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

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

screw up

meaning – do something bad or twist something into a smaller shape
example – I have screwed up the offer and thrown it away, it was way too low.

business idiom - screw up

seal of approval

meaning – proof something is acceptable
example – chief has given my project his seal of approval.

business idioms list - seal of approval

second nature

meaning – something that comes easily to you as you do it often
example – I wouldn’t trust a word he says. Lying is second nature to him.

business idiom - second nature meaning

see eye to eye

meaning – fully agree with someone
example – Me and my siblings see eye to eye about putting our great aunt into a home.

business idioms and expressions in English - see eye to eye

see something through

meaning – persevere, continue with something until it’s finished
example – I stared the project so I’m going to see it through.

business idiom - see something through

sell down the river

meaning – badly betray someone
example – We’ve been sold down the river. The bank told us our money was safe, but it’s all gone.

business expression - sell down the river meaning

sell like hot cakes

meaning – something will sell quickly and in large quantities
example – My collection of rare records sold like hot cakes. I made a mint.

business idioms list - sell like hot cakes

separate the wheat from the chaff

meaning – separate the good from the bad
example – My shed is full. I’m going to spend the afternoon separating the wheat from the chaff.

common business idioms - separate the wheat from the chaff

set the pace

meaning – determine the seed/rate
example – Ethel sold 20,000 units this week, she’s set the pace for the rest of us.

business idioms and expressions in English - set the pace meaning

set the record straight

meaning – give a truthful version of events
example – Everyone is saying I’m a cheater. I need to set the record straight, we’ve separated.

business idiom - set the record straight

settle a score

meaning – get revenge/punish someone
example – The reigning champion ha a score to settle with the youngster.

business idioms list - settle a score meaning

sever ties

meaning – end a friendship/partnership/relationship and stop contact
example – I don’t like the way he does business. I’ll be severing ties with him after this deal ends.

business idiom - sever ties

shape up or ship out

meaning – start improving/behaving or leave
example – My husband’s drinking is out of control. I told him to shape up or ship out.

common business idioms - shape up or ship out

shed light

meaning – clarify, help answer questions
example – Hopefully Max can shed some light on why there is money missing from my purse.

business idiom - shed light meaning

shoot someone/something down

meaning – reject
example – The council shot down plans for a new entertainment complex.

business idioms and expressions in English - shoot someone down

show someone the door

meaning – order someone to leave a place/job
example – I was too drunk last night, they showed me the door before midnight.

business expression - show someone the door meaning

show someone the ropes

meaning – teach someone how to do a particular job/task/activity
example – I’ve spent three weeks showing her the ropes but she’s still useless.

business idiom - show someone the ropes


meaning – cause someone to be distracted from what they’re doing
example – Turn the TV off! I don’t want Jacob to get side-tracked, he needs to revise.

business idiom - side-tracked

signed, sealed, and delivered

meaning – completed satisfactorily, a signed official/formal document
example – The contract has been signed, sealed, and delivered. That’s five new clients in a week.

common business idioms - signed, sealed and delivered

silent/sleeping partner

meaning – a person who provides money but is not involved in operating the business
example – A well-known businessman wants to be a silent partner in my restaurant.

business idioms list - silent/sleeping partner meaning

sing from the same hymn sheet

meaning – have the same opinions/understanding as others especially in public
example – The gunners were singing from the same hymn sheet last night securing them a 4-0 victory.

business idioms and expressions in English - sing from the same hymn sheet meaning

sink or swim

meaning – fail or succeed
example – I finally kicked my son out. His behaviour was terrible. It’s sink or swim now.

searched business idioms and expressions in English - sink or swim

sky’s the limit

meaning – anything is possible, there is no limit
example – Let’s jump on a plane and go somewhere, the sky’s the limit.

business idiom - sky’s the limit


meaning – increase very rapidly/steeply
example – If we leave the EU, prices will skyrocket.

business idiom - skyrocket

slack off/be a slacker

meaning – lazy, do less work
example – Leanne is such a slacker, she expects everyone else to do all the work.

business expression - slack off meaning

slave driver

meaning – a person who makes other people work very hard
example – I quit my job today, my boss is a slave driver.

business idiom - slave driver

slice of the pie

meaning – a portion of the profits
example – Our boss is great. We all get a slice of the pie, five extra days holiday.

business english money idioms - slice of the pie

small fry

meaning – unimportant/insignificant people or things
example – The managers will get a juicy bonus, the small fry will get nothing.

business expression - small fry meaning

small print

meaning – text written in small font in the hope it won’t be noticed
example – Make sure you read the small print before buying your holiday insurance.

business idioms and expressions in English - small print

small talk

meaning – casual/trivial conversation
example – Can you make small talk with the clients until we’re ready to start the meeting?

business idioms and expressions in English - small talk

stand one’s ground

meaning – face a situation bravely, don’t retreat
example – Stand your ground, the bullies will soon get bored.

business expression - stand one’s ground

state of the art

meaning – the latest technology, new, modern
example – I can’t wait to get my state-of-the-art kitchen fitted.

business sayings - state of the art

step up a gear

meaning – become more intense better
example – Francis needs to step it up a gear in the second set or he’ll be knocked out.

common business sayings - step up a gear

step up to the plate

meaning – come forward and take responsibility especially in times of crisis
example – Two employees have quit. I need everyone to step up to the plate to ensure orders are done.

business expressions list - step up to the plate meaning

sticky wicket

meaning – a difficult/delicate situation
example – I found myself on a sticky wicket. I got to the till and realised I had forgotten my wallet.

business idiom - sticky wicket


meaning – inundated, overwhelmed
example – I’ve been swamped for weeks at college. I can’t wait for a holiday.

business sayings - swamped

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