(to) run some ideas by someone
to discuss some new ideas
EXAMPLE: Our R&D department has some ideas about how to make our products safer. They'd like to meet this afternoon to run some ideas by us.
NOTE: You will also hear the singular form: to run an idea by someone.
(to) keep an open mind
to be ready to accept new ideas and experiences
EXAMPLE: Cathy's new boss starts next Monday. She's heard he's very difficult to work with, but she's trying to keep an open mind.
nothing is set in stone
nothing is decided yet; things can still be changed
EXAMPLE: If you don't like the new product design, we can still change it. Nothing is set in stone yet.
to think up new ideas; to generate new ideas in a group
EXAMPLE: When the company started losing market share, the president called a meeting to brainstorm ways to turn around the business.
NOTE: There is also the expression "brainstorming session," in which a group gathers to come up with new ideas or to solve a problem.
a stupid or impractical idea or suggestion
EXAMPLE: I can't believe we paid that consulting company so much money. We wanted them to help us grow our business and all they did was give us a bunch of half-baked ideas!
(to) throw cold water over (an idea, a plan)
to present reasons why something will not work; to discourage
EXAMPLE: Pat presented her boss with a plan to expand their busi¬ness into China, but he threw cold water over her plan and told her to just focus on developing business in the United States.
NOTE: You will also hear the variation: to throw cold water on.
on the right track
proceeding in a good way; going in the right direction
EXAMPLE: After years of struggling, Apple Computer is now on the right track by focusing on innovative products like the iPod.
(to) generate lots of buzz
to cause many people to start talking about a product or service, usually in a positive way that increases sales
EXAMPLE: Procter & Gamble generated lots of buzz for its new
toothpaste by giving away free samples to people on the streets
of New York City.
NOTE: "Buzz" is a popular word for "attention."
icing on the cake
an additional advantage; when one good thing happens, then another good thing happens along with it
EXAMPLE: Alison won $2 million in a sexual harassment lawsuit against her employer. And here's the icing on the cake: her company will have to pay all of her legal fees too!
NOTE: Icing is the creamy glaze put on top of a cake to decorate it and make it sweeter. The cake is already good enough — putting icing on top is something extra which makes it even better.
an arm and a leg
a lot of money
EXAMPLE: Jack always flies business class to Asia. The plane tickets cost an arm and a leg!
(to) plug (a product)
to promote a product; to talk positively about a product
EXAMPLE: American Express often hires famous people to plug their credit cards. No wonder people pay attention to their ads!
(to) twist somebody's arm
to convince somebody; to talk somebody into doing something
EXAMPLE: Ben didn't want to go to the company Christmas party this year, but Amy twisted his arm and he ended up having fun.
(to) run with an idea
to proceed with an idea
EXAMPLE: After much discussion, the language school decided to run with the idea of offering a free class to each potential client.
(to) flesh out something
to elaborate on something; to add more detail to a plan; to think in more detail about something
EXAMPLE: I like your idea of moving our manufacturing facility to China, but your plan doesn't have any details. Please flesh out your plan and present it at our board meeting next month.
(to) touch base with someone
to get in contact with; to make brief contact with
EXAMPLE: "Hi, it's Andy calling from City Style magazine. I'm just touching base with you to see if you want to buy an ad."
a slogan; a phrase used to promote a product
EXAMPLE: Meow Mix, a brand of cat food, has one of the best taglines in history: "Tastes so good, cats ask for it by name."