15 Useful Business Idioms for Making Decisions

Learn useful Business Idioms for Making Decisions in English with meaning and examples.

List of common English Idioms for Making Decisions.

(Give Someone) Carte Blanche

  • Meaning: Allow someone complete freedom; entrust a decision to someone
  • Example: I’ll give you carte blanche to hire whoever you think is best. I’m going on vacation, and I’ll be back in two weeks.

All Things Being Equal

  • Meaning: In the event that all aspects of a situation remain the same.
  • Example: All things being equal, I think we should invest in the new factory.

Up for Grabs

  • Meaning: Available
  • Example: The election is up for grabs. Everything is still very chancy.

On the Bubble

  • Meaning: One of a group that may be selected for the last spot in a competition
  • Example: The team is on the bubble – there are three other teams that might make the finals.

All Told

  • Meaning: With everything taken into consideration
  • Example: All told, it’s been a good year for the company despite the loss of key salespeople.

All Things Considered

  • Meaning: Taking all factors into consideration
  • Example: All things considered, we had a good trip. With the bad weather, it could have taken much longer.

Up in the Air

  • Meaning: Not yet decided
  • Example: The salary increase is still up in the air – the boss favors it, but she hasn’t gotten approval from her superiors.

Useful Business Idioms for Making Decisions in English

15 Useful Business Idioms for Making Decisions

Raise Red Flags

  • Meaning: Warn of trouble ahead
  • Example: Annette seems like the perfect candidate, but the fact that she was fired from her last job raises red flags.

Rubber-Stamp (v.)

  • Meaning: Approve something without consideration, as a formality
  • Example: The real power is with the president, and the parliament is expected to rubber-stamp his initiatives.

Take It or Leave It (command)

  • Meaning: You must decide now whether you will accept this proposal.
  • Example: This is our final offer – take it or leave it.

Out of the Loop

  • Meaning: Not part of a group that’s kept informed about something
  • Example: You’ve been out of the loop on the new marketing plan. Let me bring you up to date.

On the Same Page

  • Meaning: Understanding a situation in the same way
  • Example: Sheila and I are on the same page about the sales presentation. We’ll work out the details tomorrow.

Hobson’s Choice

  • Meaning: A choice among bad options
  • Example: They’re offering a Hobson’s choice between higher prices and reduced quality. I think we can hold out for a better option.

Note: This is occasionally used the USA.

Flip-Flop (v. or n.)

  • Meaning: To vacillate between two choices, to be indecisive
  • Example: The politician was well known for his flip-flops – she often says what she thinks people want to hear.

Fish or Cut Bait (usually an exclamation)

  • Meaning: Make a decision or give someone else a chance.
  • Example: You’ve kept us waiting for weeks on the decision. It’s time to fish or cut bait.

Note: An obscene variation is “shit or get off the pot.”

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