Learn common Job Idioms in English with meaning and examples.
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Learn the Ropes
- Meaning: Become more familiar with a job or field of endeavor; be trained
- Example: It will take me several months to learn the ropes, but I’m sure you’ll be satisfied with my performance.
Get the Sack/ Be Sacked
- Meaning: To be fired
- Example: I just got the sack, and so did 20 other people. I have three hours pack up my things and leave the office.
Note: “Be sacked” is known and understood on the USA, but “get the sack” is much less common.
Off the Hook
- Meaning: Free from blame or responsibility to do something
- Example: Jason said he’d finish the project tonight, so you’re off the hook.
Note: You can also be “on the hook.”
Hanging by a Thread
- Meaning: In great danger of elimination or failure
- Example: After you botched a third sales presentation, your job is hanging by a thread -you really need to improve.
Useful Job Idioms in English
Burn the Candle at Both Ends
- Meaning: Work very long hours
- Example: I’ve been working two jobs so we can buy a car, but I’m very tired. I’m burning the candle at both ends.
Rank and File
- Meaning: The ordinary members of an organization
- Example: Labor leaders announced that they have agreed to a new contract, but the rank and file still don’t like it.
- Meaning: A layoff notice; loss of a job, typically because of layoffs
- Example: After teaching for ten years in that district, I got a pink slip last Tuesday.
Note: You can also say “pink-slipped” – I was pink-slipped.
Out of Work
- Meaning: Unemployed
- Example: I’ve been out of work since December. Hope I find a new job soon!
Move Up in the World
- Meaning: Become more successful
- Example: You’re driving a Lexus now. I can see you’re moving up in the world.
Give Someone The Old Heave-Ho
- Meaning: Fire someone, remove someone from a group or team
- Example: Linda hasn’t done a bit of work in months. I think it’s time we gave her the old heave-ho.
All In A Day’s Work (Excl.)
- Meaning: That’s what I’m here for; although I have accomplished something, it is part of what I’m expected to do .
- Example: Jim, you really did well on that presentation! – Oh, all in a day’s work!