a small pond as they feel afraid of working in any big organization.
  5. Big Wig – an influential person in a group or organization. Example: Amitabh Bachchan has been a Bollywood bigwig for more than 20 years.
  6. Cash Cow – A product or service that brings in a regular source of income. Example: She always wanted to invest in a business that turns out to be cash cow.
  7. Dark Horse – a person with hidden qualities/talent. Example: Don’t underestimate her potential, she is actually a dark horse and is capable of achieving anything in life.
  8. Dead Duck – someone or something for which there is no hope.  Example: Palak’s career is a dead duck now as she has done a fraud in her last organization and it’s an open secret in the business world.
  9. Dead wood/Dead weight – unproductive people in a group/organization that needed to be dismissed. Example: No organization wants deadwood as it affects the growth of the organization in the long run.
  10. Eager Beaver – a very hard-working and enthusiastic employee. Example: She is a real eager beaver; she gets all the work done with ease and comfort.
  11. Gift of the Gab – one who can express well and confidently and can make people believe him/her. Example: Trainers with the gift of the gab are highly appreciated and recognized.
  12. Go-getter – one with a lot of energy and motivation. Example: We are looking for those candidates who are go-getters as they may need to work well under pressure.
  13. Head honcho – one with a lot of authority and influence. Example: If you have to get your tender passed you need to meet some head honcho.
  14. Jack of all trades – one who can do many different things. Example: He is a jack of all trades, he can do marketing, handle accounts, do data entry, etc.
  15. Lame Duck – a person or organization that is weak or unsuccessful. Example: The biggest mistake he did was to choose a lame duck for a responsible and senior position in the organization.
  16. Loan Shark – one who lends money at very high interest rates and may threaten violence if it is not repaid. Example: The loan shark took away one of his cars and broke the other.
  17. Man/Woman of his/her word – one who doesn’t break his/her promises. Example: She is a woman of her words. You can always rely on her in any regard.
  18. Major player – an important and/or influential person, group, or company in a particular field or market. Example: Vodafone is a major player in the telecom industry.
  19. Number cruncher – a person who works with financial information and is skilled at doing so. Example: We need to hire a number cruncher before investing so much in shares and mutual funds.
  20. Pain in the neck – a difficult or annoying person. Example: She avoids talking to one of her colleagues as she feels that he is a pain in the neck.
  21. Pen/Pencil Pusher – an employee who handles a monotonous job that involves a lot of paper work. Example: In many offices of rural areas we find a lot of pen pushers as they still don’t operate computers.n Apple
    Related imageRotten Apple
  22. Rotten Apple – a dishonest or corrupt person who has a negative influence on his colleagues. Example: I warn you. Please stay away from him as he is a rotten apple and that may mar your progress.
  23. Silent partner – a person who invests money in a business, but doesn’t participate in the daily operation. Example: Though he was a silent partner, he cheated me by playing politics and snatched away my business.
  24. Sitting Duck – a person who is an easy victim because of his/her weaknesses. Example: You will always remain a sitting duck if you don’t change yourself and become strong, smart and proactive.
  25. Smart cookie – an intelligent person who is capable of handling difficult situations. Example: He is a smart cookie so let’s promote him to be a Senior HR Manager.
  26. Top Dog – one who has a lot of power and success despite a tough competition. Example: He is the top dog of the organization so everyone tries to please him.
  27. Whistleblower –a person who exposes immoral or corrupt practices in a group or organization by informing the authorities, police or public. Example: Some political parties keep an eye on whistleblowers to protect themselves and their image.
  28. White-collar worker – an employee who does an office job. Example: All white-collar workers are respected in our country.
  29. Wolf in Sheep’s clothing – a dangerous person who seems to be harmless. Example: Beware of him. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He pretends to be very innocent, but in reality he is not.
  30. Yes Man – someone who agrees with his/her superiors to get their approval or favour. Example: You can’t trust what Ankur might say in front of his boss. Everyone knows that he is yes man.


Written by Monica

Wabs Talk Team

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