English Idioms - Business - ניבים באנגלית עסקית

across the board

- including everyone or everything

The computer company decided to give the workers an across-the-board increase in their salary.

at a loss

- sell something and lose money

We were forced to sell the computers at a big loss.

bail a company out

- help or rescue a company with financial problems

The government decided to bail out the failing bank in order to maintain stability in the economy.

ball park figure/estimate

- a rough estimate or figure

The contractor gave us a ball park figure for the cost of repairing the new building.

bang for the buck

- value for the money spent

We were able to get a big bang for our buck when we advertised on the Internet.

banker's hours

- short work hours

My sister's husband owns his own company and is able to work banker's hours with his large staff.


- accountant

We asked the bean-counters to look over the figures in the new budget.

big gun/cheese/wheel/wig

- an important person, a leader

The new director was a big wheel in his previous company but is not so important now.

bottom fall out/drop out

- to fall below an earlier lowest price

When the bottom fell out of the coffee market many companies had to stop doing business.

bottom line

- the total, the final figure on a balance sheet

When they examined the bottom line of the company they decided not to invest in it.

bottom out

- reach the lowest or worst point of something

The value of the stock has begun to bottom out and should soon begin to increase in value.

boys in the backroom

- a group of men making decisions behind the scenes

The boys in the backroom told us that we must close down the factory as soon as possible.

break even

- have expenses equal to profits

After only three months the company was able to break even and start making profits.

budget squeeze/crunch

- a situation where there is not enough money in the budget

We have been going through a severe budget squeeze at our company and must begin to stop spending money in a wasteful manner.

buy off

- use a gift or money to divert someone from their duty or purpose

The land developer tried to buy off the politician but he was not successful.

buy out

- buy the ownership or a decisive share of something

The company was bought out by another large company in the textile industry.

by a long shot

- by a big difference, by far

The soap company was able to beat out the bids of the other companies by a long shot.

calculated risk

- an action that may fail but has a good chance to succeed

They took a calculated risk when they introduced the new computer screen onto the market.

captain of industry

- a top corporation officer

The president of our company was a captain of industry and after he retired he was appointed to many government boards.

carry over

- save for another time

We were forced to carry over the sale to the Monday after the national holiday.

carry over

- transfer (a figure) from one column or book to another

Our company is still facing difficult times and we will have to carry over last year's losses to this year.

carry the day

- win completely

The president's new idea carried the day and everyone supported him energetically.

carry through

- put into action

The steel company carried through their plan to restructure all of their operations.

close out

- sell the whole of something, sell all the goods

They decided to close out the store and sell all of the remaining stock very cheap.

close the books

- stop taking orders, end a bookkeeping period

They usually close the books at the end of February every year.

cold call

- call a potential customer from a list of persons one has never seen

When he first started to work at his company he was asked to make cold calls using the telephone book.

come on strong

- overwhelm with excessively strong language or personality

The salesman came on too strong at the meeting and angered the other members of the team.

company man

- a person who always works hard and agrees with his employees

My father was a true company man and was always putting in an extra effort for his company.

company town

- a town dominated by one industry or company

When the coal mine closed down the company town faced severe economic times.

cut back

- use fewer or use less

The company has been cutting back on entertainment expenses for over a year now.

cut corners

- economize

We have been forced to economize on stationary expenses during these severe economic times.

cut off

- interrupt or stop

The speech of the president was cut off when the electricity went off in the building.

cut one's losses

- do something to stop losing money or something

We should sell the old machinery as soon as possible and try and cut our losses.

deliver the goods

- succeed in doing well what is expected

The new owner of the company is not very popular but he is able to deliver the goods.


