Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Objective Proficiency p 47. Money Idioms. Extra Vocabulary

Continuing our occasional series on idioms that relate to the world of business, we look this week at phrases that express something about money.
There are a number of phrases relating to making money (and not all are admiring). A (1)__________ cow is a product or an area of a business that a company can rely on because it always makes money. The money made is often used to support other business activities: The credit card had become the bank’s (1)______ cow. A person or company’s main way of earning money may be described as their bread and (2)__________They provide legal advice for companies – that’s their bread and (2)________. In UK English, a way of earning money that is very easy, needing little effort, may be referred to as money for old (3)_______ or money for (4)________A lot of people assume that buying and selling property is money for old (3)__________. Similarly, on hearing about an easy job that earns a lot of money for someone else, someone might say humorously, Nice (5)________ if you can (6)________ it! Eighty pounds an hour for rubbing someone’s shoulders? Nice (5)_______ if you can (6)________ it!
Other phrases simply mean ‘to earn a lot of money’ –  for example, the expression to rake it (7)______ (informal)They’ve started selling ice cream in the main square and they’re raking it (7)______. Another informal phrase meaning the same is to make money hand over (8)________Business was good and we were making money hand over (8)___________.
A company or person in business that keeps their head above (9)_______ only just earns enough money to keep going: At the moment, we’re only just managing to keep our head above (9)______. A business that is in the (10)________ has money in its account whereas a business that is in the (11)________ owes money to the bank: Three years later, we’re finally in the (10)_______, I’m happy to report.
A company that (12)________ corners, meanwhile, does something in the cheapest and fastest way, usually resulting in a product or service of poor quality: They certainly don’t (13)______ any corners – only the best materials go into making the products. Finally, if a company’s profits suddenly fall very badly, they may be said to (14)_______ a nosediveThe company has just announced its final results: pre-tax profits have (15)________ a nosedive.

KEY
Continuing our occasional series on idioms that relate to the world of business, we look this week at phrases that express something about money.
There are a number of phrases relating to making money (and not all are admiring). A(1) cash cow is a product or an area of a business that a company can rely on because it always makes money. The money made is often used to support other business activities: The credit card had become the bank’s (1) cash cow. A person or company’s main way of earning money may be described as their bread and (2) butterThey provide legal advice for companies – that’s their bread and (2) butter. In UK English, a way of earning money that is very easy, needing little effort, may be referred to as money for old (3) rope or money for (4) jamA lot of people assume that buying and selling property is money for old (3) rope. Similarly, on hearing about an easy job that earns a lot of money for someone else, someone might say humorously, Nice (5) work if you can (6) get it! Eighty pounds an hour for rubbing someone’s shoulders? Nice (5) work if you can (6) get it!
Other phrases simply mean ‘to earn a lot of money’ –  for example, the expression to rake it (7) in (informal)They’ve started selling ice cream in the main square and they’re raking it (7) in. Another informal phrase meaning the same is to make money hand over (8) fistBusiness was good and we were making money hand over (8) fist.
A company or person in business that keeps their head above (9) water only just earns enough money to keep going: At the moment, we’re only just managing to keep our head above (9) water. A business that is in the (10) black has money in its account whereas a business that is in the (11) red owes money to the bank: Three years later, we’re finally in the (10) black, I’m happy to report.
A company that (12) cuts corners, meanwhile, does something in the cheapest and fastest way, usually resulting in a product or service of poor quality: They certainly don’t (13) cut any corners – only the best materials go into making the products. Finally, if a company’s profits suddenly fall very badly, they may be said to (14) take a nosediveThe company has just announced its final results: pre-tax profits have (15) taken a nosedive.

Related vocabulary:
gold mine: a business or an activity that makes a large profit. E.g. This restaurant is a potential gold mine.


kill the goose that lays the golden egg/eggs: (saying) to destroy something that would make you rich, successful, etc. E.g. If you sell your shares now, you could be killing the goose that lays the golden egg. Fred's wife knew he wasn't happy in his job, even though it paid well; still, she felt that advising him to leave it would be killing the goose that laid the golden eggs.

easy money: money that you get without having to work very hard for it. E.g. This business provides quick and relatively easy money


next to no money: E.g. good food and beer for next to no money. This guy travelled the world with next to no money.  All of these projects are being made with little or next to no money at all.  

for a song: very cheaply; at a low price. E.g. She bought the painting for a song. The property is going for a song because they need to sell it fast.

pay, earn, charge, etc. top dollar: (informal) pay, earn, charge, etc. a lot of money. E.g. If you want the best, you have to pay top dollar. We can help you get top dollar when you sell your house. fetch top dollar (the painting fetched top dollar at auction).
bit on the side: money earned outside one's normal job. ‘I'd like to make a bit on the side.’
moonlight: to have a second job that you do secretly, usually without paying tax on the extra money that you earn. E.g. He spent years moonlighting as a cab driver.

 

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