“Making Heads or Tails of Idioms” Newsletter. Volume 1. Issue 3.
Original Release: 10/11/2010
What was said? My golden handcuffs are really tight.
Did someone really say that? Yes – Kari said it to me when talking about our jobs… and it’s one of my corporate phrase flashcards (a gift from Chloe)!
What does it mean? A series of raises, bonuses, etc., given at specified intervals or tied to length of employment so as tokeep an executive from leaving the company. Basically monetary incentive to stay at one’s job i.e. salary + benefits + perks that will be forfeited if the employee resigns.
Origin: In Beware of the Golden Handcuffs, the phrase “Golden Handcuffs” was applied to traditional jobs, not just those with stock options or super lucrative deals. The idea is that one is locked down to his/her job and is “handcuffed” per say. The idiom dates back to the 1976 (according to Meriam-Webster Dictionary of Idioms) and was stated by John Steinbeck, who described San Francisco as a ’golden handcuff’ without a key.
Beware of the Golden Handcuffs: http://www.ratracetrap.com/the-rat-race-trap/beware-of-the-golden-handcuffs.html
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