In my native language, we use 'dry' as an adjective for job. I searched "dry job" in Google and Google Scholar and I guess this usage is not common or appropriate in English. Please tell me whether use of 'dry' in this context sounds natural or not. Also I'm very willing to know other adjectives that collate with job with a close meaning. I know the obvious ones like boring but I want it to be more close to dry.

Update: Thanks to @Jeff comment, it really helped when I thought about the meaning of 'dry' in my language context. A 'dry job' means a job that involves almost no flexibility not just in terms of job schedule, but you can't use your imagination or creativity to change things there. It's always the same and usually there is some authoritative belief or force to maintain this state in the job. Some clerk, military, or manual jobs look like this. With this little thought about the meaning I've came to the words 'rigid' or 'inflexible' but I don't think they can be readily used with 'job'. I would like a combination of 'rigid' and 'boring' if there were any word for that. Thank you all for reading my obsessions about words!

  • 4
    Please describe what the meaning of "dry job" is, in context. It might also help if you would identify your native language; idioms that have the same literal translation in English may not have the same meaning. Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 14:09
  • 1
    I don't think there are any English idioms relating to jobs that draw on the metaphoric associations of dry in this way. We'd use it like that when talking about a dry speech (a boring speech/address/presentation), but not with a job. Consider using a completely different approach, such as McJob (but note that's more about the job being "undemanding", with few prospects for advancement, rather than boring. Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 14:45
  • Wet work is assassin work
    – Placidia
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 14:55
  • 1
    A somewhat tongue-in-cheek suggestion: Look up jejune, which this Merriam-Webster article describes as one of the most puzzling candidates in vocabulary tests. While it may be fitting, it's unlikely your audience will actually understand it. ;-)
    – Stephie
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 18:26
  • 1
    You may want to consider "monotonous" among the candidate words. Google's auto-suggestions regarding the phrase "a monotonous job" seem appropriate for your purpose. It literally means unchanging in musical pitch, but it's a common metaphor for any lack of change (especially when it inspires a lack of interest) and it collocates well with "job", "task" and "work". Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


You are correct that "Dry job" is not a used idiom in English. Words that we would use to describe a job that is "rigid" or "inflexible" include:




Repetitive (Similar to boring but related more closely to "dry")



The man's job as a clerk was very repetitive.

The woman's strict occupation as a military personnel was unchanging.(Occupation is another word for job)

Being a dentist is a monotonous job.

This is my first time answering a question, so I hope I helped. :)

  • Welcome to SE @Ben. Your answer was really of help to me
    – Ehsan88
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 7:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .