Writing for Business

Jul 2 2013   6:45PM GMT

Business jargon: Do you need a rainmaker or a purple squirrel?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?

interrobang The CEO sighed and shook her head. “Your whole department only brought in three new accounts last month. I need you guys to be  __________.”
a. rainmakers
b. purple squirrels

Answer: a.

A rainmaker is an employee who brings in an unusual amount of business or revenue. The reference is to the shamanic rainmaker of the Wild West who was contracted to make it rain in drought-plagued areas.

A purple squirrel, on the other hand, is that elusive creature: the perfect job candidate. Of course, the hiring manager will hope she becomes a rainmaker but she can’t start making it rain money until she’s hired.

See also: Purple squirrels, search virgins and morticians

twitter bird  Follow me on Twitter @tao_of_grammar

 Comment on this Post

There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.
Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.
Send me notifications when other members comment.

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Share this item with your network: