The Ridiculous Business Jargon Dictionary: R-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.

Race without a finish line [n.]A frantic effort without a clearly defined goal. "I see you clowns racing, but where's the damn finish line?"
Suggested by Mark N.
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Raft of measures [n.]A group of solutions launched concurrently. "Let me assure you that we will float out a raft of measures to correct this imbalance."
Suggested by Michael D.
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Ramp up [v.]To increase over a period of time.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Rasterbator [n.]A person who uses photo-editing software compulsively.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter


RDB [n.]Rectal DataBase. The origin of ideas that are pulled out of one's ass.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Re-inventing the wheel [v.]Hard work that can be avoided by simply stealing the solution from someone else.
Suggested by Julie.
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Reach out [v.]To contact. A dramatic way of saying a very mundane thing. "I'll have my people reach out sometime next week."
Suggested by Denis
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Ready, fire, aim [exp.]Releasing a product that isn't ready just to meet an arbitrary deadline or impress investors. "Come on... ready, fire, aim. We'll fix it in post."
Suggested by Mr. Planner.
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Real-time [adj.]Voice communication (as compared to email and text). "75 reply threads and you're still nowhere. Get on the horn and deal with this in real-time."
Suggested by Jeff.
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Recontextualize [v.]To redefine an organization's role in a given business environment. Who can actually say this word with a straight face??Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Rectible [n.]A larger, rectangle shaped cubicle usually given to team leaders.
Suggested by Jeffrey.
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Red flag [n.]Warning sign.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Reduction in Force (RIF) [n.]One of the many euphemisms used to describe firing people.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Referenceability [n.]A measure of a firm's ability to gather positive references and case studies from its clients.
Suggested by Lisa G.
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Rent-a-quote [n.]"Experts" for hire that are prized for their ability to provide convincing sound-bites.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Repeating tickler [n.]A recurring calendar event with a reminder alarm.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Report [n.]A subordinate. "By this time next year, you'll have a small army of direct reports."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Repurpose [v.]To redefine how an item is used, often as an alternative to discarding it. "If we don't repurpose this production line, we're going to waste $2 million in capital."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Resonate [v.]To appeal to someone on a fundamental level. "This new model will really resonate with the youth market."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Resource [n.]References anything that will be used to complete a task, whether it be a stapler or a person. Helps managers strip away the humanity from their employees before making hard choices.
Suggested by Renee.
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Resource-intensive [adj.]Expensive.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Responsibility curve [n.]The collection of things for which one is responsible. "Accounts Receivable is not part of my responsibility curve."
Suggested by Dave C.
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Resume stain [n.]A job (or company) that looks so terrible that you'd rather leave it off your resume.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Retired in place (RIP'd) [adj.]Describes a 'tenured' employee who still holds a position, but generally does nothing but count the days until retirement.
Suggested by Mark D.
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Retread [v.]To implement a failed idea for the second time.
Suggested by Matt F.
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Reverse infallibility [exp.]Describes a person who is always wrong.
Suggested by Just Some Poor Schmuck
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Reverse logistics [n.]The return of a faulty product to the manufacturer. "Make sure the reverse logistics are as complicated as possible for the customer."
Suggested by fhunktion.
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Ride herd [v.]From a cowboy expression meaning to observe and control closely. "Jill, I need you to ride heard on this project."
Suggested by aclassicgirl.
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Right seat on the bus [n.]Responsibilities that complement the skills of those assigned. "We want to hire you, but just can't seem to find the right seat on the bus."
Suggested by Jeremy.
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Right-shoring [v.]Distributing operations to the most profitable location, instead of assuming that offshore options are inherently superior.
Suggested by Aaron D.
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Rightsizing [v.]A gentler way to refer to downsizing. Suggests that a round of layoffs is simply a labor surplus correction, rather than a symptom of deep financial problems.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Road map [n.]A plan for dealing with upcoming business challenges.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Robust dialog [n.]A productive conversation between co-workers involving open, honest discussion. Usually this translates to two assholes shouting at each other.
Suggested by Christina.
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Rocket surgery [n.]A delightful way to combine two points of comparison when discussing the difficulty of a task. "Come on, it's not rocket surgery."
Suggested by Jon K
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Rocking a pair of doobs [v.]Wearing boat/deck shoes (Dubarrys) in a business setting.
Suggested by Chrissie.
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Rocks in the backpack [n.]The individual responsibilities that make up a person's total workload. "Can't help you. I've got enough rocks in my backpack."
Suggested by Leah.
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Roll in [v.]When telling a story about a late coworker, this is the only acceptable way to describe their arrival. "Typical Millennial... rolls in at 10:45 without saying a word."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Rolling the tortoise [v.]Excessively increasing resources to accelerate an otherwise slow-moving project. "Pull in ten extra bodies to help roll the tortoise."
Suggested by Nigel.
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Rolling thunder approach [n.]Creating a constant media buzz.
Suggested by Atticus I.
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Rooster call [n.]An early morning meeting scheduled well before normal working hours. Breakfast optional, but they best be brewing coffee.
Suggested by Gene R.
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Round file [n.]The garbage pail. "This sales brochure is going straight into the round file."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Royal jelly [n.]1) The substance that bees rub onto an immature female to cause her to transform into a queen.
2) The flashy projects and good assignments that are constantly fed to someone the boss is grooming for promotion.
"Debra's been getting a ton of royal jelly lately, you think she'll remember us when she makes VP?"
Suggested by Randy D.
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Rub my rhubarb [exp.]To be irritated in a particularly annoying or painful way. "These whiny new interns are really starting to rub my rhubarb."
Suggested by Luke K.
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Rubber check [n.]A bounced check.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Rubber stamp [n.]Approval. "Can I get your rubber stamp on this one?"Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Rube Goldberg [adj.]Describes an inefficient and overly complex solution.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Rug ranking [exp.]When the career of an assistant is tied to that of his or her boss.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Run it up the flagpole [exp.]To find out what colleagues think of a new idea.
Suggested by Patti
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Runway [n.]The amount of time left before a startup runs out of money. "You've got a 5 month runway—don't waste it."
Suggested by Tim C.
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