The Ridiculous Business Jargon Dictionary: H-words

Do you wonder where your co-workers picked up all the ridiculous things they say? From fresh-faced interns to top management, everyone drops one of these gems occasionally. We can only hope that you're not here to actually add buzzwords to your vocabulary.

Hack it [v.]To be successful. "Do you think she can hack it?"Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Halo effect [exp.]The idea that past experiences can affect future decisions.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Hammer out [v.]To reach a consensus after a long debate.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Hammock task [n.]An assignment with very little work or responsibility. "If you stop giving me hammock tasks, maybe I could earn that raise."
Suggested by Sam M.
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Hand-grenade close [adj.]Roughly on-target, but with room for error. "Just get those numbers hand-grenade close and the client won't know the difference."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Hand-holding [v.]Helping someone perform a task that, because of inexperience or incompetence, they cannot complete on their own. "I am so sick of hand-holding the new guy through all of our billing procedures."
Suggested by David.
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Hang the bell on the cat [v.]Deliberate risk-taking and leadership. "Trade secrets be damned. Bell the cat and get our name out there."
Suggested by Lou.
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Hard hat [n.]A derogatory term for a manual labourer. "This new robot will let us axe three hard hats."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Hard stop [n.]The definite end of a meeting that is often announced beforehand. "The client is visiting this afternoon so we have a hard stop at two."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Hard-nosed [adj.]Stubborn. Often difficult to work with.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Hardball [n.]Aggressive business tactics.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Hatchet man [n.]A low-ranking manager given the task of firing people.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Haul [n.]A large amount of money.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Head shed [n.]The offices of top company leadership. "…well if you're so convinced, why don't you ride on up to the head shed and demand an audience?"
Suggested by Vinnie B.
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Head shunting [v.]The secret hiring of a head hunter to persuade an ineffectual employee to take a position at another firm. Nicely eliminates the mess of having to fire someone.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Head winds [n.]Factors that slow progress. Also a convenient way to externalize the blame for project delays.
Suggested by Tony.
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Head-count freeze [exp.]A lack of available jobs at a given company.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Head-down [adj.]Describes the process of working completely uninterrupted. "I have a client meeting in two hours so I'm going to be head-down and not taking any calls."
Suggested by Matt.
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headdesk [n.]One's inevitable reaction to poor treatment or abject stupidity in the workplace. "YOU: Looks like those raises are going to be delayed another three months. ME: headdesk."
Suggested by Merlion.
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Headlight [v.]To bring up a topic for discussion before it becomes a greater issue.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Headline [n.]A single sentence summary. "Look Charles, I'm going to give you the headline: We're downsizing and tomorrow is your last day."
Suggested by Elle B. and uplah
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Heads up [n.]A notification or early warning. "I just wanted to give you the heads up about the latest contracts."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Heavy lifting [n.]The hard work.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Heisman, the [exp.]Kept at arm's length; denied. "I almost closed my last few sales calls, but they keep throwing up The Heisman."
Suggested by Pete.
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Helicopter view [n.]An overview or summary of an issue. "I've got 30 seconds so give me the helicopter view."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Her-assment [v.]Sexual harassment by a woman.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Herding cats [exp.]A difficult course of action. "Motivating you people is like herding cats!"Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Heritage [n.]The markets and business practices that have been a part of an organization since its inception. "If we don't evolve from our heritage, we'll be insolvent within a year."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Heyday [n.]The best of times.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
High-wire act [n.]A risky business situation.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
HiPo [adj.]High Potential. "Word on the street is that he went to Wharton... I'm thinking HiPo."
Suggested by Michelle.
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HiPPO [v.]Highest Paid Person's Opinion. The deciding factor in workplace arguments. "What can we do to get HIPPO buy-in on this layout.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Hired guns [n.]Specialized professionals hired by an organization.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Hit the fan [v.]When a situation gets out of control.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Homing from work [v.]Using technology to keep in touch with personal concerns while at work.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Horizontal [n.]A shortened version of another buzzword, 'horizontal market.' In this context it refers to a product that benefits a wide range of companies/industries. "We have several horizontals with the potential to become serious revenue streams."
Suggested by Geoff M.
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Hosed [adj.]1) Non-functional, usually in reference to technology.
2) In deep trouble.
"If we can't get these reports printed before this afternoon's meeting, we're hosed."
Suggested by Ben S.
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Hot buttons [exp.]A management idea that each employee should be responsible for decision-making.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Hot under the collar [exp.]Angry.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Hot-desking [v.]The practice of having a group of employees share a section on unassigned desks.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Hum a few bars [v.]A request to provide a verbal summary. "Your report was far too long. Can you hum a few bars?"
Suggested by Lea G.
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Human capital [n.]A new way of referring to employees as living assets.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Hump day [n.]The middle of the week (Wednesday). Settle down.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Hunker-down [adj.]To prepare for difficult business challenges ahead. "We need to hunker-down for the next round of plant shut-downs at GM."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Hush money [n.]A bribe to ensure that certain information isn't revealed publicly.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Hypertasking [v.]The practice of combining several unrelated activities into one. This often blurs the lines between personal and professional time.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter


Have one to add? Click here to suggest a word.