Let’s take a look at some of the most dynamic business idioms used in English.


Don’t forget to click on the links at the bottom for the rest.


meaning – owe lots of money, have lots of debt
example – There are lots of debt-ridden countries in the world.

business idiom - debt-ridden

deep pockets

meaning – have lots of money
example – We can’t spend too much on advertising. We’re a new business with not very deep pockets.

business idiom - deep pockets

diamond in the rough

meaning – top quality but needs a polish/refinement
example – I went to a gig last night; the singer was a diamond in the rough.

business idiom - diamond in the rough meaning

do a roaring trade

meaning – sell lots of goods very quickly
example – Our cheese stall did a roaring trade at the summer fete. We sold out within two hours.

business idioms in English - do a roaring trade

dog-eat-dog world

meaning – ruthless unethical behaviour used to become successful in the working world
example – Being a banker is a dog-eat-dog world. I’m thinking of quitting for the simple life.

business idiom list - dog eat dog world

donkey work

meaning – the hard/boring work
example – Once all the donkey work is out of the way, we can relax a bit.

business idioms in English - donkey work


meaning – periods of time when production/machinery/equipment is stopped
example – If we buy two brand new machines, we’ll reduce downtime by 17%.

business idioms and expressions - downtime meaning

draw a line under

meaning – agree not to discuss/think about a particular issue and forget about it
example – I wish Mike and Lilly would draw a line under their silly feud.

business idiom - draw a line under meaning

draw first blood

meaning – the first person to score/succeed/attack
example – The greens have drawn first blood, this is going to be one hell of a match.

business idioms in English- draw first blood

drive a hard bargain

meaning – be good at negotiating for one’s own gain
example – Don’t pay more than £400. That shop has a reputation for driving a hard bargain.

business idioms list - drive a hard bargain

drop someone a line

meaning – contact someone by phone or writing
example – Alex said drop him a line if you want to do something this weekend.

business idioms and expressions - drop someone a line

drop the ball

meaning – make a mistake, neglect someone/something
example – I dropped the ball! The buyer pulled out last minute, I’m in big trouble.

drop the ball meaning and example

dummy run

meaning – a practice/trial before the real thing
example – We did a dummy run, but it didn’t work.

business idioms and expressions - dummy run