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talk shop

to discuss work


talk shop = fachsimpeln, sich über die Arbeit unterhalten [bes. an einem unpassenden Ort]



"A reception on Tuesday, scheduled for 4-6 pm, will give manufacturing professionals in attendance the chance to TALK SHOP and network with other professionals and representatives of the sponsoring organizations."

Manufacturing Engineering Magazine

Did you

to talk shop (to shoptalk)

- discuss matters concerning one’s work, especially at a social occasion when this is inappropriate

- to talk about your job with those you work with when not at work

Oxford Languages / Cambridge Dictionary


This meaning of “shop” originated around the year 1814. It comes from the idea that many types of business occur in a shop or store. This is the meaning it takes in the idiom to talk shop, which originated around the year 1860.

The phrase is often used in a negative sense, as in “They were just talking shop the whole time”. The implication is that the speaker is bored with all of the talk about work.


1. to talk the hind leg(s) off a donkey = to talk a lot, usually about unimportant matters.

2. be all talk (and no action) = used to describe someone who talks a lot about something but rarely or never does it.

3. it’s like talking to a brick wall = used to say when someone doesn’t listen to what you say or doesn’t take your opinion into consideration.

4. talk nineteen to the dozen / talk a mile a minute = to speak in a very quick or hurried manner; to talk very fast.

5. talk to the hand = used to tell someone that you don’t want to listen to them so they may as well talk to your hand (shut up).

6. talk turkey = to have a serious discussion, especially in business.

7. pillow talk = intimate conversations between two people in a romantic relationship when they are in bed together.

8. chalk and talk = a style of teaching in which the teacher writes on a blackboard (with chalk) and lectures the class. This phrase is often used to criticize such traditional teaching methods.

9. talk like a Dutch uncle = to talk in a stern, frank, and candid manner.

10. talk until one is blue in the face = speak (about something) repeatedly and at length. Used especially when one is not being heeded or listened to.

SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“The team met at the pub after work. But as everyone was TALKING SHOP, I left early and went home.”

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