pen pusher

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pen pusher

One who has a boring, meaningless office job. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Gary was tired of being a pen pusher, so he decided to quit and start his own business.
See also: pen, pusher
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a pen pusher

mainly BRITISH or

a pencil pusher


a paper pusher

COMMON If you describe someone as a pen pusher or a pencil pusher, you mean that they have a boring office job and do not make any important decisions. People who used to be called administrators, and perhaps seen as just pen pushers, have been transformed into senior managers. Many of the men who now sit on company boards are pencil pushers with qualifications from top schools, but lack experience in business. Note: In both American and British English, you can also call someone a paper pusher. I didn't want to be just another faceless paper pusher. Note: You can refer to office work as pen-pushing, pencil-pushing, or paper-pushing. You can also say that office workers push papers or push pens. I want our police officers freed from paper-pushing. I'm very thankful that I can make a living from my art, rather than working as a waiter or pushing papers eight hours a day.
See also: pen, pusher
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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References in periodicals archive ?
Not some Premier League pen pusher with an ironed crease in his cords.
They have now changed to the pen pusher and cheap foreign goods, dumped the working man, imploded the wages of the pen pushers allowing them to run riot with the country's wealth.
We need more money for desperately needed equipment instead of this pen pusher mentality or bureaucratic red-tape, which spends unnecessary funds on mountains of paperwork, while cutting down an Amazon forest in the process.
Why can't we have a REAL policeman as chief constable,not some graduated pen pusher?We supply the money that is squandered on his huge salary, so we deserve better.
Promoted from pen pusher to super spy when all the other agents are killed, Johnny English is baffled when clues lead to a respected entrepreneur.
PEN PUSHER Corrie Street's Chloe Newsome stops mid-autograph.
'Manager' on the other hand conjures up a pen pusher with a clipboard and a time and motion sheet who spends their time calculating how long it is before I can be turfed out of the ward, open backed gown flapping in the breeze.
Another pen pusher in the capital received a 15 per cent rise to take his pay to pounds 150,000.
Their disciplinary board should be sacked and replaced with experienced personnel who have worked their way through the ranks, not some pen pusher whose only hazard in his working day is a paper cut.
The previously untouchable SFA chief executive is the subject of much discussion among disgruntled SPL big wigs determined to give the prehistoric pen pusher the boot.
What a sad indictment of the pen pushers in Whitehall that see a can of dog food as too expensive for our canine heroes who risked so much so that our young lions could come home.
They say they want the cash to get "beyond the pen pushers and out to the real people" Ring-fenced grants are provided to help councils deliver services including concessionary bus fares, youth work and blue badges.
These people are no more than pen pushers and are not qualified in taking decisions that affect people's income.
Pen pushers in AMBER RUDD'S Department Of Energy and Climate Change have been given a guide - to opening doors.
I can no longer rely on a bus and have to hail a taxi as the times are no good too me and the new buses are hopeless for the disabled like me, why don't she and the pen pushers get out and see the misery they have caused.