Animals probably do not belong in the workplace . . . but why are there so many English business idioms with animals? It seems as if animals are the perfect way to express some of the situations and experiences in business. Want to learn about English business idioms with animals? Keep reading! How many of these can YOU use in your workplace, or in the CISL Business English classroom?
English business idioms with animals
Definition: a market in which share prices* are falling, encouraging selling
Example: They are predicting a bear market the end of this year.
*shares are the pieces of a company that are owned by the public. When people buy and sell on the stock market, they are buying and selling “shares.”
Definition: a market in which share prices are rising, encouraging buying
Example: Because of the bull market this month, we invested heavily in three new technology companies.
Definition: someone or something that makes a lot of money for a business, organization, etc.
Example: She owns a yoga studio, but her real cash cow is the studio’s cafe, which earns most of the profits.
Definition: a person who is extremely zealous about performing duties and volunteering for more
Example: He was an eager beaver when we first hired him, but lately he’s been much less productive.
Definition 1: a wealthy contributor to a political campaign fund
Example: The politician invited all of the fat cats to his fundraiser in the hopes that they would contribute to his future campaign.
Definition 2: a wealthy and privileged person
Example: All of the fat cats from Wall Street live in this neighborhood.
Definition: one that is weak or that falls behind in ability or achievement; an ailing company (used more commonly in British English)
Note: a “lame duck” is also used in politics to refer to the last few months of a President’s term before the new President takes over.
Definition: the largest portion of something
Example: We take the lion’s share of the profits and invest them back into the company.
Example: We made a huge sale today! I gave the lion’s share of the credit to my business partner because she did most of the work.
Definition 1: playful tricks or jokes
Example: No monkey business while the boss is gone!
Definition 2: illegal or improper activity or behavior
Example: They looked at the company’s portfolio, and it seems as if there is some monkey business happening in accounting.
Definition: a person, group, or thing in a position of authority especially through victory in a hard-fought competition
Example: My second interview with the company is tomorrow, and it’s with the top dog. I’m nervous!
All photos from Pixabay except “Charging Bull,” which is from Flickr.