Joined: 20 Aug 2009
Location: Denver, Colorado
|Posted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:22 pm Post subject: Business Idioms You'll Want To Know: Part One
|Even as a student of Business English, you might get confused when common business idioms are used and you are unaware of their meaning. The following terms are ones that have been used by United States English speakers during business meetings or conferences. Note what they are and you’re sure to be a step ahead during business conversations.
1. Across the board
MEANING: Including everyone or everything
EXAMPLE: There was an internal restructuring across the board.
2. At a loss
MEANING: To incur a financial loss / To lose money
EXAMPLE: We may be forced to sell the remaining products at a loss.
3. At loggerheads
MEANING: In disagreement
EXAMPLE: The company owners are at loggerheads over how to proceed with our request.
4. An old hand
MEANING: Someone with long experience at something
EXAMPLE: He is an old hand at dealing with customer complaints.
5. Ball park figure
MEANING: A rough estimate or figure
EXAMPLE: We have a ball park figure for the cost of the supplies.
6. A calculated risk
MEANING: An action that may fail but has a good chance of success
EXAMPLE: We’ll have to take a calculated risk when introducing our new product to customers.
7. Cold call
MEANING: Call or approach a potential customer who has had no previous contact with the business
EXAMPLE: You’ll have to make cold calls to market our product.
8. Carve out a niche
MEANING: To find a special position to monopolize
EXAMPLE: We aim to carve out a niche among the elderly market of our customers.
9. A ‘Catch 22’ situation
MEANING: A situation that will never work
EXAMPLE: The contract we signed has placed us in a ‘Catch 22’ situation.
10. Computer bug
MEANING: A computer software corruption
EXAMPLE: Our new computer system has encountered a computer bug.
11. Deliver the goods
MEANING: To succeed in doing what is expected
EXAMPLE: If we work extra hours, we’ll be able to deliver the goods.
12. Double check
MEANING: To review a second time to make sure something is correct
EXAMPLE: It is important to double check every entry you make on the spreadsheet.
13. Face value
MEANING: The official worth or trust of something
EXAMPLE: The face value of the product is not much but the demand from customers will push it higher.
14. Gain ground
MEANING: To go forward/ To make progress
EXAMPLE: Our company has been gaining ground with the youth market.
15. Get a break
MEANING: To get an opportunity or a good deal
EXAMPLE: We got a break on the cost of the wheels we ordered.
16. Get off the ground
MEANING: To launch or start something successfully
EXAMPLE: We did not manage to get the product off the ground so we may have to wait until next year.
MEANING: Someone who has gained access to or interfered with computer information without permission
EXAMPLE: We have a computer security system to prevent a hacker from accessing our files.
If you are interested in improving your business English, consider signing up for ESL Classes in the USA to teach you everything you need to know to be successful with your business matters. Executive English courses last from three weeks and equip you with the English you need to know for every business situation.
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Rachel Clarkson is an English teacher at LCI English ESL Programs and blogger at the ESL Blog.
LCI offers the best ESL classes through experienced teachers and high quality programs in Denver, Colorado. Check out great ESL resources and articles at www.englishlci.com/blog