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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

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

pill pusher

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.
See also: pill, pusher

cookie pusher

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.
See also: cookie, pusher

paper pusher

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.
See also: paper, pusher

street pusher

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.
See also: pusher, street

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

cookie pusher

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.
See also: cookie, pusher


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.
2. n. someone who passes bad checks. (see also paper, paper-hanger.) The bank teller spotted a well-known paper-pusher and called the cops.


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!


and 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.

street pusher

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.
See also: pusher, street
References in periodicals archive ?
We want to notify all these cart pushers that their activities are illegal in Lagos.
We cannot just catch these Chinese drug pushers and deport them back to China.
The first involves a pusher application while the second shows the benefits of a full-size syntactic plug.
The second sight pusher I tried was Meprolight's Universal Sight Installation Tool.
The new system needs less maintenance and permits greater speed control than the older pusher does.
The Super Pusher is currently the biggest load mover in the Nu-Star range of pedestrian operated electric tug units which can move wheeled loads ranging from 500Kg to over 100,000Kg.
A private pusher can't force children to take drugs by telling them that they will otherwise be torn from their families.
Unlike traditional horizontal beam saws that have a pusher equipped with multiple grippers in fixed positions to accommodate complex cutting patterns, the PM System employs two types of optimized, self-positioning grippers.
New positioning control system on pusher arms enables American Airlines to avoid baggage loading delays.
He said that Sub-Inspector Muhammad Hanif from Khanna police station arrested a drug pusher Qaisar Khan during special checking and recovered 1040 grams hashish from him.
Some 46 users and pushers were also arrested while one pusher was killed relative to the province's intensified campaign against illegal drugs.
The newly developed Variopush Packa Pusher avoids this problem by pushing the packs in load-independent mode.
Hanson Building Products has recently taken delivery of a Nu-Star extra high torque Power Pusher at their site in Elland Halifax.