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(1).  To spout nonsense in front of all of your co-workers on a topic you know nothing about.


“Now, I’m just spitballing here, but I think we should really consider a company mascot.  How about Cathy, the Catheter Manufacturing Stickbug.  Thoughts?”



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(1).  Taking time off of work and just sitting in your house or (more likely) your apartment, instead of actually going somewhere.  This is usually due to your lack of motivation, lack of money, or (again, more likely) lack of friends.


(2).  When you take time off of work, stay at home, and try to convince yourself you’re happy to have the “quiet time at home”, when in reality, you are just too broke to go anywhere worthwhile.


“Yea I’m really looking forward to next week.  Got myself a little staycation.  Gonna catch up on the ol’ DVR, read a book, maybe even order out a few times!  I dunno, the possibilities are endless!”


Step Away For A Minute

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(1).  What your secretary tells people you don’t want to talk to on the phone.


“Oh, I’m sorry, Mr. Williamson had to step away for a minute … can I take a message?  You’d like to hold?  Hmmm … perhaps I should just put you through to voicemail…”



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(1). A term used by salespeople in struggling business units to generally describe their service pitch to clients and intermediaries, meant to impart an endearing and almost human quality on the offering.


“I think we have a compelling story to tell about our expertise in the powdered milk space.  Now, let’s hit those phones!”


Style Points

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(1).  A plus for wearing a nice suit, but often accompanied by a minus that there’s no one inside it.


“Well, Jeff’s dog-and-pony show may win on style points, but the fact that he wasn’t sure what the client’s name was or what business he was in might have cost him a next meeting.”


Summer Fridays

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(1).  A period of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day in which a company (usually a small business) closes around 3 p.m. on Fridays so the bosses can go golfing.


“Okay, team.  Now that we’re into Summer Fridays, I want everyone to stay until at least 7, Monday through Thursday, so we don’t lose the billable hours.  Oh, and FYI, I’ll be out for the next couple of weeks with limited access to voicemail and email.”


T’s And C’s

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(1). An extremely douchey way to say Terms and Conditions.


“Hey Pauly, can you read me those t’s and c’s one more time bro?  I wanna make sure this self tanner I’m gonna endorse is on the up and up, yaknowwhaaadimean?  What?  Cabs are here?  CABS ARE HEAHHH!!!”



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(1). To put off a project or discussion topic for a later time, often to avoid work.


“Hey Tom, how about we just table this for the time being.  I know the deadline is today, but and I’m just not in the mood to discuss the company’s health benefit renewal. It’s just too damn nice outside.”


Table Stakes

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(1).  A term used to describe established, non-negotiable beliefs and practices that your firm stands for.  Not stakes that you keep on your kitchen table in case of unexpected vampire attacks.


“We have to throw these down as our table stakes, guys.  If they don’t like it then they’ll have to find another wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tubeman distributor.  While we certainly stand for fun, low-balling us on shipping rates is no laughing matter!”


Take It to the Next Level

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(1).  A common phrase used by sales managers to encourage their employees to work longer hours and more aggressively market their products.  The phrase is intended to imply that there is potentially more they could be doing to sell to new clients, when in reality, it is simply a ploy to make it appear management has a longer term plan for the company.


“Team, we really need to take it to the next level if we’re going to continue to claim to be the premier firm in the feral hog extermination industry.”


Take Ownership

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(1).  To very publicly assume responsibility for a certain project or assignment so that your bosses will notice (see go-getter) in the hope that it will lead to either a promotion, raise or both.


“Gil, we’re impressed at how you’ve really taken ownership of this project and made it your own.  Now, I’m not exactly thrilled that you’ve devoted so much of your work day to planning the office Christmas party, but…”


Tap Dance

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(1). To avoid answering a question you either don’t know the answer to or don’t want to answer by spouting a lot of irrelevant (yet intelligent-sounding) nonsense.


“So, the client asks Tom here why we went so over budget on his project and Tom starts doing his little tap dance about how we hit some unforeseen complications…they hired us to do it right…blah, blah, blah.  Classic.”



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(1).  To organize annoying social events for your employees thinking they just need to spend even more time together to start getting along.


“Okay, guys…I think with the disappointing comp numbers and recent defections, we could use a little teambuilding around here.  So…we’re going bowling!”


Teambuilding Event

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(1).  What you call a charge on your company card for a night at a strip club with two guys from Accounting.


“Oh, hi Alison…the $1,000 charge on my card at Wiggles? …umm…thought I would take the troops out after work for a little teambuilding event.  Your office? …sure, I can come down to your office…”



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(1).  A term lazy employees in open-space seating use to justify the hours they spend turned around in their chairs, talking to the people sitting around them about everything except work.


“Hey, boss.  Oh, Mike and I were just teaming about the Huntzberger account.  No…I don’t think the part about the movie I watched last night on Skinemax was relevant to the discussion…”


Tee It Up

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(1).  To bring it up, start the conversation around it.


