45 Examples of Business Jargon Terms and Phrases

Updated March 10, 2023

Understanding business jargon can be important for those working in companies and organizations to understand certain directions and perform their job duties more efficiently. Whether they're learning how their job is affecting other parts of the company, or knowing when to pause a topic of conversation, understanding the business's unique lingo can help individuals thrive in their corporate occupations. In this article, we discuss what business jargon is and give you a list of 45 terms and phrases you can use in your business-related position.

What is business jargon?

Business jargon is words and phrases used by business employees to convey unique ideas and directions, such as working too hard, sending information to clients or giving mid-level employees more authority. Though you can replace most business jargon with other common words and phrases, the slang has become so popular it can be almost like a second language to those in the business field.

Business jargon phrases

Here is a list of 45 business jargon phrases you can learn:


"Impact" refers to the act of affecting something through your skills or actions.

Example: "I heard your new training initiative really impacted our sales numbers!"

Boil the ocean

Business people use the term "boil the ocean" to describe an action or project that wastes a lot of time.

Example: "Don't boil the ocean by alphabetizing our client contact information."


"Robust" is a term that describes a company's product or service that has a lot of functionality and beneficial uses for its consumers.

Reach out

Companies use the term "reach out" to describe the act of communicating or contacting other individuals or businesses.

Example: "Let's reach out to Daniels and see if he's available for lunch."


"Learning" is a noun used to describe the teachings or lessons gained from a project or event.

Example: "I had an important learning from that last seminar."


"Punting" something in the world of business is to abandon an idea or project that is no longer important, or at the very least, make it less of a priority.

Giving 110%

When someone asks you to "give 110%" toward an assignment or objective, they're often requesting that you exert extra effort into the task.


"Leverage" most often refers to the manipulation or control of a situation or project. It's often used as both a verb and a noun.

Example: "We need to find some leverage in this business deal" or "I'm leveraging our sales team to help us out."

Over the wall

Throwing something "over the wall" refers to sending important information to a client or customer.

Best practice

"Best practice" is a term for the most beneficial or superior method of accomplishing a task or project.

Example: "Connecting with clients on a personal level seems like our best practice for increasing sales."


To "empower" someone is to make them feel capable or to give them a certain amount of authority. This term is often used to describe a manager or executive giving an important task or assignment to someone in a mid-level or entry-level position.

Bleeding edge

Modified from the term "cutting edge," "bleeding edge" is used to define an innovative product or service.

Lots of moving parts

Companies use the phrase "lots of moving parts" to describe a system or business with a lot of departments, employees and processes.

Example: "It's hard to adjust some of the small details of this project because it has a lot of moving parts."

Make hay

"Make hay" is short for the phrase "make hay while the sun shines" and is used to describe an opportunity to be productive during working hours.

Core competency

"Core competency" refers to a company's or individual's main skill or area of expertise.

Example: "Regina's core competency is market analysis."

Related: 10 Core Competencies and Skills Valued by Employers

It is what it is

The phrase "it is what is" refers to the lack of control or care for a specific situation or project result.

Low-hanging fruit

"Low-hanging fruit" refers to a simple project or new idea that could produce immediate and beneficial results.

Example: "Selling door-to-door isn't our best strategy, but it's great low-hanging fruit."

Out of pocket

"Out of pocket" is another way for business people to say that they will be unavailable or out of the office for a disclosed period of time.

Jump the shark

"Jumping the shark" refers to when a company or product struggles to stay relevant to the public or its consumers and clients.

Example: "I don't know how a juicer for my car is useful. It feels the company has really jumped the shark."

Core values

"Core values" is a phrase used to describe the standards and ideas that a company or individual finds most important.

Related: 36 Core Values Essential To the Workplace

Blue sky thinking

"Blue sky thinking" is a phrase used to describe extremely creative problem-solving and innovative new ideas.

Thought shower

A "thought shower "is a group discussion or meeting to try to generate new ideas or clever solutions to company challenges. This phrase is often interchangeable with "brainstorming."

Drill down

"Drill down" is a term used by companies and businesses to describe a thorough investigation of an idea, assignment or project report. It's often used to uncover the important details that are most beneficial to the company's future endeavors.

Tiger team

A "tiger team" is a group of individuals who share an area of expertise that a business or organization assembles to develop an action plan for a specific problem or challenge.

S.W.A.T. team

In business, a "S.W.A.T. team" refers to a group of individuals that work to enact a plan or solution developed by a company's tiger team.

Key takeaways

"Key takeaways" are major points or areas of interest that are important to remember from a presentation or meeting.

Moving the goalposts

"Moving the goalposts" is the act of changing or altering a project goal or objective, and making that project more difficult to complete.

Related: 5 Ways To Achieve Goals in the Workplace

Game changer

"Game changer" is a phrase used to describe a significant change to a company or project.

Example: "Creating a software that tracks our inventory and sales was a real game changer."

Gain traction

When something gains traction in the business field, it's referring to an idea or company project becoming more effective or popular.

Aha moment

An "aha moment" is a phrase used to describe an important revelation.

Example: "Last night, I had an aha moment and came up with a solution for our development problem."


When someone says they don't have the "bandwidth" for a discussion or new idea, it means they don't have the present time or resources.

Bring to the table

"Bring to the table" is often used to describe a certain skill or expertise that an individual can offer to a company or project. The phrase is most often used as a question.

Example: "What does Harris bring to the table for this project?"

Mission critical

"Mission critical" is a phrase to emphasize the importance of something, whether it's the key factor in determining a successful project or an individual's quality of work for a specific client.

In the loop

The phrase "in the loop" is the act of being given important information or knowledge on a particular subject.

Example: "I told Amir about our marketing strategy, so he's in the loop."

Silver bullet

A "silver bullet" is a simple and effective solution to a problem or challenge.

Trim the fat

Trimming the fat is the act of removing unnecessary details, resources or individuals from a company or project.

Example: "We need to trim the fat. Can we combine the research and marketing departments for this project?"

Hard stop

"Hard stop" refers to a specific time when a meeting or discussion needs to end.

Example: "We have a hard stop for this meeting at 3:30 today, so we can get to our next meeting on time."


"Synergy" is a term that refers to multiple ideas or departments that have a greater benefit when they work together than when they work alone.

Read more: What Is Synergy?

Move the needle

"Moving the needle" refers to getting effective results from a project or assignment that are meaningful to a company's or business's overall goals.

Food chain

"Food chain" is a term used to describe a company's hierarchy.

Example: "I just got promoted! Looks like I'm moving up the food chain."

Circle back

"Circle back" refers to temporarily pausing a conversation or discussion and returning to it at a later time.

Knee deep

"Knee deep" is a phrase used by companies and businesses when they're currently stuck in an unfortunate situation.

Example: "We're knee-deep in customer complaints right now for stalling our latest product release."

Reinvent the wheel

"Reinventing the wheel" refers to creating a product or tool that already exists to help you accomplish something. However, the phrase is most often used by businesses to describe a labor-intensive task.

Straw man

A "straw man" is most often used to describe an individual who has little integrity or substance.

Table the conversation

"Tabling a conversation" is the act of pausing a discussion with the possible intention of never returning to it again.

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