1. 800 pound gorilla - the biggest, most powerful group or company
Business English Expressions
Example: "If we follow our plan to make this new software, we're going to have a lot of competition, including from the 800 pound gorilla, Microsoft."
2. (a rising tide that) lifts all boats - something that helps all people or all groups
Example: "We're only number three, but the current economic growth will lift all boats, so we're sure to make a profit this year."
3. an old hand - a person who has long experience, especially in one place
Example: "He can help us set up a company in Beijing. He's been working in China for many years and speaks Chinese fluently. He's an old China hand."
4. at the 11th hour - very late, at the very last minute
Example: " ."
5. on a shoestring - with limited money
Example: "They started their company on a shoestring and built it up to one of the largest companies in the world!"
6. bring to the table - whatever you can possibly offer
Example: "I will meet with Teacher Joe's new company to show him what we can bring to the table."
7. carve out a niche - find a special market that you can control
Example: "To succeed in this competitive world, you have to focus on part of it. Try to carve out a niche and be number one in that are."
8. deep pockets - have a lot of money
Example: "If there is a price war, we won't win because we don't have deep enough pockets."
9. down time - when equipment of facilities are not available, so you cannot work
Example: "There will probably be a lot of down time at the conference, so I'm bringing a lot of paperwork."
10. (draw) a line in the sand - make final conditions that cannot be changed
Example: "We have to draw a line in the sand so they will see that this is really our final offer."
11. free ride - get benefit at no cost
Example: "Of course we should make them pay for our travel expenses. WHy should we give them a free ride?"
12. from day one - from the beginning
Example: "Teacher Joe has been providing the best English-learning web site from day one!"
13. get your foot in the door - have a small opportunity that can become a big opportunity in the future, if you do good work
Example: "Right now, I just want to get my foot in the door, so they can see what I can do. Next year I hope to start moving up in the company."
14. I need it yesterday - an informal way to say it is needed immediately
Example: "Can I send that report to you later this afternoon?"
"No! I need that report yesterday!"
15. a two-way street - both people or both groups can contribute or benefit from the situation
Example: "We want to help you, but we need your help too. It should be a two-way street."
will never fly - it won't be successful
Example: "We don't have to worry about their idea competing with ours. It will never fly."
17. it's a jungle out there - it's a difficult market with many, tough competitors
Example: "Do you think a new company can survise without a unique product? It's a real jungle out there!"
18. jump through hoops - trying very hard (like a dog doing tricks!)
Example: "He's a tough boss. All of his subordinates have to jump through hoops to prove their loyalty to the company."
19. put your cards on the table - be completely honest
Example: "I think it's time to put all of our cards on the table. Here's what we need..."
20. learning curve - how much time needed to learn something new
Example: "This new software has a long learning curve, so we have to give our staff enough time to learn how to use it well."