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pencil whip

1. To complete a form or record, especially a checklist, without doing the work required or by providing falsified or incomplete information. It has come to light that the safety supervisor aboard the oil rig had been pencil whipping his observational reports for several weeks leading up to the disaster.
2. To approve such a form without actually verifying that the contents are accurate or properly completed. We're supposed to fill out a detailed checklist after each shift, but I know my boss just pencil whips them.
See also: pencil, whip

pencil neck

1. A particularly weak, meek, or unimpressive person; a wimp. No little pencil neck like you is going to give me orders, pal!
2. A person who is very inclined toward academic or intellectual pursuits. I always made sure to make friends with the pencil necks in my math classes so they would help me out with the homework.
See also: neck, pencil

pencil-necked

1. Particularly weak, meek, or unimpressive; wimpy. No pencil-necked twerp like you is going to give me orders, pal!
2. Very inclined toward academic or intellectual pursuits. I always made sure to make friends with the pencil-necked geeks in my math classes so they would help me out with the homework.

pencil pusher

One who has a boring, meaningless office job. Primarily heard in US. I refuse to be a pencil pusher the rest of my life. I have big dreams and goals!
See also: pencil, pusher

in pencil

written or signed with a pencil. Why did you write your report in pencil? You can't sign a check in pencil!
See also: pencil

pencil someone or something in

to write in something with a pencil. (Implies that the writing is not final.) This isn't a firm appointment yet, so I will just pencil it in. I penciled in a tentative answer.
See also: pencil

pencil somebody/something in

also pencil in somebody/something
to have a temporary plan to do something with someone The team had penciled in Morton as a key player this season. I penciled you in for lunch next Thursday.
Etymology: based on the idea that a pencil mark can easily be removed or changed
See also: pencil

put lead in your pencil

  (British humorous)
to increase a man's sexual ability You should eat a few oysters - that'll put some lead in your pencil. (British humorous)
See also: lead, pencil, put

a pen pusher

  (British & Australian) also a pencil pusher (American)
someone who has a boring job in an office He's a frustrated desk-bound pen pusher who dreams of trekking through jungles. (British & Australian)
See also: pen, pusher

put lead in one's pencil

Enhance or restore sexual vigor, as in Try one of these hot peppers; that'll put lead in your pencil. This phrase, a euphemism for causing an erection, is considered far more vulgar than the contemporary synonym put hair on one's chest, alluding to a secondary male sex characteristic. [Colloquial; c. 1900]
See also: lead, pencil, put

pencil in

v.
1. To write something in with a pencil: The assistant penciled in the editorial changes on the manuscript. After the teacher reviewed my test, I penciled the corrections in.
2. To schedule something tentatively: The secretary penciled in a staff meeting for 3:00. The band penciled a rehearsal in on Friday.
3. To schedule a tentative appointment with someone: We penciled him in for lunch next Monday. The interviewers penciled in the applicant for the end of the week.
See also: pencil

have lead in one’s pencil

1. tv. to be vigorous and active. (Widely known phrase. Not taboo.) Your problem, Tom, is that you should have more lead in your pencil. You just don’t have the stamina.
2. tv. to have an erection of the penis. (Usually objectionable.) Due to his drinking habits, he never has any lead in his pencil.
See also: have, lead, pencil

pencil-pusher

n. a bureaucrat; a clerk; an office worker. (see also paper-pusher.) Look here, you lousy pencil-pusher, I want to talk to your boss!
References in classic literature ?
He opened the pocket-book at a new page, and gave the inexhaustible pencil another preliminary lick.
The moment he saw me, he pulled out the pocket-book and pencil, and obstinately insisted on taking notes of everything that I said to him.
At about six o'clock of the morning, therefore, I leaned over her and touched her lips with mine, just as they said, not stopping for being touched, "Take the pencil and write under my name, 'I forgive her.
Holmes was so charmed with one of them that he insisted on drawing it in his notebook, broke his pencil, had to borrow one from our host and finally borrowed a knife to sharpen his own.
My fertile pencil has delineated the characters I met with, at that period of my life, with a force and distinctness which my pen cannot hope to rival--has portrayed them all more or less prominently, with the one solitary exception of a prisoner called Gentleman Jones.
A lady was seated at the table with my pencil in her hand, writing in my sketch-book!
The foreman seated himself near the candle, produced from his breast pocket a pencil and scrap of paper and wrote rather laboriously the following verdict, which with various degrees of effort all signed:
A sudden thought struck her, and she took hold of the end of the pencil, which came some way over his shoulder, and began writing for him.
In return for this Schulenberg was to send three meals per diem to Sarah's hall room by a waiter--an obsequious one if possible--and furnish her each afternoon with a pencil draft of what Fate had in store for Schulenberg's customers on the morrow.
The third support, placed at the apex of the triangle, was a lead pencil.
The pencil dropped, and we had to replace it in the hand.
Under the suspended pencil in his fingers lay other sheets of paper, blank--his sermon to be.
Grewgious, with a sense of not having managed his opening point quite as neatly as he might have desired, smoothed his head from back to front as if he had just dived, and were pressing the water out--this smoothing action, however superfluous, was habitual with him--and took a pocket-book from his coat-pocket, and a stump of black-lead pencil from his waistcoat-pocket.
The only noticeable thing about this brief communication was that it was written in yellow pencil of a peculiar shade.
This Wakem was a pale, puny fellow, and it was quite clear he would not be able to play at anything worth speaking of; but he handled his pencil in an enviable manner, and was apparently making one thing after another without any trouble.