As with all aspects of language, business English expressions change and grow with society. Over the recent decades with the rise of the internet we have seen a huge impact on the way businesses are set up, marketed and run. Everything in the chain, from suppliers and providers to the end consumer and the way we spend our money, has changed; and reflecting this change, business English has evolved to match.
It’s important to keep up-to-date with bizspeak, because language changes so fluidly, and fashions come and go, there are business English expressions that should be avoided, and others that you need to feel comfortable using in the workplace. Here at Break into English, in order to boost your confidence communicating in the office, we’ve put together a list of words and expressions that are used in the contemporary business English world.
Business English Expressions seal the deal.
Business English Expressions List
1. Bizspeak n. The jargon used in business. Technically, all of these business English expressions are jargon and therefore bizspeak.
2. Dot gone n. An internet business which has failed. Dot com is the term for an online business, but if it’s no longer there – well it’s dot gone.
3. Cash mob n. A group of people who meet and make purchases at a local business, the aim is to both support the business and to socialise. This business English expression is inspired by the phenomenon ‘flash mob’, which is a group of people who arrange to meet using social media to perform some sort of entertaining or unusual act such as choreography.
4. Honey trap n. Tempting someone with the promise of a reward to test if they are going to be faithful.
5. Boarded up adj. When a shop is boarded up, it means it is no longer in business and that wooden planks have been placed over its windows. 1 in 7 shops in the UK are boarded up – perhaps this has something to do with the rise of the dot com industry?
6. Uberization n. The adoption of a business model in which services are offered on demand through direct contact between customer and supplier, usually via mobile technology. From the taxi company Uber which pioneered this business model.
7. Uberise (or Uberize) v. To subject a business or an industry to services which are offered on demand through direct contact between customer and supplier, usually via mobile technology. From the taxi company Uber which pioneered this business model.
8. Marketing funnel n. The purchasing funnel is a consumer focused marketing model which illustrates the theoretical customer journey towards the purchase of a product or service.
9. Solopreneur n. A person who sets up and runs a business on their own. Think ‘entrepreneur’ but emphasis on the fact that it’s just one person who is involved.
10. Wantrepreneur n. A person who thinks about being an entrepreneur or setting up a business but never gets started.
11. Employerism n. This slang term refers to the preferred terminology used among the management hierarchy of a business establishment in reference to native ideas and common interests related to their particular field.
12. Mom-and-pop n. A small business that is typically owned and run by members of a family.
13. Lifestyle business n. A business set up to support the owner’s income and personal requirements rather than maximizing revenue. The purpose is to create a sustainable and pleasant work/life balance, often considered an alternative to retirement.
14. To go batman v. To take on the night life after taking care of business during the day.
15. Winner’s curse n. (in an auction, negotiation, or other business competition) a situation in which the winning party has overrated the pursued object.
16. Brick and mortar adj. is a business English expression to describe a business operating in the ‘real world’ not on the internet, like a department store or a car manufacturer.
17. Click-and-mortar adj. is a business not only linked to the internet, but to a traditional company.
18. Business park n. an area specially designated and landscaped to accommodate business offices, warehouses, light industry etc.
19. Domain names n. These are used in URLs to identify particular Web pages. Because the Internet is based on IP addresses, not domain names, every Web server requires a Domain Name System (DNS) server to translate domain names into IP addresses.
20. Business proposal n. A sales pitch to another business. The object of a business proposal is to secure a partnership between a business and another organization by demonstrating the value of the service offered.
21. Software proposal n. A detail-oriented document clearly outlining the objectives a software developer can offer to another business.
22. Collaborative consumption n. a business model in which goods are shared, swapped or rented over networks rather than being owned by individuals. For example Airbnb, the peer to peer accommodation marketplace
23. Sharing economy n. The sharing economy is an economic model often defined as a peer-to-peer (P2P) based activity of acquiring, providing or sharing access to goods and services that are facilitated by a community based online platform
24. Land-office business n. a lively, booming, expanding, or very profitable business. This term, dating from the 1830s, alludes to the surge of applicants to government land offices through which Western lands were sold. It has been used for other booming business since the mid-1800s.
25. SEO n. Stands for Site Engine Optimisation and means to optimise websites or pages so that they come up on search engines like google when people search for a product or service you offer.
So there we have it, 25 modern business English expressions you can use to show off your business English level in the workplace.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our English for IT post or English Vocabulary for Human Resources blog article.
This article was written by Elizabeth Drayton, Teacher Trainer at Break into English. Click here for a free trial English class via Skype.