Can you use the phrase: "great move" instead of the phrase "good job" or vice versa?

Are "good job" and "good work" similar phrases?

  • Sure, if you're playing chess. – HaL Apr 15 '11 at 16:48
  • Please do not make ninja edits that change much of what you're asking; if you wanted to ask on the similarities of "good work" and "good job" you should have opened another question. Anyway, "good work" and "good job" are very much synonymous. – Uticensis Apr 16 '11 at 3:44
  • Sorry. My main question was about great move and good job. No one talked about great job so I don't understand how this affected the question. – Imageree Apr 16 '11 at 22:37

No, great move isn't really synonymous with good job. The latter is often used in English to express approval of another's efficacy in accomplishing a goal, to say something like "job well done." If someone said the former phrase to me though, I'd interpret move there as it is found in the phrase making moves, which I'd define as "an action that puts one in a superior position", which itself probably comes by analogy to life as a game. Also, it should be noted that context will determine what the speaker thinks of as "superior." This is hard to digest simply from definitions, so an example will better illustrate:

Say Ebenezer Scrooge were speaking to Bill Gates on his decision to give away most of his fortune before his death. If he is careful in giving away his fortune, via a well-managed vehicle like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ebenzer might say to Bill, "good job" -- as he accomplished his goals, by giving away his money carefully -- but it's rather unlikely he'd say to Bill, "great move," as he wouldn't see Bill's giving away money as putting in him what he'd consider to be a "superior" position.

On the other hand, if Mother Teresa were speaking to Bill Gates on his decision to give away most of his money, she would be one to say "great move" -- because the primary goal of her life was to eliminate poverty, care for people, etc. -- and "good job".

"Great work" is synonymous with "good job." So I guess the point of all my rambling was to say that "job" and "move" are certainly not synonymous.

  • 1
    +1 Good points, -1 Bad example, since Mother Theresa perpetuated poverty. slate.com/id/2090083 – Ed Guiness Apr 15 '11 at 10:20
  • @Ed Guiness Yeah, I've read -- and agree with some -- of the arguments that Mother Teresa wasn't as saintly as she's portrayed. But she'd definitely to many people's if you'd asked them to give just one example of the prototypical saintly person. Really, I'm just using her image, not speaking to her qualities as she really was. – Uticensis Apr 15 '11 at 10:23
  • Examples worked but your closing statement, "they're synonymous" does not. Your examples showed how they were different. Yes, they have similarities, but I don't find them synonymous; one can't replace one with the other in most cases. – Mitch Apr 15 '11 at 13:35
  • @Mitch Did you see that the closing sentence was synonymizing "great work" and "good job", not "great move" and "good job"? – Uticensis Apr 15 '11 at 14:53
  • ....hm...no, I did not notice that. I thought you were making a closing statement about what you had previously said, when instead you were comparing something new that looks quite like what came before. – Mitch Apr 15 '11 at 15:25

I would avoid "great move" (as someone in his 30s) for its potential to be sarcastic. "Good job" is praise, and synonymous with "nice job", "well done", or even simply "nice". "Great move" is what I would say to a close friend who had just tripped on the curb.

  • +1 for pointing it out, but (as another person in his 30s) sometimes I use it in all seriousness. – narx Oct 8 '11 at 19:26

I think "great move" may be used in a situation, where the thing that happened can be regarded as a "move" at all. For example, one had a choice between doing and that. And suddenly he does something completely different, which was very smart. And we say "great move".

Whereas "good job" is just something which is well done at all.

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