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20 Business Buzzwords and What They Mean

Oct 2022

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Have you suddenly found yourself thrust into the world of business? Sat in meetings with no clue what’s going on? 

You’re not the only one. Business jargon can be difficult to understand at the best of times, even to industry veterans. 

So to help you get to grips with business buzzwords, here at Global Language Services we have compiled a list of 20 words and their definitions to help you out. Some are key phrases, and some are cliches – either way, they’re handy to know. 

What are Business Buzzwords?

Business buzzwords exist within every workplace no matter the industry. From salons and restaurants to courts and hospitals, no matter the job there will be workplace shorthand. 

Typically buzzwords, jargon or workplace shorthand, is used to make everyone’s job easier. You’ll pick it up (or even create it yourself) over time, and before you know it, it will be all you use. 

frustrated business woman

20 Business Buzzwords (and what they mean)

Below we have explored the twenty most commonly used and useful to know phrases that are considered business buzzwords.

Action it/this

Starting off simple, you’ll most likely hear this in the context of being asked to do a task. If your boss or colleagues tell you to “action it” it just means do it, get the task done asap.

Ballpark (figure)

Ballpark is used in the context of estimating or guessing a rough figure of something. If you are unable to provide an exact amount, you would provide a ballpark figure. It can also mean that you are along the right tracks, if you’re in the right ballpark that is.


If someone asks if you have the “bandwidth to complete this task”, they are simply asking if you have the time, resources, mental capacity etc. to carry out or even discuss the task. 

Circle Back

Circling back means to return to a previously mentioned topic or task and reintroduce it to the conversation, either now or later. Usually you didn’t want to talk about the topic in the first place, making this one of the most hated workplace phrases. 

Content is king

This is a phrase often used in marketing or advertising to emphasise the importance of creating useful and engaging content.  

Core Competencies

Core competencies are the most important skills, values and attributes of a company. It is usually what they do best and the standard to which they hold their current and future employees.

Deep dive

Often used in the context of brainstorming. To deep dive into something means to explore something further, research everything, provide a detailed review about everything about the issue, topic or project. 


A favourite term amongst project managers. A deliverable is usually a quantifiable good or service (or even numbers) that is usually the result of a project and can be “delivered” to the client, or your boss. 

Flag up

Simply meaning to bring attention to something. 

Game changer

Business people often use this in the context of when a process or method of approach changes for the better, or a new product or service is introduced. 

ideation table


A fluffed up, fancy term given to brainstorming or the process of coming up with new ideas. 


Business people love this term and use it in place of “affect”. Often used to emphasise the effect actions will have on something i.e. productivity, results etc. 


This one has come into use more in recent years as more people are working from home. But this simply means “In Real Life”, usually sent in an email i.e. “discuss IRL”. 


Companies often use this term to describe the coordination and organisation of an event or project. Logistics is usually the chosen term to emphasise its importance.

Paint Point

Pain points are usually issues that customers or colleagues are experiencing. Referring to the issues as pain points emphasises how easily they can be resolved. 


A quota is an amount of work that must be completed within a set time frame. Typically referring to sales targets, employee numbers and other measurable goals. 


Return on investment refers to how successful and beneficial a project was compared to the resources that were used to complete it. 


Stand up’s are becoming more and more common in regular day-to-day business. It is a daily team exercise where colleagues come together to discuss progress or highlight any issues that they may have. 


In all honesty most people who use this phrase don’t even know what it means, it just sounds good. But synergy means to come together in a more collaborative and effective manner, usually by improving transparency and communication.

Think outside the box 

A term that is pretty self explanatory and persists to exist within business conversations. You simply need to think outside of the norm.

group meeting


Let’s circle back. 

You may not use each and every single one of these business buzzwords every day. But, it is useful, especially if you want to sound like you know what you’re talking about to get to grips with some of the most common and complex ones. 

We hope that our run down has provided you with knowledge you need to take the lead in the boardroom. If you fancy reading more like this, explore our post on 10 unusual words with beautiful meanings. 

Global Language Services provides language services across the country including translation and interpretation services.

Interested in learning a new language? Explore our post on the easiest language to learn or the best languages to learn

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