English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
If business negotiations are described as
above board, they are open, honest and
There are not secret negotiations. Our dealings have always been above board.
|have an ace up your sleeve||If you have an
ace up your sleeve, you have something
in reserve with which you can gain an
I'm well prepared for the negotiations. I've got an ace up my sleeve.
|hold all the aces||A person or company
who holds all the aces is in a very
strong position because they have more
advantages than anyone else.
With low production costs and excellent transport facilities, they seem
to be holding all the aces..
|back to square one||To say that someone is back to
square one means that they have not
succeeded in what they were trying to do, so
they have to start again.
When they refused the terms of the contract, it was back to square one for the negotiators..
|back to the wall||If you have your back to the wall,
you are in serious difficulty.
With his back to the wall, the supplier had to accept the deal.
|beggars can't be choosers||This expression means that you should
not reject an offer if it is the only
possibility you have. You have no choice.
"Beggars can't be choosers!"
|bend over backwards||If you bend over backwards, you
try very hard to do something, especially to
The director bent over backwards to try and persuade them to accept our proposal.
|bide your time||If you bide your time, you wait
for a good opportunity to do something.
He's not hesitating, he's just biding his time, waiting for the price to drop.
|blank cheque||If you give someone a blank cheque,
you authorize them to do what they think is
best in a difficult situation.
Tom was given a blank cheque and told to negotiate the best deal possible.
|bone of contention||A bone of contention is a
matter or subject about which there is
a lot of disagreement.
The salaries have been agreed on, but opening on Sundays is still a bone of contention.
|bring nothing to the table||If you participate in negotiations and
bring nothing to the table, you have
nothing of interest to offer the other side.
We'll never reach an agreement if we don't all bring something to the table.
|clinch a deal||In a business relationship, if you
clinch a deal, you reach agreement on a
proposal or offer.
Paul's final argument enabled us to clinch the deal.
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