64 Corporate Jargon Examples to *Unfreeze* Your Brain
Achieving Excellence

64 Corporate Jargon Examples to *Unfreeze* Your Brain

by Crossover
64 Corporate Jargon Examples to *Unfreeze* Your Brain
  • 64 Examples of Corporate Language You’ll Hear at Your Next Standup
  • Bookmark This List of Business Jargon

Examples of corporate jargon are everywhere. But when you work remotely, experiencing them in person is a whole different story. It's not like you can turn to your co-worker for clarification. Before you know it, the virtual call has ended and you’re not sure what to do next.

If you’ve ever heard something in a meeting that partially froze your brain – then you’ve been a victim of business jargon. 

When English isn’t your first language, these phrases can lead to a lot of head-scratching. So, we're going to decode these business buzzwords for you!

This article gives you the quick reference resource you need to navigate your next virtual meeting. Think of it as your survival guide to quickly and easily understanding these popular office jargon phrases – while remote. 

Keep it as your workplace jargon dictionary, alongside your cat.

The list comes in two parts: the real meaning of the phrase, and a fun one too. The latter is just for laughs.

Here are some of the most overused business terms and phrases in remote work today.

64 Examples of Corporate Language You’ll Hear at Your Next Standup

Have you ever been in a virtual meeting and suddenly the air is thick with buzzwords? The next time that happens, you’ll have this resource to chart your way through the verbal maze.

1.      Think outside the box 

  • What it means: Be creative, even if it's not traditional.
  • What it really means: Nothing we’re doing is working. Quick! Do something different!

2.      Let’s circle back

  • What it means: We'll discuss this later because I don't have an answer now.
  • What it really means: Let's put this in the too-hard basket and hope it disappears by itself.

3.      Synergy 

  • What it means: Working together, usually used to make teamwork sound fancier.
  • What it really means: Like teamwork, but with more steps and less understanding.

4.      Low-hanging fruit

  • What it means: Easy tasks that we can quickly tick off.
  • What it really means: The stuff that’s so easy, even your cat could do it. If it wanted to. Which it doesn't. 

5.      Touch base

  • What it means: I'll talk to you for a minute later.
  • What it really means: Like baseball but with less running and more emails.

6.      Deep dive

  • What it means: Look into this in way more detail than you have time for. 
  • What it really means: Put on your scuba gear we're going way past the point of no return.

7.      Game-changer

  • What it means: Something that might change our approach, but often doesn't.
  • What it really means: We’re changing from Monopoly to Scrabble halfway through the game.

8.      On my radar

  • What it means: I know about it, but I'm probably not doing anything about it yet.
  • What it really means: I see it, I acknowledge it, I'm actively ignoring it.

9.      Bandwidth

  • What it means: Do you have time or are you already swamped?
  • What it really means: Do I really have the mental space for this or is my brain already buffering?

10.  Leverage

  • What it means: Use something to our advantage.
  • What it really means: Making something seem way more useful than it is. 

11.  Move the needle  

  • What it means: Make a noticeable difference or change.
  • What it really means: If we don’t see results soon, we’re all fired. 

12.  Ping me

  • What it means: Send me a message or an email.
  • What it really means: I can’t think about it now, so remind me later. 

13.  Ecosystem  

  • What it means: The business environment or market we're dealing with.
  • What it really means: A jungle of business ideas where only the fittest survive.

14.  Paradigm shift  

  • What it means: A big change in how we think about something.
  • What it really means: When what you knew is no longer what you know.

15.  Take this offline

  • What it means: Let's talk about this privately, not in this meeting.
  • What it really means: Let's talk about this anywhere but right here, right now.

16.  Boil the ocean

  • What it means: Trying to do too much at once.
  • What it really means: Trying to do something as impossible as teaching a goldfish to bark.

17.  Peel the onion

  • What it means: Look into something in more detail, layer by layer.
  • What it really means: Uncover layers of this problem and cry a little while doing it.

18.  Disruptive

  • What it means: Something new that changes the usual way things are done.
  • What it really means: A fancy way of saying we want to be the wrench in the gears.

19.  Pivot

  • What it means: Change our strategy or direction.
  • What it really means: Everyone do a 180, right now!

20.  Run it up the flagpole

  • What it means: Let's see if the boss likes this idea.
  • What it really means: Let's see who salutes this potentially terrible idea.

21.  The 30,000-foot view

  • What it means: A high-level overview, lacking details.
  • What it really means: My plate is full, and I need context.

22.  It's on my plate

  • What it means: I'm working on it.
  • What it really means: It’s on my to-do list, like everything else.

23.  Ducks in a row

  • What it means: Everything is organized and ready.
  • What it really means: Everything is organized and ready enough, we hope.

24.  Core competency

  • What it means: What we're really good at.
  • What it really means: The one thing we never mess up.

25.  Value-add

  • What it means: An extra feature that provides more benefit.
  • What it really means: Something we want to charge extra for.

26.  Alignment

  • What it means: Making sure everyone agrees or is working towards the same goal.
  • What it really means: Everyone knows what to do, so no one will bother you for about 3 days.

27.  Bleeding edge

  • What it means: Newer than cutting edge, sometimes untested.
  • What it really means: It's so new, it might just cut your team in half (from failing).

28.  Reach out

  • What it means: Contact someone.
  • What it really means: Contact me via text only.