- check something again to confirm

We were unable to double-check the costs of the new products before the price list was printed.

face value

- the official worth or trust of something

Although the face value of the postage stamp was very low it sold at the auction for much money.

fair play

- justice, equal and right action to someone

The company is very good to work for as they always use fair play when they are bargaining with their employees.

figure out

- find an answer by thinking about something

Everyone in our company is trying to figure out what our boss is going to do with the new equipment.

fill the bill

- be just what is needed

That new machine should fill the bill as to what we need to finish the job.

finger in the pie

- involved in what is happening, receiving money for something

The new manager has his finger in the pie in all aspects of our company's business.

gain ground

- go forward, make progress

Our company has been gaining ground in our attempt to be the best in the industry.

get a break

- get an opportunity or good deal

We were able to get a break on the price of the paint and saved a lot of money.

get off the ground

- make a successful beginning, go ahead

We were unable to get the new product off the ground and will have to wait until next year.

give someone the green light

- give permission to go ahead with a project

Our boss gave us the green light to begin work on the new sales promotion.

go public

- sell shares of a privately owned company to the public

The stock of the Internet company rose very quickly when they went public.

go through with

- finish, do as planned or agreed

We have decided not to go through with our plans to launch the new product until we have solved all of its problems.

hard sell

- sell something by being very aggressive

The car salesman gave us a hard sell so we decided to go to another dealer.

heads will roll

- someone will be punished

Heads will roll when our boss learns about the money that we have lost recently.

in black and white

- in writing

The company refused to deal with the customer's complaints until they saw them in black and white.

in charge of

- in control of, responsible for

My sister has been in charge of buying supplies at her company for many years.

in short supply

- not enough, in less than the amount or number needed

Experienced computer programmers are in short supply at our company.

in stock

- have something ready to sell or use

They didn't have any computer printer ribbons in stock at the store.

in the black

- successful or making money

The new company has been in the black for over a year now.

in the long run

- in the final result

The company has been losing money recently but in the long run they should do very well.

in the market for

- ready to buy something

We have been in the market for a new computer for a long time but still we haven't bought one.

in the red

- losing money, unprofitable

The company began to go into the red when the price of oil began to rise rapidly.

in the works

- in preparation, being planned or worked on

The camera company has a new automatic camera in the works but nobody knows about it yet.

jack up

- make a price higher

The steel companies decided to jack up the price of steel at the beginning of the year.

keep books

- keep records of money gained and spent

The new assistant to the sales manager has no experience keeping books and has made many mistakes.

keep track of

- keep a count or record, stay informed

They have been making a great effort to keep track of the number of visitors to their store.


- money paid illegally for favorable treatment

The construction company was taken to court for giving kickbacks to the local politicians.

make a go of

- produce good results, succeed

Although he works very hard in his small business he has been unable to make a go of it and
may soon go out of business.

mean business

- be serious

Our boss means business when he tells everyone to try and work harder.


- an accountant, someone who works with numbers

Our president is a good number-cruncher and understands about the finances of our company.

on hand

- in one's possession, ready

We didn't have any supplies on hand and were unable to finish the job.

(buy) on credit

- buy something without paying cash

My friend had no money so he decided to buy the furniture on credit.

on the block

- for sale

As soon as they purchased the company they began to put some of the equipment on the block.

pay off

- make a profit, be successful

The furniture manufacturer was unable to pay off their loan and had to go out of business.

piece/slice of the action

- a share in the activity or the profits of something

The inventor wanted a large piece of the action of the profits from the new computer that he had invented.

red ink

- debt (red ink on a financial statement)

The automobile company has been drowning in red ink since the US dollar began to rise.

run short

- not have enough in quantity

They ran short of gasoline at the gas station and had to close early.

saddled with debt

- burdened with debt

Our sister company is saddled with a great amount of debt and should be sold as soon as possible.

sell like hotcakes

- sell very quickly

The children's toys were selling like hotcakes at the end of the year.

sell out

- sell all of a product

Every year at least one company sells out all of their products which frustrates many customers.

strike while the iron is hot

- take advantage of an opportunity

We decided to strike while the iron was hot and began to market the product
around the time of the Olympics.

sweetheart deal

- a deal made between friends so that both may make a big profit

We were able to make a sweetheart deal with our landlord and got the rent greatly reduced.

take a nosedive

- collapse, fail, decrease in value

The stock market took a nosedive when the earnings of the oil company began to weaken.

take on

- to give a job to or hire someone

The company took on many new workers during the busy holiday season.

