Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia.
1. Literally, to cook hamburgers, typically but not always as part of one's job at a fast food restaurant. (Cooking hamburgers often includes flipping them on a grill or flat top to ensure each side is cooked.) I spend all day flipping burgers, so I'm never in the mood to eat them when I'm not at work. Joe's out back flipping some burgers on the grill. If you're hungry, I can tell him to throw another one on.
2. By extension, to work at a job that is low-paying, monotonous, has few opportunities for advancement, and is below one's potential. If the phrase refers to a hypothetical job, it does not have to be limited to fast food. However, this phrase is not usually used to refer to an actual job if that job does not involve fast food or literally cooking hamburgers. I know you need cash, but I think you should focus your energy on finding a solid job rather than picking up a few bucks flipping burgers. A lot of people look down on flipping burgers, but that's where I started, and I've worked my way up to regional manager.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
tv. cooking hamburger patties in a fast food restaurant as an occupation that school drop outs end up doing. (An occupation that offers practically no opportunities for advancement.) Do you want to spend the rest of your life flipping burgers! Do your damn homework!
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.