The Ridiculous Business Jargon Dictionary: P-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.

PAC [adj.]Perfectly absolutely clear. "… and I want to be completely P A C on this." That is some fine abbreviation irony, right there.
Suggested by Jim J.
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Pacesetter [n.]A product or company that dictates market standards.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Pain point [n.]An area of pressing customer need. Addressed, of course, by your company's latest product offering.
Suggested by our spies at a Fortune 100.
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PanAm [v.]To take over; hijack. "We were enjoying a casual, light-hearted lunch until Donna came by and totally PanAm'd it with her work talk."
Suggested by Kellie
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Paper [v.]To document a position or transaction. "We verbally agreed to a rebate, but it hasn't been papered yet."
Suggested by Tax Goddess.
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Paper cut [n.]A minor negative impact. "Five reps called out this morning so expect a few paper cuts when the call volume spikes."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Paper shredder [n.]Another on the long list of derogatory ways to refer to accountants.
Suggested by Philip A.
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Parachute in [v.]To send someone to complete work at an off-site location. "The client's legal staff are clueless so I'll parachute someone in next week."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Parking lot [v.]To end the discussion of a particular item in a meeting with the intention of addressing it later. "We ran out time and had to parking lot Tim's marketing ideas."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Party line [n.]Official position. "I just can't swallow the party line on these environmental standards."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Path forward [n.]A dramatic metaphor for what's probably a mundane business plan.
Suggested by Jacada.
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Pathfinder project [n.]A new venture in an untested area. "This exciting pathfinder project will open new markets." Translation: We're new at this and making it up as we go.
Suggested by Peter K.
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Pay grade [n.]The limit of one's knowledge or power within an organization. "Secret monkey research? That's above my pay grade."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Pay the piper [exp.]To settle a debt.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Payroll orphan [n.]A laid-off employee who will no longer be receiving a paycheck.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Peacock [n.]A person who insists on displaying every award, certification, and #1-dad-plaque on their cubicle walls.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Peanut butter out [v.]To distribute responsibilities among team members. "Let's meet tomorrow to peanut butter out the tasks."
Suggested by Kristine.
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Pearl diving contest [n.]An incentive program to increase sales.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Peel the onion [v.]To remove all superfluous layers and get to the heart of an issue.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Peer management [v.]The art of interacting with difficult coworkers.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Pen-down strike [n.]A protest in which employees are physically present, but complete no actual work.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Pencil-whip [v.]To falsify records or submit a form with fabricated information. "I pencil-whipped the survey so management would take it seriously."
Suggested by Brandon C.
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Penetration pricing [v.]The practice of setting a low price initially in order to gain market share.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Penny ante [n.]Something insignificant.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Percussive maintenance [v.]The common practice of 'fixing' a piece a equipment by smacking it repeatedly.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Perfect storm [n.]Unlikely event where all possible business challenges converge at once. Often used as an excuse for poor results.
Suggested by MrApples
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Phase Two [exp.]While it once referred to a concrete part of a given project, it is now used to shelve unrealistic ideas. "That's more of a phase two idea, Jill."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Phenomeniche [n.]A product or idea that is not widely known, but completely dominates a single highly-focused market.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Phone it in [v.]To complete a task without much effort. "She's really phoning it in on this one."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Phone shui [n.]In thick buildings, this is the art of adjusting the placement of your cellphone to find a signal.
Suggested by Grigori.
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Photox [v.]Improving the appearance of one's face in a using photo editing software.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Piece [n.]A very trendy way to describe any issue or project. "Where are we on the recruitment piece?"Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Pig in a python [exp.]Slow moving.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Pigeon [n.]1) Someone that is easily deceived.
2) An absolutely useless and clueless employee. "What were they thinking hiring this pigeon?"
Suggested by Kevin L.
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Piggyback [v.]To add to a previously stated idea. This is a common occurrence in meetings and business school classes, where the idea is usually just repeated using different wording. "I'd like to piggyback on Kim's analysis of this case..."
Suggested by Reza.
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Pilot fish [n.]A junior-level manager that closely tails a senior executive.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Pin the rose [v.]The act of selecting someone to perform a thankless task. "Head downstairs and find me an intern that I can pin this rose on."
Suggested by Jeffrey.
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Ping [v.]To contact or notify. "Ping the boss about this one later."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Pipe, the [n.]The never-ending source of all work. "I better hurry and finish this project because I've got three more coming down the pipe."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Pissing in the ocean [v.]An action that is hopelessly trivial or meaningless. "Without the right equipment, we might as well be pissing in the ocean."
Suggested by Jacada.
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Pivot [n.]A shift or change. "Management has instructed us to pivot off our legacy brand message."
Suggested by herscall
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Planful [adj.]Describes actions taken after careful strategic thinking. "I admire your measured and planful approach."
Suggested by LK.
