Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
1. slang A flatterer. That guy is always quick to help the boss with any little thing—what a cookie pusher!
2. slang A lazy person. Well, you're quite the cookie pusher today! Have you even gotten off the couch once?
3. slang A waitress. Has our cookie pusher brought the check yet?
4. slang A diplomat. Is it true that that guy's a cookie pusher? I didn't know he worked for the government.
1. Someone whose work is primarily to do with filing, filling in, or reviewing paperwork; a bureaucrat. Sometimes hyphenated. I just got sick of being a paper pusher, so I quit my job and moved to Thailand to surf and teach English. I know being married to a paper pusher can't be terribly exciting, but at least she's got a stable, well-paying job, right?
2. A bureaucrat, especially one who adheres inflexibly to the details of the bureaucracy or administrative procedure. Sometimes hyphenated. He's just a paper pusher—he can't get anything changed about the way the government collects your taxes. Ugh. I've got some paper-pusher looking over my case at the moment, and she's being so anal about over little detail!
3. dated One who writes bad or dishonored checks, especially out of habit or as a criminal profession. Sometimes hyphenated. Apparently there's been a paper pusher passing through the state, depositing bad checks on Fridays and then skipping town before the banks are open on Monday. He was a paper-pusher for a while back in college. Nothing too serious, mostly just did it to pay for groceries or school supplies when he was low on cash.
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.
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!
slang Someone, especially a medical doctor, who is authorized to prescribe medication. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Being a psychiatrist is about a whole lot more than being a pill pusher—medication should be the very last resort when treating a patient. You shouldn't go to some pill pusher every time you have a cough. You're body doesn't need all those drugs in it.
slang Low-level drug dealers who sell directly to customers in public, as on street corners. I was a street pusher for a number of years, as it was the only work anyone could get in our neighborhood at the time. You're never going to wipe out drugs in this city if you're only arresting junkies and street pushers.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
a pen pushermainly BRITISH or
a pencil pusherAMERICAN or
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
1. n. a bootlicker; someone who flatters other people for self-serving motives. When you’ve got a whole office full of cookie pushers, there’s always someone to take you to lunch.
2. n. a lazy do-nothing. I’m just looking for a cookie pusher to fire today.
1. n. a bureaucrat; a clerk in the military services; any office worker. (see also pencil-pusher.) If those paper-pushers can’t get their work done on time, make them stay late.
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!
pill-pusherand pill-roller and pill-peddler
n. a nickname for a physician. I went to the infirmary, but the pill-pusher wasn’t in. The lousy pill-roller just gave me some aspirin.
n. a drug dealer who works hard to establish new addicts and customers. (see also push.) That pusher over on Eighth Street was just mobbed by a group of angry parents.
n. a drug dealer who works at the retail level on the streets. It’s the street pushers who take the risk and end up doing a few months in the pen.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.