take over

- take control or possession of something, take charge or responsibility

The government decided to take over the bank after it declared bankruptcy.

take public

- sell shares in a company to the general public

We decided it was necessary to take our company public in order to raise money to expand our facilities.

take stock

- count the items of merchandise or supplies in stock, take inventory

The department store closes down for 3 days every March in order to take stock.

throw cold water on

- discourage, forbid

The managers threw cold water on the plans to close down the factory for one week in August.

throw money at something

- try to solve a problem by spending money on it

The president of our company is willing to throw a lot of money at the problem in the hope of solving it.

tight spot

- a difficult situation

The computer manufacturing company has been in a tight spot since the shortage
of computer chips appeared.

turn over

- to buy and then sell something to customers

The turn-over at that discount store is very rapid.

work out

- plan, develop

I spent the weekend trying to work out the budget estimates for next year.

write off

- remove from a business record, cancel a debt

It was impossible for the bank to collect the money so they were forced to write off the loan.

Idiom Quizzes - Business

    Choose an idiom at the bottom to replace the expression in the brackets below:

  1. After the fire the company was forced to sell most of their merchandise (and lost much money).

    (a) by a long shot (b) at a loss (c) in black and white (d) in the long run

  2. The price of oil (reached its lowest point) in July and began to rise soon after.

    (a) cut corners (b) closed out (c) broke even (d) bottomed out

  3. The computer company had much trouble having the new operating system (make a successful start).

    (a) in the red (b) get off the ground (c) mean business (d) strike while the iron was hot

  4. The price of computer chips (collapsed) after the sales of personal computers began to decrease.

    (a) took a nosedive (b) turned over (c) bottomed out (d) carried the day

  5. The automobile dealer had no trucks (available to sell) so we had to wait for two months to buy one.

    (a) in the works (b) on credit (c) in stock (d) written off

  6. The large drug company (took control of) the small drugstore chain.

    (a) took over (b) took stock of (c) turned over (d) sold out

  7. There was a chance to make much money during the summer so we decided to (take advantage of the opportunity) and work hard.

    (a) throw money at it (b) strike while the iron was hot (c) sell like hotcakes (d) mean business

  8. Our plans for marketing the new computer product are still (in preparation).

    (a) coming on strong (b) in short supply (c) going public (d) in the works

  9. The insurance company (cancelled) the debts from the flood damage.

    (a) wrote off (b) worked out (c) took over (d) paid off

  10. The construction company (hired) hundreds of new workers last week.

    (a) took over (b) turned over (c) took on (d) make a go over

  11. Our company needed to raise money to expand so we decided to (sell its shares) on the stock market.

    (a) take a nosedive (b) sell it out (c) take it over (d) take it public

  12. The steel company finally went bankrupt after being (burdened with losses) for many years.

    (a) jacked up (b) on the block (c) saddled with debt (d) paid off

  13. We are (ready to buy) a new car but we haven't found anything that we like.

    (a) in the works (b) in the market for (c) in charge of (d) cutting back

  14. The salesman sold the house by (being very aggressive) which made us a little angry.

    (a) a hard sell (b) keeping books (c) a kickback (d) a company man

  15. We tried to decide on a (rough estimate) for the cost of new computer printers for the company.

    (a) budget crunch (b) number-cruncher (c) ball park figure (d) sweetheart deal

  16. We decided to sell the business in order to (stop losing money).

    (a) bottom out (b) mean business (c) cut our losses (d) strike while the iron was hot

  17. (Someone will be punished) if we don't quickly deal with the poor sales of our product.

    (a) Someone will fill the bill (b) Someone will get a break (c) Someone will deliver the goods (d) Heads will roll

  18. Gas and oil was (in less than the amount needed) during the busy summer season.

    (a) in short supply (b) in stock (c) in the works (d) filling the bill

  19. The (amount of sales) of computers increased by 25 per cent last year.

    (a) write-off (b) turn-over (c) calculated risk (d) double-check

  20. We closed the store early in order to (count the number of items we had).

    (a) take stock (b) run short (c) buy out (d) gain ground