16 Buzzwords That Need To Be Made Extinct

Buzzwords are a standard annoyance of corporate life. They are so overused that they often lose any real meaning and instead serve as filler for when we have nothing constructive to say. Dismiss these clichés as we might, they often have a way of creeping into our vocabulary. (Being a fauxronic user of YOLO, I can vouch for this.) So, to stop you frustrating the life out of your coworkers, we’ve compiled a list of the highest ranking offenders. Avoid them at all costs.

Think outside the box

Asking someone to ‘think outside the box’ just highlights your own inability to do so. Cut it out. Immediately.


Looking for a disruptive solution to all your problems? Speak like a human.

Action that 

Just. No.

Reach out

Unless you’re the Four Tops, you really shouldn’t be using this term over and over. And over. There’s plenty of other ways to say you’ll be contacting someone. See, there’s one already!

Just go give you a heads up

Get ready for some seriously irritating news.


What are the deliverables of this project? Or more simply, WTF is the point?


Business is a dog-eat-dog world and therefore we must adopt aggressive vocabulary to denote how serious and important we are.


A verb to describe sending a message, usually via email. Prolonged usage may cause third party nausea.


Leverage the learnings

Double whammy of meaningless buzzwords here. I believe it means “use what we’ve learnt” but it’s thrown around so liberally it’s really anyone’s guess.


This is broken out at many a meeting when someone wants a lofty way to say the business as a whole or teamwork.  “We should take a holistic approach to that one.” Indeed.


Usually used to shoot down an idea or question it’s worth. “Is this scalable?”


Let’s touch base

Let’s reserve such terminology for aircraft.

Going forward 

Often used to politely say “you should have been doing this already”.

Ducks in a row

As jargon goes, this one isn’t the worst. To get your ducks in a row is to put things in order or get organised. Apparently it originated as a bowling term and referred to bowling pins at a time when they were much shorter and wider and were called ducks. It could also refer to the line or formation in which ducks swim.  We favour the latter.


It’s in the ether

Buzzwords code for “I have no idea where it is and I’m more likely to birth a row of ducks than find it.”

I’ll have to check my bandwidth 

Translation: I need to compile a list of everything I’m currently doing so I don’t have to deal with your silly request.

Author Aoife Geary

Aoife Geary is the Content Editor at Jobbio specialising in the areas of Workplace Culture, Diversity, Startups and Digital Trends. She's partial to a burrito, a bad pun and living way beyond her means.

More posts by Aoife Geary

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