Business Idioms – Practice Test Questions with Answers

Business Idioms

In the dynamic realm of business, effective communication is paramount. Not only does it facilitate the exchange of ideas and information, but it also fosters strong professional relationships and drives organizational success. Within this landscape, idiomatic expressions play a significant role, offering colorful and concise ways to convey complex concepts and experiences.

Choose the correct idiomatic word or expression in (a), (b), (c) or (d), for each of these sentences.

1. When a project goes wrong or fails, we can say that it:

(a) puts its foot in it
(b) goes belly up
(c) sticks its oar in
(d) gets its knickers in a twist

2. We sometimes say that people who compete for success in business or in a career are working for the:

(a) horse race
(b) dog race
(c) rat race
(d) camel race

3. The practice of transferring a difficult, incompetent or non-essential employee from one department to another is known informally as a:

(a) weasel waltz
(b) turkey trot
(c) cat calypso
(d) rabbit rumba

4. We might refer to a bad employer with a reputation for losing talented staff as:

(a) a people churner
(b) a people mixer
(c) a people stirrer
(d) a people beater

5. The sudden moment that you realise you have made a terrible mistake is known as:

(a) an ohnosecond
(b) a gordonbennettminute
(c) a whoopsadaisyinstant
(d) a hellsbellsmoment

6. If you do a lot of different types of work in an office for very low pay, you could be referred to (unkindly) as:

(a) a pig in a poke
(b) the cat’s whiskers
(c) a a gift horse
(d) a dogsbody

7. When an employee telephones to say that s/he is not coming to work because s/he is ill, but in fact is only pretending to be ill, we say that s/he is throwing:

(a) the book at someone
(b) a wobbly
(c) a punch
(d) a sickie

8. If an employee gets very angry at work because of something bad or unpleasant that happens, we can say that they are experiencing:

(a) office anger
(b) work rage
(c) shopfloor strops
(d) workplace wobblies

9. If an employee is deliberately or accidentally excluded from decision-making processes, they might complain that they are being left:

(a) out of their mind
(b) out of the blue
(c) out of their head
(d) out of the loop

10. Work that offers the same money for less effort than another similar job is often known as:

(a) a cushy number
(b) a doddle
(c) a pushover
(d) child’s play

11. When somebody is dismissed from their job, we can say that they have:

(a) got the shoe
(b) got the sandal
(c) got the boot
(d) got the slipper

12. If you criticize somebody in writing, we can say that you them.

(a) pencil-smack
(b) pencil-thrash
(c) pencil-punch
(d) pencil-whip

13. A general or broad view of a problem as a whole (which does not go into details) is known as:

(a) a bird’s-eye view
(b) a helicopter view
(c) a mountaintop view
(d) a balloon view

14. The lazy practice of working only when a supervisor is present and able to see you is called:

(a) lip service
(b) hand service
(c) nose service
(d) eye service

15. If your job is unpleasant, you might say that you have:

(a) a nose job
(b) a job lot
(c) a jobsworth
(d) a mushroom job

16. If you consider your job to be silly, trivial and unimportant, you might describe it as:

(a) a Tom and Jerry job
(b) a Mickey Mouse job
(c) a Homer Simpson job
(d) a Donald Duck job

17. A lazy employee who only pretends to work is said to be:

(a) swinging the lead
(b) swinging a cat
(c) swinging the balance
(d) swinging both ways

18. A new product (especially a new car) that has some major defects is known as:

(a) an orange
(b) a raspberry
(c) a melon
(d) a lemon

Correct Answers:

  1. goes belly up
  2. rat race
  3. turkey trot
  4. a people churner
  5. an ohnosecond
  6. a dogsbody
  7. a sickie
  8. work rage (also called desk rage when applied to people working in an office)
  9. out of the loop
  10. a cushy number
  11. got the boot
  12. pencil-whip
  13. a helicopter view
  14. eye service
  15. a mushroom job
  16. a Mickey Mouse job
  17. swinging the lead
  18. a lemon
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