“When we get to budgets, I’ll let you tee up that conversation.”


Props to Lisa M. for the submission.


Temperature Check

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(1).  A scientific experiment designed to determine how badly you’ve screwed something up.


“We need to take a temperature check to see how mad the customer is that we missed our deadline.”


Props to Terry D. for the submission.



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(1).  What you are going to spread into every corner of your company’s operations, thereby ensuring your job security and, conceptually at least, an easy transition to your boss’s job when he retires.


“I’ve got my tentacles in so many things now, it’s going to be near impossible to get rid of me!”



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(1).  A cheesy way of saying “fired”.


“I reached out to Bob this morning to let him know he was termed.  He didn’t take it well…hear all those sirens?”


Props to John D. for the submission!



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(1).  Something that woman in your office who collects naked trolls says after complaining about all of the mindless work she left until Friday to finish.


“I can’t believe I have so many emails to clean out of my inbox today!  Oh well…TGIF, right?”


Think Outside The Box

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(1).  Allegedly to come up with ideas or solutions that are novel and unique (also prohibitively expensive and often slightly illegal).


“Okay, guys, if we’re going to make this spot exciting, we’re going to have to think outside the box a bit … now, when you think hypoallergenic adult undergarments, what’s the first thing that pops into your head?  Tom, go!”


Thought Process

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(1).  A frequently misused term intended, we think, to indicate there’s some real brain power behind whatever meaningless opinion you’re about to tell us.


“So, my thought process is this … if we move the accounting staff to the other end of the hall and the marketing department closer to my office, we should be able to maximize our potential for better-looking interns in the second quarter.”



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(1).  The last word you ask a co-worker in an email in which you forward another email you received to which you either (a) don’t know how to respond, or (b) don’t want to respond.  Also see punt.


“Hi Tom:


Below is an email I received from Compliance regarding why we seem to have an unusually high frequency of wire fraud in our accounts.  Thoughts?


Thanks a bunch,



Throw Under The Bus

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(1).  To blame something completely on a colleague that you probably had as much to do with as he did.


“Paul totally threw me under the bus on that call this morning!  He was the one who forgot to order more K-Cups, not me!  And what the hell are we having a call about K-Cups for anyway!”



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(1).  What people start ending emails with after being promoted to senior management.


“Got it.  thx  (FYI – This is all you’re going to get out of them, so just consider it an approval.  They’ll never know.)


Tick and Tie

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(1).  To double-check your half-assed work before anyone sees it.


“Hey, Jim.  I’m going to need to you stay late tonight.  I just want to tick and tie everything in our presentation before sending it out.”


To His / Her Point

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(1).  An annoying, and grammatically incorrect, segue used to simultaneously sound like you were paying attention in a meeting and stroke your boss’ ego by agreeing with, or basically repeating, what they’ve just said – before adding your own idea gem.


To Jesse’s point, I think it’s a great idea to spend the event budget on those adorable dancing dogs; and we should definitely have them incorporate our logo into their choreography.”


Props to Marlayna R. for the submission.


Touch Base

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(1).  See ping.


Also, a musing:  “This one makes no sense.  In baseball, two runners can’t occupy the same base.  And the infielder is on the other team.  So who are we touching base with?”


Props to Mike R. for the submission.


Touch Wood

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(1).  A seriously creepy way to say “knock on wood”.  Just say “knock on wood”, Ariel Castro.


Touch wood, but I think we really have a shot at getting approval for that new water cooler we asked for.”


Touch-Base Call

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(1).  A conference call used to accomplish something for which a three-word email would have worked just fine.


“Okay, sounds good…let’s just schedule a quick touch-base call next Tuesday to check up on status…I’ll send out the meeting request.”



Touchdown Station

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(1).  An office or desk the company keeps open for employees visiting from other regions.  You know, the one where you set up your hot plate and keep all of your unfiled papers.


“Oh, hey Jim.  In from Seattle, eh?  You can use the touchdown station over there.  And if you want something to eat, there’s a fridge under the desk with someone’s yogurt and a couple of Kit Kats from Halloween, I think.”


Town Hall Meeting

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(1).  A full staff meeting where employees are supposed to be able to pose questions to upper management.  They can’t.  All questions are plants.  Just keep quiet and you won’t get fired.


“Thank you, everyone, for dialing in today.  This town hall meeting is an important forum for all of us to talk openly and honestly about the business.  All questions should be directed to that burning oildrum behind the building.  Now, our first agenda item is ‘cost reductions’…”



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(1).  Used to refer to (in)ability to make progress (e.g. on an initiative or project).


“Team, if we stay focused on our deliverables, then maybe we can get some traction on this project.”


Props to Scott P. for the submission.


Train Neighbor

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(1).  Your new best friend at 6am that loves to:


– Tell you about their grandchildren.

– Where they’re “headin”.

– What they ate for breakfast.

– Their medical problems.

