English slang business that you did not know

In our story, let’s talk about business jargon in American English. In addition to the words and expressions that our English textbooks are rich in, I will propose a number of new turns that you are unlikely to find there. Why? Simply the creators of textbooks have not yet had time to make such words in the business vocabulary registers. Well, let’s deal with it.

I’ll start with a personal story. During my stay in the US I had to work in two companies. I immediately noticed that “white-collar workers” use certain expressions only in the work environment – in conversations with colleagues at work and in e-mail.

In e-mails we see familiar cuts:

ASAP – As Soon As Possible

B2B – Business to Business model

B2C – Business to Customer – model for a business to a private person

FYI – For Your Information

TBA – To Be Announced

TBC – To Be Confirmed

WoW, MoM, YoY – Week on Week, Month on Month, Year on Year

YTD (Year To Date) – from the beginning of the year

24/7 – a type of service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

1-on-1 or one-on-one – a meeting with your supervisor or colleague to discuss any workflows.

Then there are a number of business expressions that you can hear from your American colleagues. Notice how they are used in the examples.

Despite the fact that connoisseurs of English consider such expressions as chancery, they should be known and be able to use correctly. They will be a valuable vocabulary for those who work in English-speaking companies.

Pay attention to explanations and explanations. Here you will find additional nuances about the new vocabulary. And the meanings of some expressions can be a revelation for you!

More than 50 new English business expressions

Apples and oranges

Explanation: Used when comparing things that can not be compared. Synonym: not apples to apples

Do not compare these two projects. These are apples and oranges.

Back burner – letters. rear burner – means: postpone for later

Explanation: Usually the rear burner is smaller and it is used less often. Hence this meaning.

Let’s put this idea on the back burner and get back to it later. – Let’s postpone this idea and return to it later.

Bandwidth – time, resource

Their team does not have enough bandwidth to take on a new project. – Their team does not have the opportunity to take on another project.

Boil the ocean – impossible

Explanation: A literal translation of “boiling the ocean” speaks of the inability to perform such an action.

Taking on this job is like boiling the ocean. – Do not take this job – it can not be overpowered.

CYA – “cover your ass”

Explanation: In order not to blame the decision or action on oneself, many Americans are asked to give permission in writing. If anything, there will be proof of their innocence. That is, the ass is covered – no one will see her!

Debrief – give information to superiors or colleagues, usually after a meeting or event.

After you meet with this client, please debrief me. – Please make a report after the meeting with the client.

Deliverable – word meaning work or work done

Mention the expected deliverables at the end of your proposal. – Indicate the expected results at the end of your proposal.

Double dip – use the system twice. For example, to receive a salary and a pension at the same time. This person is a double dipper.

Feedback – a reaction to something, an opinion on something

Please, provide your feedback about the meeting. – Please share your opinion about the meeting.

Fine-tune – fine-tune details, bring to mind

The work has been done, but it will take us two more days to fine-tune everything. – The work is done, but we need two days to refine the details.

Functional – working

This is a functional feature. – This is a working function.

Hands-on – motivated, participating

The converse is:

Hands-off – not participating, not showing motivation

Resource – worker, employee

Resources – Workers

Explanation: Unfortunately, people are mistaken for a resource in work, not for a person.

Implement – do

Implementation – the process of work

What are you busy with? – I am implementing your recommendations. – What are you doing? – I follow your recommendations.

Incentivize – motivate

Incentive – motivation

I do not know how to incentivize my workers to be more productive. – I do not know how to motivate my employees to become more productive.

Laundry list – list of works for execution


To-do list or just to-do-list of tasks or jobs

Yes, I’ve included my task in my to-do. – I included this task in my work list.

Methodology – method

Explanation: By the way, use this word, not just “method”

What’s your methodology? – Tell us about your mode of work.

Motivationally deficient – lazy, without motivation

Explanation: Here on the face of political correctness – lazy people are not usually called those in person!

On the fence – two values: 1) did not dare 2) do nothing

This guy has been on the fence for 3 years now, but is getting his pay diligently. – He does not do anything for 3 years, but earns a salary.

Phase in – start

Phase out – end, stop

This feature of the product will be phased out soon. – We will soon stop supporting this feature of the product.

Program – any initiative can be called program

I started a new program of helping poor families. – I started work on the initiative of helping poor families.

Reskilling – retraining courses, retraining

We needed more funds to reskill the workers who were laid off. – We need more finance to send the retired for retraining.

Target – goal (plan)

What’s our revenue target this semester? – What is your revenue plan for this quarter?

Time frame – time period, interval

ETA – estimated time of action – approximate time for completion of work

Trickle down – stimulate

Trickle-down effect – stimulating effect

Underutilized – rarely used

His skills are underutilized in the company. – The company does not use all its capabilities.

Visualize is an abstruse way of saying “see”

I can not visualize your ideas. – I can not understand your ideas.

Window of opportunity is a good opportunity

This window of opportunity opens once in a lifetime. – This opportunity happens once in a lifetime.

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