Push too many pencils

Anapieralski

New Member
Polish
Hello, what does this sentence

"Seems you've been pushing too many pencils"

mean? Could someone explain, please? I don't have a wider context...
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I don't have a wider context..
    Hi, Anapiralski, welcome to WRF. However, it is a poor welcome as I don't think we will be able to be very helpful. It is hard to overstate how important context is in English, and without context, it is impossible to give, or even guess at, the meaning.

    When you do have more context, post again. :thumbsup:
     

    Anapieralski

    New Member
    Polish
    Hmm, so perhaps it means that "you were too lazy moving papers on your desk instead of acting quick"? That could make sense, SimonTsai.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Anapieralski, can you tell us where you came across this sentence? Was it in a film or a story, for example? Who is speaking, and who is (s)he speaking to? What has the second character been doing? Has (s)he refused to agree to a request made by the speaker?

    It's this sort of information that we mean by "context":).

    ....
    Cross-posted
     

    Anapieralski

    New Member
    Polish
    Just a piece of text:

    "You think those calls are just shits and giggles?

    And you just respond to them whenever you feel like it?

    But boss, there's so much commotion in the streets…

    Seems you've been pushing too many pencils.

    Here you have to be faster…

    than shit through a goose!"
     

    Anapieralski

    New Member
    Polish
    Sorry, no more information available. Just this. But looking at this poor context I have just realized that I might have been right about my guess: it could mean "too much paperwork, not enough action". It seems to me, that a boss is talking to a subordinate officer or something like this.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It’s probably related to the term pen-pusher, meaning:
    A person with a clerical job involving a lot of tedious and repetitive paperwork.

    To “push too many pencils” does seem to be an established expression, famously used by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie “Predator”.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    In America, that same type of person is called a pencil-pusher.

    That's someone who has a desk job/bureaucratic job and doesn't do much "real" work, in the eyes of other people.

    The phrase in the OP is a reference to that but not a famous phrase in its own right.
     
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