Workplace jargon

"Workplace jargon" is a term used in the United Kingdom to describe the often needless and/or meaningless sentences and phrases used by both managers and colleagues in the workplace instead of plain English.

It is also known as "corporate speak", "corporate nonsense" and "buzz phrase" in the UK, where these three phrases have a slightly different meaning to the U.S. interpretation and Corporate speak.

Recent investigations have shown that many employees would prefer needless workplace jargon to be removed altogether. Investors in People went so far as to say that this kind of jargon is damaging to UK business.[1]

It has become popular in the UK to carry out a form of Buzzword bingo called Jargon Bingo using workplace jargon or to compare the phrases heard during a workday or in meetings. It is also popular for employees in the UK to create new jargon phrases in order to mock colleagues and managers who use them in their everyday communications and/or meetings.

Marketing speak refers to particular patterns of language often used to promote a product or service to a wide audience by seeking to create the impression that the vendors of the service possess a high level of sophistication, skill, and technical knowledge. Such language is often used in marketing press releases, advertising copy, and prepared statements read by executives and politicians. Marketing speak is characterized by its heavy use of buzzwords, neologisms, and terms appropriated from specialized technical fields which are eventually rendered almost meaningless through heavy repeated use in inappropriate contexts.[citation needed]



  • land and expand - a strategy to sell a small solution and then grow it within the clients environment
  • create the storyboard - outline what the solution will look like
  • cover all directions of the compass - trying to make things acceptable for all stakeholders
  • power to the elbow - getting additional backup information to make your case stronger
  • blue sky thinking - Idealistic or visionary ideas - not always with practical application (source: BBC)
  • off the shelf - buying in a product or service already completed
  • touch base - a desire to meet up with a colleague to discuss progress
  • 50,000 foot view - highest management overview
  • 30,000 foot view - program management view
  • in the weeds - view by staff who actually do the work
  • deep dive - getting into the detail
  • have the vendor in our pocket - keeping a vendor / contractors paid
  • we need one belly button to push - a term used to describe reducing the number of suppliers
  • eat our own dogfood - use the same product that is sold to your customers, especially if it's a bad product (from Eating one's own dog food)
  • joined up thinking - discussing the viewpoints of each organization and coming to an agreement or compromise
  • end user perspective - what a customer thinks of a product or service or how they feel having to or after using a product service
  • singing from the same sheet music - showing a united front or everyone understanding and saying the same thing to customers or service users
  • pushing the envelope - going outside normal boundaries to achieve a target or goal (such as exceeding specifications)
  • win-win solution - providing a product or service which makes everyone happy
  • in the loop - knowing what's going on and being kept informed
  • pick the low-hanging fruit - going for the easiest option
  • raft of measures - a collection of proposals or schemes
  • under-pinning - the foundations of an idea, which helps another connected scheme or proposal
  • hub - an idea which other ideas are linked to
  • moving forward - making progress on an idea or scheme
  • Unique selling proposition (USP)
  • Lean forward and Lean back media


  • BBCi (2006) "Workplace jargon isolates staff" [2]
  • IVP (2006) Press release: Investors in People 15th Anniversary IVP
  • Reef Business Information (2006) "Managers unable to communicate with staff," Personnel Today


  1. ^ [1]

See also

External links

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