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A Guide to Business Jargon

The corporate world is fast-paced, hectic and at the best of times can be a minefield. However, if you’re not up on the latest business buzzwords, an already complicated sector can become even more confusing.

Sometimes, business jargon can seem like another language in its own right, so we compiled a list of the top corporate phrases that you’ll need to know to get ahead...


Business Jargon


Phrase: "Thinking outside of the box"
Translation: Innovative thinking in order to provide a creative solution to an everyday problem.

Phrase: "Re-group"
Translation: To think again about a business strategy or solution because the initial plan hasn’t worked.

Phrase: "Opportunity Cost"
Translation: The potential loss made when opting for a solution that will be of gain in other areas of the business.

Phrase: "Corporate Culture"
Translation: The underlying principles behind an organisation such as their aims, objectives and day-to-day running.

Phrase: "Bespoke"
Translation: To individually tailor goods or services to a specific customer’s wants or needs.

Phrase: "Firewalling/Ring Fencing"
Translation: To isolate resources such as time, capital or finance for a specific purpose.

Phrase: "Intergenerational communication"
Translation: The art of communicating between older and younger members of staff

Phrase: "Above Board"
Translation: To conduct business in an open and honest manner

Phrase: "Bottom Line It"
Translation: To verbally summarise a report or document in a few short and concise sentences

Phrase: "Cut the Mustard/Make the Grain"
Translation: To produce work or to conduct yourself in a way that meets corporate standards.


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Lucinda Borrell


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