29.  Drill down

  • What it means: Go into more detail.
  • What it really means: We're mining for answers, but mostly just finding more questions.

30.  Scalable

  • What it means: Can be made bigger or more extensive easily.
  • What it really means: Can we make this mountain out of a molehill?

31.  Robust

  • What it means: Strong and effective, often overly complex.
  • What it really means: Complicated enough to sound impressive.

32.  360-degree thinking

  • What it means: Considering all possible perspectives and consequences.
  • What it really means: Spinning around in your office chair for inspiration.

33.  Par for the course

  • What it means: What's normally expected.
  • What it really means: Another day, another lunch with a golf buddy.

34.  Holistic approach

  • What it means: Considering everything in a situation.
  • What it really means: Looking at this total mess from every possible angle.

35.  Granular

  • What it means: In very detailed, specific terms.
  • What it really means: Getting so into the details, you're practically counting grains of sand.

36.  Going forward

  • What it means: From now on.
  • What it really means: Forget the past, this is our new reality.

37.  Onboard

  • What it means: Getting someone up to speed or part of the team.
  • What it really means: Time to break out the training manuals and documentation.

38.  Buy-in

  • What it means: Agreement or commitment from others.
  • What it really means: Convincing people this won't be a disaster.

39.  Take it to the next level

  • What it means: Improve or enhance it.
  • What it really means: Let's upgrade from chaos to organized chaos.

40.  Out of the loop

  • What it means: Not informed or involved.
  • What it really means: Where am I and what is happening?

41.  Best practice

  • What it means: The most efficient and effective way of doing something.
  • What it really means: The least worst way we do things.

42.  Win-win situation

  • What it means: Both sides benefit.
  • What it really means: Nobody's happy, but nobody's unhappy either.

43.  Hard stop

  • What it means: A non-negotiable end time for a meeting.
  • What it really means: The meeting ends here, or we all turn into pumpkins.

44.  Empower

  • What it means: Give someone the authority or resources to do something.
  • What it really means: You get to make decisions! (Sometimes).

45.  Innovative

  • What it means: A new idea, sometimes just a buzzword.
  • What it really means: It's never been done before because it's a little bit crazy.

46.  Key takeaways

  • What it means: The most important points.
  • What it really means: The three things you remember from the meeting.

47.  Action item

  • What it means: Task or assignment.
  • What it really means: Another task for your never-ending to-do list.

48.  Organic growth

  • What it means: Growth achieved through the company's own resources, or platforms.
  • What it really means: Growing without any additional expenses.

49.  Touchpoints

  • What it means: Moments of interaction or communication.
  • What it really means: Times we pretend to be interested in general feedback.

50.  Metrics

  • What it means: Numbers we use to measure something.
  • What it really means: Numbers we use to try understand WTF is happening.

51.  Optimize

  • What it means: Make something as effective as possible.
  • What it really means: Trying to improve without actually changing much.

52.  In the weeds

  • What it means: Lost in the details.
  • What it really means: Lost in the jungle of details.

53.  Strategic fit

  • What it means: How well something aligns with our goals and strategies.
  • What it really means: This puzzle piece will fit, even if we have to force it.

54.  Thought leadership

  • What it means: Being seen as an expert in a certain area.
  • What it really means: Hoping other leaders see you as one of them.

55.  Customer-centric

  • What it means: Focusing on customer needs and satisfaction.
  • What it really means: Going above and beyond for people who will still complain.

56.  Downsize

  • What it means: Reduce the number of employees, often a euphemism for layoffs.
  • What it really means: Your job could be on the line.

57.  Deliverables

  • What it means: The tangible or intangible results we need to produce.
  • What it really means: Stuff we promised we'd do but aren’t sure we’ve done correctly.

58.  Agile

  • What it means: Able to move quickly and easily, often used in project management.
  • What it really means: Being flexible enough to do yoga in a suit.

59.  Elevator pitch

  • What it means: A quick, persuasive speech to spark interest.
  • What it really means: Convincing someone of your idea before they reach their floor.

60.  Baked in

  • What it means: Included as an inherent part of something.
  • What it really means: Like a raisin in a cake that you can’t take out. Without ruining the cake.

61.  Blue sky thinking

  • What it means: Ideas without constraints.
  • What it really means: Daydreaming, but with a clipboard.

62.  Closing the loop

  • What it means: Finishing something off completely.
  • What it really means: Tying up the project with a bow made of red tape.

63.  Value proposition

  • What it means: The benefit that makes a product or service attractive to customers.
  • What it really means: Why you should pay us for something.

64.  Wheelhouse  

  • What it means: Area of expertise or comfort.
  • What it really means: The place where you feel less clueless.

Bookmark This List of Business Jargon

There you have it - a complete corporate jargon list of 64 phrases for your amusement and enlightenment. You'll be a pro at professional lingo in your next meeting.

A remote worker finally fluent in corporate jargon.

When a virtual meeting crops up and overused corporate jargon starts flying around, don't panic.

With this guide in hand, you're fully equipped to decode the phrases.

Whether you're a remote work fresher or a remote veteran, understanding this business jargon list is key to navigating the often-bewildering world of virtual communication.

So, keep these examples close, and never again be bamboozled by funny corporate jargon.

Here's to clearer communication, fewer head-scratching moments, and a little more fun in your daily digital dialogue. Happy chatting, innovating, and synergizing on your next call.

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