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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Office Animals 4


Talk about the picture above. What Is needed for using this "tool" well?


Let's continue talking about strange animals in the office.

Following are slang words to describe six office jobs. Match the job title to the job:

1. know-it-all
2. rep
3. straight shooter
4. stuffed shirt
5. VIP
6. wheeler-dealer

a. a pompous or boring person
b. a well-known abbreviation for someone important
c. a short word for a salesperson
d. an honest or direct person
e. someone who negotiates freely and well
f. someone who acts smarter than others


1. know-it-all (f): someone who knows everything--or thinks he does. This is usually derogatory.
2. rep (c): short for "representative." Can also be used as a verb, in which case it means, "represent": "He reps for several artists."
3. straight shooter (d): an honest or direct person
4. stuffed shirt (a): a pompous and/or boring person
5. VIP (b): a "Very Important Person." It is also used as an adjective: "VIP Service," "the VIP Lounge," etc.
6. wheeler-dealer (e): somebody who negotiates freely and well. We sometimes see it as a verb: "He's been wheeling and dealing for hours."


Use each of the above terms in one of the following sentences. Be sure to use the correct form.

1. Bob won't lie to you; he's a real __________.
2. I can't relax when I'm with Archibald; he's such a __________.
3. I hate asking Scott questions; he's such a __________.
4. Martin is the __________ for several artists in New York.
5. Send Christopher into the talks; he's a real __________.
6. We need to have a special room for receiving __________.


If you can, try to talk about these questions in English with a friend. If not, try writing your answers.

1. In what ways does a person become a VIP in your country?
2. Do you know any "stuffed shirts" or "know-it-alls"? How do you deal with them?
3. Make up a story about a "typical day" in an office, using these terms.


1. straight shooter; 2. stuffed shirt; 3. know-it-all; 4. rep; 5. wheeler-dealer; 6. VIPs

This lesson is ©2012 by James Baquet. You may share this work freely. Teachers may use it in the classroom, as long as students are told the source (URL). You may not publish this material or sell it. Please write to me if you have any questions about "fair use."

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