20 Important Business English Idioms & Phrases

In this article, we will discuss 20 Business English idioms, expressions, and phrases that are populary used in an American business context.

Word: Think Outside The Box

Definition: To think innovatively or creatively.

Example: We need to start thinking outside of the box to beat our competitors.

Word: Right The Ship

Definition: When designing a system, this is the expected path a user will follow.

Example: The user did not follow the happy path, but unexpectedly clicked on a button at the bottom of the page. When the user clicked the button, the site didn't work as expected. We only tested the happy path, but we should have considered what would happen if the user did something else.

Word: Don't Try to Boil the Ocean

Definition: When a person has a request for another person to do something.

Example: When you have time today, I have an ask for you. I need to get a link updated on our marketing site. Please let me know if that is possible to get done.

Word: Heads Up

Definition: The suggested date to complete a task. There are less risks for missing a soft deadline than a hard deadline.

Example: The editor suggested a soft deadline of January for completing the book and submitting the draft, so there was ample time to edit and review changes.

Word: Virtual Offsite

Definition: A team building activity held over a video call.

Example: During the pandemic, there were less opportunities to bond as a team. The manager decided to host a virtual offsite where the team took a cooking class together. This was an opportunity for the team to connect socially.

Word: Zoom Fatigue

Definition: When a person is tired of joining video calls for work.

Example: During the pandemic, many employees at the company had Zoom Fatigue because they had to attend several video calls a day while still getting their work done.

Word: Jump On A Call

Definition: Join a conference call or a video call for a meeting.

Example: Let's wrap up this meeting soon. I have to jump on a call with a potential customer to demo our product and answer any questions the customer might have.

About This Site

Jargonism is a Business English dictionary. You can learn about words and phrases that are commonly used in the workplace like "Circle Back", "Thought Leader", and "Offsite". On each word page, you will see related words and also a map that shows the popularity of the word or phrase by country.

On this site, we also have examples on how to communicate effectively in different work situations, such as requesting PTO, declining a promotion, and taking a sick day.