Corporate Buzzwords that Make Us Roll Our Eyes So Hard We See Behind Us

We can’t escape the endless litany of made-up words and phrases making up corporate lingo. Though all companies create their own dialects, many repeatedly use the same annoying terms but think they’re clever for “coming up with it.”

Here are the most annoying corporate buzzwords we’re all ready to retire. 


Happy team giving team high five

Companies needed a new term to describe teamwork, apparently. But synergy is so much more! It’s when people work together as a team to develop innovative new ideas!

Lean In

woman standing at the head of a table, leading a work meeting
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Though the term found fame in a book seeking to help women achieve corporate success, it’s morphed into a fresh new horror that pretends to follow the original definition but really means to do extra unpaid work and overtime. 

Circle Back

Worker dressed in business attire shrugging.
Photo Credit: via

How would we know you want to discuss something previously discussed if you didn’t say you wanted to “circle back” to it?


Upset worker wearing a nice uniform with her arms crossed on a lime green background.
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We don’t know how the ‘“wheelhouse” became corporate lingo for our area of expertise, but we wish it would stop. No, that’s not in my “wheelhouse,” Jan. 

We’re Family

older woman yelling at an upset younger woman
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Most employees have discovered that when companies say they’re like a family, they don’t mean the partridges. They mean the toxic family that will drain you of all you are, then spit you out without a second thought. 

30,000 Foot View

Engineers looking at schematics on a computer.
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We get it; you want the big picture. Why can’t you just say that? Instead, we need to develop a slew of ridiculous corporate buzzwords describing the same thing. 


Office workers sadly around a colleague holding a box as if he was just let go from the position.
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Downsizing and layoffs sound so negative, so companies tried to enact some 1984 double speak to make it sound less evil. Enter “rightsizing,” the fancy new buzzword that still means you’re out of a job. 


sandwich and apple peeking out of a brown paper lunch bag laying on a table
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Companies trot out lunch-and-learns as fabulous development opportunities, but they’re really ways to force employees to work during their unpaid lunch break. 

Good Luck in Your Future Endeavors

Mad upset man crossing his arms wearing business clothes.
Photo Credit: via

The “polite” way to tell someone to “get lost.” It means the same thing, so why bother hiding behind feigned politeness?

All the Racist Phrases

Woman has one hand up and another across her belly in an upset and confused gesture. Her face conveys dismayed confusion.
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Corporations love appropriating Native American language into their buzzword portfolios. Meetings become “pow-wows,” people with crazy ideas are “off the reservation,” and new employees must work hard to climb the “totem pole.”

Deep Dive

men in business suits sit at a desk looking at computers and graphs.
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Why can’t we just say we’re analyzing a problem? Does it sound cooler somehow to call it a deep dive? 

No, no, it does not. 

Taking it to the Next Level

Giant boss sitting in a chair towering over a tiny employee who stands defeated below him.
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When a boss asks you to take something to the next level, they’re really saying they want you to do more, but they don’t want to pay you for it. 

It Is What It Is

Man shrugging his shoulders like he doesn't care at all.
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Saying something “is what it is” means we all know there is a problem, but no one will go through the effort to fix it. 

It makes sense in places like the military, where the soldiers on the ground have no power to change course, but corporations who hijacked the term could probably make changes if they wanted to. 

Bio Break

An annoyed looking woman wearing glasses has her hands up in a gesture of "how could you." She's wearing a yellow shirt on a yellow background.
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We really didn’t need a corporate buzzword for using the restroom. 

Great Leaders Don’t Need Corporate Lingo

smiling Female executive with arms crossed standing in front of a group pf blurred out workers.
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Leadership skills will always be in demand. Drop the buzzwords and learn essential leadership skills for a stellar career. 

Here are 10 leadership skills you need to master.

Opt Out All Together with Financial Freedom

man working on a laptop while laying on the beach
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Financial Freedom is more than just a buzz word. It’s achievable for a lot of people. 

Here’s your ultimate guide to achieving financial independence

Why No One Wants To Work Anymore

woman throwing papers behind her as she quits her job.
Photo Credit: Tero Vesalainen via

The common boomer refrain derides younger generations for refusing awful working conditions. Are they right?

Find out why no one wants to work anymore

America’s Toxic Work Culture

man at work looks really bored and unhappy
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Our work culture is destroying us. Find out how. 

Read it Here: America’s Toxic Work Culture

Achieve Financial Independence with Stress Free Part Time Work

Happy attractive barista serving a coffee drink to represent Barista Fire
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Wouldn’t it be great if you could work part time at an easy, stress free job you love? Barista Fire is the path to financial independence that lets you do just that!

Source: Reddit

Author: Melanie Allen

Title: Journalist

Expertise: Pursuing Your Passions, Travel, Wellness, Hobbies, Finance, Gaming, Happiness

Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation and is a certified happiness life coach. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.