– Fall asleep on you.

– Ask you if this is the train to Penn.

– Tell you about the “big” project they’re working on.

– Make a phone call that you, and all the other riders, unwillingly participate in.

– Talk about Obama.


“Hey buddy, mind if I sit next to ya?  Guess we’re train neighbors for the morning.  I’ll try not to get up to use the bathroom too much, my granddaughter always does, she’s great.  I’m headin’ to New Jersey, gotta take the Amtrak.  This is the train to Penn right?  Had an omelet for breakfast, that probably wasn’t a good idea.  Got a big meeting today for this project I’ve been working on for the last year.  Man I’m tired.  Oh, hold on, I gotta take this call.  Hi Barry.  HI BARRY, I DON’T HAVE GREAT RECEPTION, I’M ON THE TRAIN.  NO, IT’S NOT A QUIET CAR.  CRAZY ABOUT THIS GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN, RIGHT?”


Unpack This For Me

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(1).  A ridiculously dorky way of asking someone to explain something to you.


“Paul, can you unpack this report for me?  It makes no sense.”


Props to Keri K. for the submission.


Up On His Hind Legs

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(1).  The way some people get when someone challenges or disagrees with them, often ending in a public (and relatively salty) series of post-meeting rants.


“Whoa…Mike really got up on his hind legs this morning after David pushed back on his proposal.  I mean, did you ever hear someone drop the f-bomb so many times during one conference call?”


Value Proposition

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(1).  A term used to describe a pitch by a struggling business unit to try to explain to the firm’s sales force why they should be marketing their product or service (see value add, nice-to-have).  Value Propositions often appear desperate, but are useful in providing members of the business unit with bullet points for their resumes, which likely will need to be updated shortly.


“So, let me get this straight.  Your firm’s value proposition is that you’re the ‘Pluto’ of the marketing world and you’re making a comeback?”


Version Control

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(1).  Something very difficult to maintain when you keep asking fifteen people for “their thoughts” in every, stinking email you send (see too many cooks in the kitchen).


“So, it looks like we’re having a little problem with version control here.  I’m looking at the one marked ‘v.2 MGH’, but Tom seems to have one marked ‘v.4 JKL’.  Anyone know which one is the latest?  Maybe we should just start over?”



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(1).  A term for a business-related market segment to which you focus selling your product or service.


“So, I’m hitting the gun show tomorrow to try to bring these babies to that vertical.  Wait…you mean they have actual guns at the gun show?  Aw, man…”


Props to Guy G. for the submission.


Walk Through

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(1).  To explain a proposal in its entirety.


(2).  A command by a manager or senior team member (i.e. “walk me through”) for a junior employee to explain a proposal in as short and simple a manner as possible, while still implying that they are interested in the proposal’s details (when in fact they are already thinking about what they are going to have for lunch).


“Okay, Bill.  Why don’t you walk me through your plan for a new office filing system.  I’m just going to type some notes here and there…maybe check my fantasy teams…what’s that?  Oh, nothing, just talking to myself.”


War Room

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(1).  Just a plain old conference room.  No guns.  No tanks.  Just phones, whiteboards, and co-workers.


(2).  A description given to one of your office’s conference rooms, usually the largest one, by management to imply it is only for the most important of meetings….which they are usually anything but.


“Ok people, we are meeting in the war room at 3:00pm for a briefing on CuteCatSweaters.com’s holiday plans.  Let’s get in there and sell some sweaters!”


Warm Body

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(1).  An open position you need to fill so badly, it doesn’t really matter who you get as long as you get them in soon.


“Look, with Aaron and Frank both quitting three weeks apart, we need to get a warm body in here to start punching keys ASAP.”


We Are Going To Turn This Ship Around

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(1).  This is said after years of poor decisions.  This phrase is uttered shortly before the business closes down.


“Alright, everyone…I know it’s been a tough couple of months, but starting right now, we are going to turn this ship around and get back on top!” – Dick Fuld, September 10, 2008


Props to Brett for the submission.


What We Do Best

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(1).  What you say when trying to explain the value you add to the company’s business (which, for most of us, is pretty hard to define).


“‘What we do best’?  I’ll tell you what we do best … blah, blah, blah … Just do your job and shut the hell up!”


Props to Brent D. for the submission.


Where The Rubber Meets The Road

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(1).  A nice way to describe the work of a low-level employee in a vain attempt to make it sound like you think what they do is way more important than what you do.


“Yeah, trading millions of dollars worth of corporate bonds every day is important to our corporate bond-trading business, but your team’s processing of account paperwork is really where the rubber meets the road!”


White Paper

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(1).  An outline of  a proposed strategy or other subject requiring in-depth explanation, usually written by multiple parties (see living document) and rarely used by anyone.


“Hey, Tom.  Did you happen to read my white paper on the new coffee machine for the office?  Either way, I set up a team call to discuss this Friday at 4:30.  Hope you can attend.”