Boost Your Vocabulary: Learn 12 Impressive Idioms to Impress Your Colleagues


Are you looking to take your language skills to the next level? If so, then learning idioms can be a great way to impress your colleagues and sound more fluent. Idioms are expressions that have a figurative meaning, often rooted in cultural or historical references. In this article, we’ll explore 12 impressive idioms you can use today to elevate your vocabulary. Whether you’re looking to improve your language skills for work or personal growth, these idioms are sure to make an impact. So, let’s dive in and discover how you can boost your vocabulary with these impressive idioms.

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1. Not on my watch

The following text seems to explain a new business English idiom. You might hear this phrase in a disapproving or even threatening tone. It indicates that something will not happen while that particular person is in charge because they will not allow it to.

Example: Sarah believes she can take a longer lunch break than the rest of us; however, she is not on my watch.

2. Back to the drawing board

When a business plan or idea doesn’t work out, staying positive and focusing on finding a new solution is important. The phrase “back to the drawing board” encourages us to start fresh and be creative in developing a new plan or idea that can lead to success.

Example: Our attempt to attract new customers with a new range of steaks in our restaurant failed. We need to go back to the drawing board and come up with fresh ideas to increase our customer base.

3. To keep someone in the loop

To keep someone in the loop means providing regular updates on the progress of a project or situation.

Example: Let’s stay in touch after you talk to the client. Please keep me in the loop.

4. Cut the mustard

Did you know that “cutting the mustard” is more than just slicing through a yellow condiment? This popular idiom actually means meeting expectations or reaching the required standard. So, to impress others and achieve your goals, ensure you cut the mustard every step.

Example: John’s feasibility report lacked sufficient evidence to cut the mustard.

5. To spread yourself too thin

This suggests that you may have taken on too many tasks simultaneously and failed to make a noticeable positive impact on any of the projects.

 Example: I am unsure if we should proceed with the second exhibition; we have much to prepare for the first one and do not want to spread ourselves too thin.

6. A ballpark figure

When it comes to business, the cost of something is often a top priority. However, people usually demand this information before any proper data is available. This is where a ballpark figure comes into play. It is essentially an estimate or a rough guess of what something might cost based on all the information currently available at an early stage.

Example: I know you don’t have all the information, but can you give me a ballpark figure for the cost of building the new shopping plaza?

7. To be loaded

To be loaded is an informal idiom meaning wealthy. Synonyms include well-off and minted (UK).

Example: Our CEO is loaded! He lives in a luxurious bungalow.

8. To get the wrong end of the stick

This funny old business English idiom means you have completely misinterpreted the situation. 

Example: He didn’t discuss the project in detail. He only explained it to us verbally, so we got the wrong end of the stick.

9. To break the bank

Breaking the bank means spending a lot of money to the point where you have little money left. However, when used in a negated form, the idiom can express affordability or good value.

Example: The wealthy man purchased the entire empire at a reasonable price by breaking the bank.

10. Can’t make head nor tail of it

This idiom demonstrates a lack of understanding and confusion regarding the information presented.

Example: The client’s guidelines are redundant and confusing; I can’t make head nor tail of it.  

11. To do something by the book

When following procedures, it’s important to adhere to all rules and instructions, and you should also follow instructions to the letter.

Example: The officer worked very slowly and did everything by the book. We had to wait for a long time to receive our documents.

12. To get down to business

Getting down to business is an expression that means beginning a task or talking about a specific subject.

Example: Great, it looks like everyone has made it to our planning meeting. Let’s get down to business.


We hope that this article has been helpful to you in your quest to expand your vocabulary and impress your colleagues with your command of idiomatic expressions. Remember, mastering these idioms takes time and practice, but with dedication and persistence, you’ll soon be able to use them confidently and effectively in your conversations. Keep exploring new words and phrases, and never stop learning!

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