Let’s take a look at some of the most popular business idioms starting with P.

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

par for the course

meaning – what is normal/typical/expected
example – Dropping out of college is a par for the course these days.

business idioms and expressions in English - par for the course

pass the buck

meaning – shift the responsibility or blame to another person
example – The politicians are passing the buck, no one wants to take responsibility for the recession.

business idiom - pass the buck

pat on the back

meaning – praise for doing something good
example – Well done class, you all passed the test. Give yourselves a pat on the back.

business idiom - pat on the back

pedal to the metal

meaning – do something very quickly or drive fast
example – We need to put the pedal to the metal if we want to get this order out on time.

business idiom - pedal to the metal

pen pusher

meaning – an office job involving paperwork
example – I’m fed up of pen pushing, I need a fun job.

business idiom - pen pusher

pick someone’s brains

meaning – ask someone for information, advice etc.
example – We need to pick your brains about travelling Europe. Are you free later?

business idiom - pick one's brain

pick up steam

meaning – start working faster/more efficiently
example – The business has picked up steam pretty quickly. We’ll soon be able to expand at this rate.

business idioms list - pick up steam

pie in the sky

meaning – a good but unrealistic idea
example – The chairman thinks we can raise the money. I think it’s pie in the sky.

business idiom - pie in the sky meaning

pipe dream

meaning – a fantasy plan that is unlikely to happen
example – A few years ago, performing a head transplant was a pipe dream, now it’s reality.

business idiom - pipe dream

pitch an idea

meaning – offer ideas to be discussed
example – I pitched a few holiday ideas to the missus, but she didn’t like any of them.

business idiom - pitch an idea

plain sailing

meaning – smooth and easy
example – Our relationship hasn’t been plain sailing, but we love each other.

business idiom - plain sailing

play ball

meaning – cooperate
example – My ex isn’t playing ball. I’m going to have to involve my lawyer.

business idiom - play ball

play hardball

meaning – be ruthless and do anything necessary to get what you want
example – Let’s play hardball with the suspect. We need to find out where he dumped the body.

popular business idiom - play hardball meaning and example

play it by ear

meaning – don’t follow a plan, deal with things as they happen
example – I’m not sure who should run with the project, we’ll just play it by ear.

business idiom - play it by ear

poker face

meaning – an expressionless face to hide your true emotions
example – Make sure you use your poker face, we don’t want the bank to know we’re going bankrupt.

business idiom - poker face

pull a rabbit out of the hat

meaning – suddenly do something clever
example – England will have to pull a rabbit out of the hat if they want to win the FIFA World Cup this year.

business idiom - pull a rabbit out of the hat

pull one’s weight

meaning – do one’s fair share of the work
example – If Damien doesn’t start pulling his weight, I’ll evict him.

Business idioms and expressions - pull one’s weight

pull the plug

meaning – stop something happening/continuing
example – My landlord pulled the plug on my poker nights. The neighbours started complaining.

Business idioms and expressions - pull the plug

put on the map

meaning – a person/company/brand/country etc. becomes well-know/famous
example – A food critic gave my restaurant rave reviews, he’s put me on the map.

business idiom - put on the map

put something on hold

meaning – pause, postpone something until a later date
example – We’ve put the project on hold until we get more funding.

business idiom - put on hold

put one’s cards on the table

meaning – be honest and open about one’s feelings/ideas/intentions
example – He put his cards on the table and told me he didn’t love me anymore.

Business idioms and expressions - put one’s cards on the table

put the brakes on

meaning – slow down/stop a vehicle/an idea/progress/an activity
example – We need to put the brakes on our spending if we want a bigger house.

business idiom - put the brakes on

Did you enjoy learning popular business idioms? I thought so! Click the links below to learn some more.