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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Employment - Jobs

(idioms, page 1 :   at all costs  → golden handcuffs)

above and beyond the call of duty If a person does something which is above and beyond the call of duty, they show a greater degree of courage or effort than is usually required or expected in their job.
The fire-fighter received a medal for his action which went above and beyond the call of duty.
back-room boys This term refers to people who do important work but have no contact with the public.
Back-room boys don't always receive the credit they deserve for their work.
brain drain The departure of highly qualified people (scientists, engineers, etc.) for other countries, where they have better opportunities and usually better pay, is called the brain drain.
busman's holiday A busman's holiday is when you spend your spare time or your holidays doing the same sort of activity as you do in your job.
My husband is a chef, so for him time off with the family is often a busman's holiday!
cream of the crop This expression refers to the best people or things in a particular group.
As usual, the cream of the crop of this year's graduates were offered the best jobs.
dead wood The term dead wood refers to people or things which are no longer considered useful or necessary.
The new manager wants to reduce costs by cutting out the dead wood.
on the dole A person who receives financial assistance from the government when they are unemployed is on the dole.
Their father is on the dole so the family is living on a tight budget.
dream ticket If you refer to two people as a dream ticket, you think they would work well together and be successful.
Two world champions teaming up for the children's fund-raising project would be a dream ticket.
duty bound If you are duty bound to do something, you are required to do it
as part of your obligations.
Teachers are duty bound to report a pupil's absence from school.
earn while you learn This expression refers to the possibility of earning a salary while in training.
Become an apprentice and get paid while in training.  Earn while you learn!
firing line Someone who is in the firing line is in a position to be criticized because of their responsibilities or the position they hold.
The managing director of the bank is in the firing line since the fraud was discovered.
get the axe If someone gets the axe, they lose their job.
When a company is restructured, the senior staff are often the first to get the axe.
golden handcuffs The term golden handcuffs refers to a large sum of money or a generous financial arrangement granted to an executive as an incentive to stay in their job, or to ensure long-term cooperation after their departure.
   
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