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Pocket call [n.]An unintentional cell phone call. Can often get you into trouble.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Poison pill [exp.]A financial move used to discourage a takeover attempt.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Political equity [n.]The hope of big business that political donations build intangible value over time.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Polling [v.]Repeatedly checking Internet news sites throughout the workday, in order to be the first to 'break the story' to your colleagues when something interesting comes up.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Pooh-pooh [v.]To reject, turn down.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Poor mouth [exp.]To verbally deny that one is wealthy.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Populate [v.]To fill out a paper form. "Can you populate that expense claim for me?"
Suggested by Simon S.
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Post-mortem [n.]The meeting or report that summarizes everything that was learned during a completed project.
Suggested by Ben.
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Power luser [n.]An employee who is incredibly good at accidentally screwing up his computer.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Powerpoint Bunny [n.]Someone who is dedicated to the art of putting other people's hard work into cheesy, over-animated slideshows.
Suggested by Alex G.
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PowerPointless [adj.]Fancy graphics and animations in slide presentations that distract your audience instead of clarifying.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
PR&D [n.]The unholy union of public relations and research & development. Engineering activities performed for promotional purposes with no regard for usability, return on investment, or product application.
Suggested by Mad Casual.
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Prairie dogging [v.]The simultaneous pop-up of several heads when something interesting is happening around cubicles.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Pre-mumble [n.]The preliminary comments of a speaker. Often an attempt at humour is made.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Pre-read [n.]Subject matter, memos and other materials that should be read prior to a meeting or event. "Please forward the pre-read to my secretary before tomorrow's board meeting."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Prebuttal [n.]To address an opposing viewpoint before it's brought up. Often interruptive, "Now I know what you're going to say..."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Presenteeism [n.]The practice of working ridiculously long hours.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Press on that bruise [v.]The act of further exposing or exploiting a known weakness to advance one's cause. "I don't mean to press on that bruise, but…"
Suggested by Cal N.
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Press the flesh [v.]To shake hands.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Pretendgineer [n.]A young worker who has settled for a technical job after realizing that his true passion won't pay the bills. "He's still hoping for that record deal, but he's been a pretendgineer since graduation. I give it 6 months before the guitar's gathering dust."
Suggested by JC & CM.
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Prethink [v.]Discussing an idea or proposal with a smaller group before broader delivery. "We met to prethink our message before the call."
Suggested by w3.
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Price point [n.]Although a legitimate economic concept, business people are simply happy to have a much cooler way to say 'price'. "What kind of price point were you looking for?"Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Proceduralize [v.]To make a process official. "We're going to proceduralize this protocol into a coherent business model."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Productize [v.]To turn into a product. "How do we productize our experience in this sector?"Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Programmatically [adj.]To complete a task with the help of a software tool. "I want to be able to track our shipments programmatically."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Progressive elaboration [n.]The process by which a mediocre project is continuously modified via trial and error with the hope that it is improving.
Suggested by Jon B.
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Project creep [n.]The ongoing extension of a deadline by small increments.
Suggested by Brian C.
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Promoted to customer [v.]Fired. "Didn't you hear? Melanie was promoted to customer last Friday."
Suggested by Gregg.
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Prostitot [n.]A pre-teen girl who dresses provocatively.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Pucker factor [n.]The degree of reaction to something that is startling or unexpected. Better not to think about the origins of this one.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Puff piece [n.]An article that is purely hype.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Pulse [v.]To gather information informally. "Pulse our liaisons for any changes to our contact lists."
Suggested by Jordan M.
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Pulse check [n.]A short meeting to discuss the status of an ongoing project. "I've got a repeating tickler on the Tuesday pulse check."
Suggested by Tonina
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Pump and dump [v.]To pad a list price higher so that the net profit is still palatable after a large discount is applied. "Who negotiated this corporate account? I had to pump and dump all my quotes to those guys."
Suggested by Colin M.
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Punch the tree [v.]To vent anger at an inanimate object in lieu of the person who caused it. "Take five, punch the tree, and come back in here with a clear head."
Suggested by Tom NWC.
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Pushback [n.]The opposition that one's ideas face from the rest of the company.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Pushing rope [v.]A fruitless task. "You've wasted half your career pushing rope."
Suggested by Jon B.
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Put the acid on [v.]Applying negative pressure to motivate an individual or group. "R&D has gone full-on fantasyland. Time to put the acid on."
Suggested by Lea C.
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Put to bed [v.]To conclude something. "We just need to put these last issues to bed."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Put your feelers out [exp.]To assess a situation using information gathered from one's professional network. "Why don't you put your feelers out to gauge the partners' interest in our latest initiatives."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Putting socks on an octopus [v.]Attempting an impossible task. "Closing these latest prospects is like putting socks on an octopus."
Suggested by Mrs. B. Trellis of North Wales.
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