Think about those phrases used in business situations in your native language that you wouldn’t really understand if you weren’t a native speaker. I bet that a few examples crossed your mind, right? Well, English is no different. Today we will go over 13 corporate jargon phrases in English that you are very likely to hear if you work in an English-speaking environment.
What does jargon mean?
Corporate jargon can also be referred to as corporate speak, corporate lingo, business jargon, or workplace jargon. We use this term to talk about special words or expressions that are used by a specific group and that are difficult for others to understand. The thing about the jargon we will explore today is that there are other ways to convey the same message with much more simple words, but it is widely common for people to just use these expressions. Here is a piece from Forbes on what they call “the most annoying, pretentious and useless business jargon.”
For an English learner, it may be difficult to understand these business expressions when you hear them for the first time. Since they are pretty common in the business world we believe it is important for you to know what they mean. Let’s explore 13 of those expressions.
13 business expressions for you to study
Take a look at the meanings of these expressions and an example of a sentence using them:
Circle back means to discuss something later, to come back to a subject in another time. Here is one example:
You know what, let’s circle back to the sales report later, when the director of marketing gets here.
Do you have bandwidth?
This question is used to ask somebody about their availability or capacity for something. Here is one example:
Matthew, how do you feel about this new project? Do you have bandwidth?
Don’t boil the ocean
This business expression is used to call someone out for taking on an overly large and potentially impossible task. Here is one example:
Don’t try to boil the ocean with your first version of a product.
Feel free to jump in
Feel free to jump in is a phrase used to interrupt somebody when they’re talking. It is widely used in online meetings. Let’s take a look at one example:
Julia, I’ll present the sales report now. Please, feel free to jump in!
Get (have) one’s ducks in a row
This means to be well prepared or well organized for something that is going to happen. Check out the example below for this corporate jargon in English:
They should get their ducks in a row beforehand, so they are ready to start the job when required.
More business expressions in English
How do you like it so far? Keep reading for more corporate jargon in English.
Let’s take this offline
This one is similar to circle back. It is commonly used when someone starts going off-topic. Let’s take a look at one example:
Let’s take this offline. We need to move on to the next item on the agenda.
This expression is used to talk about something that is easy to obtain, achieve, or take advantage of. Take a look at the example below:
There are a lot of things that need to be completed for our project. I would suggest that we start with the low-hanging fruit.
Move the needle
This expression is used to shift the situation in some area, activity, sphere etc. to a noticeable degree. Take a look at the example below:
We’re all hoping that the new product line will move the needle on sales.
Not in my wheelhouse
This corporate jargon in English means “not within one’s area of expertise or interest; outside of someone’s comfort zone”. Check out the example below:
I could work on that, but that is not in my wheelhouse.
On my radar
If someone or something is on your radar, you are aware of, or have thought about, them or it. Here is a good example:
Hiring a new manager is on my radar, don’t you worry!
Pick your brain
Pick your brain means to talk to someone in order to get helpful information or advice. Here is one example:
Do you have a moment? I need to pick your brain about a little situation that has come up.
Pleas advise is a way to request advice, answers, clarification on a specific matter. Here is one example:
Please advise any changes needed or if we need any additional documentation.
To piggyback off of (something)
To piggyback off of (something) means to use something that already exists or has already been done successfully to do something else quickly or effectively. Check out the example below:
The content of this study piggybacks off of a study done previously.
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More corporate jargon in English
Now you know more about corporate jargon! But that’s just the tip of the iceberg because there is so much more to learn. So, don’t miss our blog post about Business English idioms, ok? You can read it here.
Doing business can be difficult. Doing business in another language can be even more challenging! We hope these 13 corporate jargon phrases in English help navigate through the business world! Let us know if you have ever heard any of these words in a meeting before, we are curious to know!