The Ridiculous Business Jargon Dictionary: W-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.

W-cubed [exp.]The unrealistic claim that your company can deliver whatever, wherever, whenever it's needed.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
WAG [n.]A Wild-Assed Guess.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Walk together [n.]A close collaboration. Try to imagine your colleagues stumbling around the office in an awkward three-legged race.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Walk-trot-run [adj.]Describes the progressive improvement of new personnel or practices. "I'm confident that my latest hires will be walk-trot-run by next month."
Suggested by Mike B.
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Wallet share [n.]The portion of a customer's total spending that has been captured. "This software will allow you to spot opportunities to increase wallet share on a client-by-client basis."
Suggested by Lynne.
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Wallpaper a meeting [v.]To fill a conference room with people that agree with your position.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Wallpapering fog [v.]Doing something useless (in the extreme). "Tell your team to stop wallpapering fog and produce some damn results!"
Suggested by Greg.
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Warm bowl of nothing [n.]A project or idea that has no substance, but is sold as a great opportunity.
Suggested by Jim.
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Washes its face [adj.]Pays for itself/breaks even. "We need to price this on a washes our faces basis."
Suggested by hc
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Washup [n.]A meeting scheduled after an event to discuss what was learned and assign blame for any problems.
Suggested by Lafeerose.
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Wax poetic [v.]To talk in what the speaker believes to be an expressive manner, often using bizarre, contrived metaphors. "After warning us that he was going to 'wax poetic', Tim started to compare our recent union battles with the struggle for racial equality."
Suggested by Steve W.
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Weapons grade [adj.]Effective to the point of being lethal (not actually lethal). "You're lookin' at weapons grade, black-belt tigerteam."
Suggested by Mike D.
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Weighing the pig [v.]Endlessly analyzing a business's standpoint in terms of market share, profitability, growth potential, etc., instead of actually working on generating revenue.
Suggested by Alecia.
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What the musk?! [exp.]The proper response to the entrance of a coworker with overpowering cologne.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Whatnot [n.]No matter how many times an instruction is repeated or simplified, this person will look back with glazed eyes, a blank expression and a predictable response, "...What?"
Suggested by CM & JC.
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Wheelhouse [n.]The piloting room of a ship; the brain. "The thought of going green has been rattling around my wheelhouse for some time now."
Suggested by Paul N.
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Where the rubber meets the road [exp.]1. A single, crucial moment on which success is dependent.
2. The performance of a product after release, in the real world. "We deploy next week. This is where the rubber meets the road, people!"
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White smoke meeting [n.]Marks the point when a client approves a big contract. Just like announcing a new pope, if the pope were a cleared commission check.
Suggested by Bryan
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Whiteboard [v.]To convey information by writing it out on a presentation surface. "Let's whiteboard your thoughts in this afternoon's meeting."Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Whitehouse decision [n.]An issue that can only be addressed by the most senior of senior management. See: C-level.
Suggested by einstein.
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Whitespace [n.]1) Open floor or selling space. "Walking through the sales area, I realized we've got way too much whitespace."
2) Unrealized opportunity. "We need to identify the whitespace in dental sales."
Suggested by Eddie L. and Marie P.
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Whore's market [n.]A saturated and competitive market with no barriers to entry. "They're slitting throats for pennies out there. It's a real whore's market."
Suggested by Tyler M.
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Widen the jaws [v.]To ensure that revenue rises faster than costs. "Unpaid overtime won't widen the jaws forever."
Suggested by Ronnie I.
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WIFM [exp.]What's In it For Me (pronounced 'wiffim'). "I understand what you're saying, but where's the WIFM here?"
Suggested by Nigel T.
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Wiggle room [n.]The amount of flexibility to change a profit margin. "The competition just announced a massive discount. How much wiggle room do we have here?"Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Win-win [n.]A mutually beneficial arrangement for two parties. While the better negotiator is probably still at an advantage, both leave the table feeling great about it.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Window-licker [n.]An employee willing to do almost anything to impress the boss.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Windshield survey [v.]Avoiding the effort required to actually get out of the car during a site visit.
Suggested by Gary P.
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Witch hunt [n.]An all-consuming and costly search for the person responsible for a minor mistake. May be the first step in your manager's descent into madness.
Suggested by Ed
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With all due respect... [exp.]Usually spoken just prior to showing zero respect.
Suggested by Russell H.
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Within a nine iron [adj.]Relatively close to a goal. "Get us within a 9 iron on those figures." How do I convert golf yards into dollars again?
Suggested by Regina
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Womb to tomb [adj.]From creation to disposal. "You're looking at guaranteed lifecycle support. Womb to tomb."
Suggested by Andy R.
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WOO [n.]Window Of Opportunity. "John has to come in Monday; the WOO can't be changed on this one."
Suggested by Sammy.
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Word-of-mouse [adj.]Referral advertising over a computer network.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Wordsmith [v.]A dramatic replacement for 'edit'. "Let's capture your ideas in broad terms for now -- we can always wordsmith them later."
Suggested by Leslie C.
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Work of Shame [n.]The shift following an unexpected weeknight hook-up, usually featuring the same clothes from the day before.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Work sandwich [n.]The work-related sheets of paper printed to conceal personal use of the equipment.
Suggested by Tangela
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Work spasm [n.]The short-lived period of high productivity just after a vacation.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Work stack [n.]A list of assigned tasks. "We'll need to check Jim's work stack before we task him with another account."
Suggested by Fred D.
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Work the problem [v.]Pretending to address an issue after pretending to listen to a complaint. Nicely avoids committing to a specific course of action. "Understand that we are very concerned and are doing our best to work the problem."
Suggested by Angie.
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Work/work balance [n.]Making sure that your day job doesn't interfere with the time you spend chasing half-baked startup ideas.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter
Workstream [n.]A task described so vaguely that no tangible progress can be made. "I want each member of your team to focus on one of four key workstreams..."
Suggested by Whistling R.
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Worry bead [n.]A bothersome subject tracked by executives on a rotating basis. Like Rosary Beads are counted during prayers, worry bead items are discussed on a regular schedule.
Suggested by Tired.
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Wow factor [n.]That special something that the client keeps demanding, but can never quite articulate.Share this term on FacebookShare this term on Twitter