pen pusher

(redirected from the pen pusher)

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 ?
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.
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.
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.
The pen pushers in Whitehall who made that decision, despite appeals from high-ranking army officers, should hang their heads in shame.
If it wasn't for the British Army's ability to make a big bang, the pen pushers of Brussels would be
So, a plea to the pen pushers -let us take responsibility for our own actions.
The 18 year old landed in hot water with the pen pushers of the Scottish Golf Union for his silly schoolboy prank.
...REINSTATE Dr Mattu and sack the pen pushers. We need him much more than we need them.
The campers won that round, but the pen pushers were back the next day with a tape measure.
And surely the men and women who are at the sharp end of the healing business are worth more than the pen pushers?