Business Jargon – part 1


“Language is essentially tribal, so jargon can actually be a really good thing because it unites people.” Susie Dent


A-ha moment: is a phrase used to describe an important revelation.


Bandwidth: it means they don’t have the present time or resources. Try not to use this jargon if the topic is related to information technologies because its meaning in computer networks may confuse others.


In the loop: is the act of being given important information or knowledge on a particular subject. Keeping someone in the loop refers to updating them or adding to the proper communication channels.


Silver bullet: is a simple and effective solution to a problem or challenge.


Chief, cook, and bottle-washer: a person who holds many responsibilities.


A straw-man (or straw-dog) proposal is a brainstormed simple draft proposal intended to generate discussion of its disadvantages and to provoke the generation of new and better proposals..


Table the conversation: is the act of pausing a discussion with the possible intention of never returning to it again.


Gain traction: means “to gain popularity or win support.”


Double-click: means “explore,” “discuss further,” or “deep-dive.”


Mind your own business!: it suggests that a person should stop interfering in what does not affect themselves.


Fess up!: confess/admit what you did; tell the truth about what you did.


Press on!: keep doing what you need to do; don’t give up.


Mission critical: is a phrase to emphasize the importance of something, whether it’s the key factor in determining a successful project or an individual’s quality of work for a specific client.


Circle back: refers to temporarily pausing a conversation or discussion and returning to it at a later time.


Knee deep: used by companies and businesses when they’re currently stuck in an unfortunate situation.


Reinvent the wheel: refers to creating a product or tool that already exists to help you accomplish something. However, the phrase is most often used by businesses to describe a labor-intensive task.


Hard stop: refers to a specific time when a meeting or discussion needs to end.


The 9-to-5: business jargon meaning a standard workday.


Corner case: refers to a situation that happens when numerous variables occur simultaneously at extreme levels.


The long tail: the opposite of the mass market. Economically, it’s where giving consumers highly individualized choices is more valuable than producing hits or blockbusters. For example, 3 or 4 big Hollywood movies have huge weekend audiences, whereas Netflix has thousands of titles and releases original content frequently.



Line of work: the principal activity in your life that you do to earn money.

Emphasize: give special importance or prominence to (something) in speaking or writing.

Knowledge: facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.




Fess up: an informal way to say “confess” – admit that you did something bad or wrong.

“My sister was hesitant to talk about the stupid thing she did with my dress, so I told her to fess up.”


Tell (someone) off: say exactly what you think about that person (when you have a negative opinion of them).

“Did you keep quiet or tell him off?”


Not let on: not allowing other people to know about something. It is almost always used in the negative when someone is trying to hide their emotions or keep some fact secret.

“My boss was furious, but she was trying not to let on because she was with her little boy.”


Want to practice even more?..