Learn 10 English Idioms about People at Work

22 Dec 2016 10:56 219
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Who's the head honcho in your company? Who's the smart alec? Find out the meaning of 10 commonly used business idioms referring to people at work. Be careful, though... you might learn what people have been saying about you or your colleagues!

Download the resource with even more workplace idioms: http://www.engvid.com/english-resource/50-english-phrases-idioms-to-describe-people-in-business/

Take the quiz on this lesson: http://www.engvid.com/10-english-idioms-people-at-work/


Hi. I'm Rebecca from engVid. In today's lesson you'll have a chance to learn 10 expressions that are used to describe people at work. Now, these are quite commonly used expressions by native English speakers, so if you work in an English-speaking business environment then it's quite likely that you will hear some of these expressions. Okay? Let's get started.

So, I've kind of divided them up for you. So, some of them are positive, some are negative, and some are neutral. What do I mean by that? It means: These people we are happy to meet, these people we are really not very happy to meet, and these people we just... Where it's okay, we're just using these expressions to describe them. Okay? We have no feelings, positive or negative. Okay.

So let's look at the people we are happy to meet. So, the first one is a "whiz kid". What's a whiz kid? A "whiz kid" is a term that we use to describe usually a young person who's quite brilliant, very intelligent, very successful, very talented, and you know that he's on a path to a lot of success. So, often we talk about like a computer whiz kid, a young person who's got lots and lots of talent. You probably know people like that. Okay? So that's a whiz kid.

Next. Next one is called an "eager beaver". An "eager beaver" is kind of a very hardworking, enthusiastic person. Maybe this person comes to work early and stays late, and they're always smiling and they're happy to do their work. That person is called an eager beaver. Now, I put that as a positive. Maybe some people don't like them, but generally speaking, people like them. Okay.

The next one is an "angel investor". What's an angel investor? Well, if you have a startup company or a new company that you want to start, you would love to meet an angel investor because this "business angel", as they're also known as, is someone who's usually rich and they're like a sponsor and they put money into your business. They are ready to invest money into your ideas, into starting your company, and so on. So these are called "angel investors". So if you want to start a business, you're probably going to be very happy if you meet one of these people. Okay?

Next, let's move over here to the people that we're usually not very happy to meet at work. The first one is called a "smart alec(k)". Who's a smart aleck? A "smart aleck" is somebody who thinks he or she knows everything. Have you ever met such a person? They are just so extra confident, and they tell you everything as if they know everything. And usually people aren't very happy to meet those kind of people too much. Okay? And they called them "smart alecks". Sometimes it's written: "alec" and sometimes "aleck", doesn't matter. Usually we don't write this word. We usually say it. Okay? "Oh, he's a smart aleck. He thinks he knows everything." Okay? That kind of thing.

Next one: "rotten apple". So, what's a rotten apple? If you can imagine a bag of apples and in the middle there's one that's not good. "Rotten" means bad, spoiled. So what will happen to all the other apples around that bad apple? Well, after some time all of them will start to go bad a little faster. Right? So when we call someone a rotten apple we're trying to suggest that this person has some rather unpopular, not very honest, is kind of dishonest, he's bad, he's corrupt, and he's also influencing people around him, his colleagues or workers to think or act in the same way. So this person is usually quite a troublemaker as far as the organization is concerned. Okay? So that's a rotten apple, a person who is kind of corrupt and has bad ideas, and is also influencing people around him or her in a negative way. Okay? You might know some people like that.

Okay, what's a "faster talker"? Well, it's not somebody who talks... Speaks very fast, no. When we say: "fast talker", we mean somebody who is very good at convincing people and persuading people, but he's not always... He or she is not always very honest or moral about it. He doesn't really care... This person doesn't really care if they're selling you something which is not good, or which is actually bad. They don't care. They may lie, they may present it as very good. They're very good at that, but they're not necessarily selling you something in your interest.

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