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20 Worst Business Buzzwords

20 Worst Business Buzzwords

Vicki Santillano | DivineCaroline

During a phone conversation with a friend the other day, I uttered the phrase “I’ll shoot you an email tomorrow.” Shoot you an email? Who am I, a yuppie stockbroker from the early ’90s? Somehow, though I’m not technically a part of the corporate world, its ridiculous lingo has entered my vocabulary (albeit ten years behind everyone else).

But “shoot” is where it ends, because most corporate jargon baffles me. Only in that world would phrases like “drill down” and “going granular” replace plain English. There are many confusing aspects of the business world, but with slang like this, it’s a wonder anything gets accomplished at all.

1. Back-of-the-envelope: calculations made haphazardly or informally. “Jim’s giving me back-of-the-envelope numbers, but I need concrete, exact figures.”

2. Bio break: a bathroom visit during business hours. “Sorry I’m late, guys. I had to take a bio break.”

3. Bleeding-edge: a concept or trend that’s so innovative and new, it goes beyond being cutting-edge. “This idea’s so bleeding-edge, the other guys won’t be talking about it until next year.”

4. Desk dive: the awkward bend to retrieve something that’s fallen or been placed underneath one’s desk. “When Jill dropped the almond under her desk, she sighed, adjusted her shirt and pants, and had to desk dive to retrieve it.”

5. Disintermediate: to take out the middleman. “There are too many people involved in this project, so let’s disintermediate a few of them to make work flow more smoothly.”

6. Drink from the fire hose: to take in too much information at once. “Sally drank from the fire hose with all those reports she read last night, so she can’t remember a thing.”

7. Drill down: to examine carefully. “After lunch, let’s drill down on this case and figure out what’s going on.”

8. Eat the frog: to finish a job you’ve been putting off because it’s annoying and/or frustrating. “I’ve been avoiding these TPS reports all week, but it’s time to eat the frog and get them off my desk.”

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  • Greceaaaa2_max50


    almost 3 years ago


    Nice meeting you here, how are you today i will want us to be friends contact me here with my e-mail address ( ) because i have a special reason why have contacted you so that i can send you my photos and also tell you more about myself here is my e-mail address( ) you can also drop me your email mail address i am waiting to get a reply from you remember that co-lour, language or age and distance does not matter but understand matters
    Yours New Friend
    Miss Grace

  • Kean_s_pics_2891_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    I actually like: "eat the frog"--how spot-on descriptive! and "eating your own dog food." Both images give new meaning to "bio break," don't they? And of course, "prairie-dogging"--instantly entertaining! I definitely can do without the rest of the terms and I've only heard them this once; "ad nauseum" --a classic "bio break" term--is how I'd feel having to hear them at work.

    One really descriptive but overused phrase not in this article is "end run," the partner to "Monday-morning quarterbacking."

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    almost 5 years ago

    Here's some jargon - WTF? The workplace nowadays seems more and more like - high school! Giving stupid things, stupid names is purposeful because why? Someone enlighten me (although I do not think there is anything you could say to change my mind!)

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