Top 10 Idioms used in Business Communication1
Verbal Communication Vocabulary

Top 50 Idioms used in Business Communication

Idioms are more commonly used in informal communication. Additionally, they are most commonly used in oral communication between two or more individuals. In this post, we will introduce you to some of the most used idioms in business communication.

On back burner (about an idea, a plan) left for the present time, to be done or considered later;

in the (right) ballpark (used about a price, an amount)approximately right or acceptable: if you said five million you’d be in the right ballpark;

go/get back to basics – to think about the simple or most important ideas within a subject or an activity instead of new ideas or complicated details;

do battle (with somebody) – to argue or be in competition with somebody;

beat somebody at their own game – to do better than somebody in an activity in which they think they are strong;

be/go on the block – to be sold or to stop somebody from being able to remove money from their bank account;

be above board – to be legal and honest;

at/on call – if your money is at/on call with a bank, you can have it when you like, but you must warn the bank first;

cash down – with immediate payment of cash (ex. We paid 100$ cash down.);

hold/keep something in check – to keep something under control so that it does not spread or get worse;

behind closed doors – with only particular people being allowed to attend or know what is happening;

cut a deal – to make an arrangement with somebody;

a done deal – a plan, an agreement, or a project that has been completely arranged and agreed;

be on edge – to be nervous or uncertain;

bring/put something into effect – to cause something to come into use;

without fail – when you tell somebody to do something without fail, you are telling them that they must do it;

by/under/on false pretenses – by claiming that something is true which is not, especially in order to gain some advantage for yourself;

get/be given/have the floor – to get/be given/have the right to speak during a formal discussion;

foot the bill – to be responsible for paying the cost of something;

front of mind – if a brand or product is front of mind, it is one that people are very aware of and will name first when thinking about a particular type of product;

garbage in, garbage out – used to express the idea that if wrong or poor quality data is put into a computer, wrong or poor quality data will come out of it;

drive/run/work somebody/yourself into the ground – to work somebody/yourself so hard that they/you become very tired and unable to work;

get/have a handle on something – to get/have the information that you need to in order to deal with something;

hedge your bets – to reduce the risk of losing or making a mistake by supporting more than one side in a competition, an argument;

on hold – delayed until a later time or date or if a person on the phone is put on hold, they have to wait until the person that they want to talk to is free;

bring home the bacon – to earn money for your company, your family, to be successful;

to go/turn hostile– to try to force the sale of a company against the wishes of its directors, by offering to buy large enough quantities of share from its shareholders;

for information only – written on documents that are sent to somebody who needs to know the information in them but does not need to deal with them;

jump ship – to change the organization that you are loyal to;

make a killing – to make a lot of money quickly;

be on line – to start to operate; to become available or to be connected to a computer or internet;

lose face – to be less respected or look stupid because of something you have done;

make your numbers – to achieve the figures that have been predicted;

keep an open mind – to be willing to listen to or accept new ideas or suggestions;

open doors for somebody – to provide opportunities for somebody to do something and be successful;

come into operation – to start working, to start having an effect;

in order – that can be used because it is all correct and legal;

at the owner’s risk – used in formal notices to say that the owner of something and not anyone else is responsible for any loss or damage;

be on the same page – if two or more people or groups are on the same page, they work together and have the same goal;

take part in something – to be involved in something;

in the pipeline – something that is in the pipeline is being discussed, planned or prepared and will happen or exist soon;

point of contact – a place where you go or a person that you speak to when you are dealing with an organization;

out of pocket – having lost money as a result of something;

point of contact – a place where you go or a person that you speak to when you are dealing with an organization;

keep something posted – to regularly give somebody the most recent information;

give somebody the push – to be dismissed from your job;

at the front/back of the queue – among the first or the last people to do something;

at random – without thinking or deciding in advance what is going to happen;

in/with reference to – used to say what you are talking or writing about;

be of service – to be useful or helpful;

You are free to use the above idioms in your business communication!

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