Idioms (J)

jack of all trades

meaning: a person who is skilled in many different areas and can do many different jobs (usually ‘practical jobs’ involving fixing or making things)

1. He is a good carpenter, plumber, and can even do fix the electrical problems. Basically, he’s a jack of all trades, and very useful to have around.

2. Whenever our apartment has a problem, the supervisor sends us this jack of all trades, who usually has no idea what he is meant to be doing and does a terrible job.

3. Max is a jack of all trades, and master of none.
jobs for the boys

meaning: jobs and high positions given to friends, old school mates, and other people who have connections

1. The Prime Minister went to Eton. The Head of the Treasury is an Oxbridge man. The new chief of police was his classmate, and the High Commissioner is the Prime Minister’s nephew. Basically, current government is all just jobs for the boys. We need a revolution.
join the club

meaning: ‘you are not the only person who thinks that; you are not the only person who has had that happen’ (spoken)

1. “I hate this job. This isn’t what I wanted to do with my life.”
Join the club.”

2. ‘She flirted with you, got what she wanted, and now doesn’t speak to you? Yeah, well, join the club. She does that with everyone.’
just what the doctor ordered

meaning: exactly what was needed at this time

1. That holiday was just what the doctor ordered. I’d been feeling a bit run-down lately.

meaning: a person new or late to a fashion

1. At first it was an interesting movement, filled with new ideas, but recently it was been diluted by a bunch of johnny-come-latelys who just want to be seen doing something fashionable.

2. “I want to keep this club exclusive. I don’t want it filled with any johnny-come-lately who wants to be seen somewhere expensive.”
John Hancock

meaning: your signature (American slang)

1. “If you can just put your John Hancock here, then we have ourselves a deal.”
John Q. Public

meaning; the average person; the general public (usually business speech when talking about what the average person thinks)

1. “The consultants think it’s a good idea to rebrand the company, but I think John Q Public might disagree. They trust this name. We just need better products.”
joined at the hip

meaning: to always be with someone

1. Ever since Dave arrived at the company, he and Phil have been joined at the hip. If you see one, then the other cannot be far away.
jump on the bandwagon

meaning: to agree with whatever is a popular opinion or fashionable, without giving it independent thought

1. It seems everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and saying their music sucks; but I still like them.
jump the gun

meaning: to start too early

1. “I think you may have jumped the gun a bit by leaving the company; recently things have improved there quite a lot.”
jump the shark

meaning: the moment something loses its edge or cool, and instead becomes safe, about the money, or deliberate (usually TV or media)

1. The Simpsons jumped the shark years ago. I can’t remember any of the recent episodes making me laugh at all.
jump through hoops

meaning: making people do annoying tasks and bureaucracy before they are allowed to get what they want

1. If you want to get a long-term visa for this country, the immigration department will make you jump through all sorts of hoops.

2. “I thought it would be easy to get this project started, but I’ve done nothing except jump through hoops for the last two months.”
just deserts

meaning: deserved reward or punishment for previous actions (usually punishment)

1. Usually I’m sympathetic to people who lose their jobs, but in this case I think Dave is getting his just deserts. Not only has he been lazy and wasting everyone’s time, but he has also been trying to steal customers for his own private business too.