pen pusher

(redirected from pen pushers)

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
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
WITH regard to Joe Riley's column (ECHO Thursday, January 3) referring to Halton Council 'pen pushers'.
It seems that pen pushers (such as myself) are now in a tiny minority, a point made by Keith Hann in his column in The Journal on October 9.
This is the party that allowed mass immigration, flooded our NHS with pen pushers and paper clip counters and flooded our police force with community support officers.
We all cannot be pen pushers or bank managers, start at the bottom and prove yourself, work up the ladder.
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.
But Health Minister Mary Harney is still employing pen pushers to add to the already bloated management.
So, a plea to the pen pushers -let us take responsibility for our own actions.
This annual amateur poetry contest, provided by Pen Pushers Publications, began on Jan.
All of which raises the question why pen pushers at the top are getting richer while those on the medical front line are getting poorer.
We can also build up trading partners without having to abide by all the red tape thrust upon small businesses by non-job pen pushers in Brussels.