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 English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


from:  'above and beyond the call of duty'   to:  'golden handcuffs'

  • above and beyond the call of duty
    • If a person does something which is above and beyond the call of duty, they show a greater degree of courage or effort than is usually required or expected in their job.
      "The fire-fighter received a medal for his action which went above and beyond the call of duty."

  • back-room boys
    • The term back-room boys refers to people who do important work but have no contact with the public.
      "Back-room boys don't always receive the credit they deserve for their work."

  • brain drain
    • The departure of highly qualified people (scientists, engineers, etc.) for other countries, where they have better opportunities and usually better pay, is called the brain drain.

  • busman's holiday
    • A busman's holiday is when you spend your spare time or your holidays doing the same sort of activity as you do in your job.
      "My husband is a chef, so for him time off with the family is often a busman's holiday!"

  • cream of the crop
    • The expression cream of the crop refers to the best people or things in a particular group.
      "As usual, the cream of the crop of this year's graduates were offered the best jobs."

  • dead end job
    • A dead end job is a position with no prospects or opportunities for the future.
      "For the moment I'm stuck in a dead end job but I'm hoping to find something better."

  • dead wood
    • The term dead wood refers to people or things that are no longer considered useful or necessary.
      "The new manager wants to reduce costs by cutting out the dead wood."

  • on the dole
    • A person who receives financial assistance from the government when they are unemployed is on the dole.
      "Their father is on the dole so the family is living on a tight budget."

  • dream ticket
    • If you refer to two people as a dream ticket, you think they would work well together and be successful.
      "Two world champions teaming up for the children's fund-raising project would be a dream ticket."

  • duty bound
    • If you are duty bound to do something, you are required to do it as part of your obligations.
      "Teachers are duty bound to report a pupil's absence from school."

  • eager beaver
    • The term eager beaver refers to a person who is hardworking and enthusiastic, sometimes considered overzealous.
      "The new accountant works all the time - first to arrive and last to leave. He's a real eager beaver!"

  • earn while you learn
    • The expression earn while you learn refers to the possibility of earning a salary while in training.
      "Become an apprentice and get paid while in training. Earn while you learn!"

  • firing line
    • Someone who is in the firing line is in a position to be criticized because of their responsibilities or the position they hold.
      "The managing director of the bank is in the firing line since the fraud was discovered."

  • get the axe
    • If someone gets the axe, they lose their job.
      When a company is restructured, the senior staff are often the first to get the axe."

  • golden handcuffs
    • The term golden handcuffs refers to a large sum of money or a generous financial arrangement granted to an executive as an incentive to stay in their job, or to ensure long-term cooperation after their departure.

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