The new lingo you need to communicate in our ever-changing small-business world.
Carbon BigfootDefinition: A person with absolutely zero regard for his or her carbon footprint; an anti-environmentalist..
Usage: The elusive office Carbon Bigfoot appears to be Gary. The other day I watched him wad up 600 sheets of computer paper in pursuit of the perfect wastebasket three-point shot.
DeceptionistDefinition: A receptionist adept at blocking visitors, rather than facilitating their needs.
Usage: Jane must still be avoiding me. I saw her go into her office, but the deceptionist told me she had just stepped out.
Dining al DescoDefinition: Eating at one's desk in order to keep working.
Usage: Nothing sucks the soul out of a perfectly good lunch break like watching Kevin down a Clif Bar al desco.
FauxtrepreneurDefinition: A person who comes up with myriad business ideas but never actually sees one out.
Usage: Lauren's a total fauxtrepreneur. She claimed she was about to launch a gourmet waffle stand, but she's still punching the clock in a cube farm. She's all talk, no business plan.
BrogrammerDefinition: A frat-boy-esque computer programmer; an anti-nerd.
Usage: Barry knew his boss was going after the brogrammer set when he installed a beer-pong table in the break room.
O'Dark ThirtyDefinition: Far too early in the morning (Originated as a military term.)
Usage: If the boss man keeps calling me in at o'dark thirty, I might as well stop wasting money on rent and start squatting at the office.
Faker's DozenDefinition: When someone calls in sick to work 13 times in a single quarter.
Usage: Stevie logs onto WebMD daily to find new sick-day excuses on his way to a faker's dozen.
Lean-inDefinition: The act of making yourself appear engaged and interested when the person addressing you bores you to the point of exhaustion.
Usage:Donna's PowerPoint presentation was incredibly boring. I had to lean in so far I nearly fell out of my chair in the middle of the crowded conference room.
E-holeDefinition: A client, employee, co-worker, etc., who addresses workplace issues through passive-aggressive e-mails or who steals thunder through e-mails.
Usage: Martin told me he'd send our ideas to the boss, but I found out he took credit in the e-mail for everything we both worked on. He's such an e-hole.
BlamestormingDefinition: The act of meeting to discuss a failure and find a scapegoat.
Usage: Hey, did you hear management is planning a bigÃÂ blamestorming session so they can decide who to pin their latest screw-up on?
Bacon JobDefinition: A project with no shortage of volunteers; a plum position.
Usage: Talk about a bacon job: a competitive salary, benefits, a gym membership--and an isolated desk perfect for playing Words With Friends all day. Who wouldn't want that gig?
JargonautDefinition: A conoisseur of corporate slang. This person has an extensive, but borderline meaningless, vocabulary.
Usage: If you refer to the gunk that has built up on your computer as "keyboard plaque," you're a jargonaut (and you should probably clean that keyboard).
Mucus TrouperDefinition: The colleague who always gets the worst colds, yet still makes it in to work to cough, hack and infect the entire office.
Usage: Mucus troupers are so disgusting. They clear their throats for the entire office to hear, they sneeze on their keyboard and then they want to "grab lunch" with you.
MeanderthalDefinition: A person who has great difficulty expressing themselves succinctly, often giving long, unfocused presentations.
Usage: I want to gouge my eyes out every time the office meanderthal pulls up a PowerPoint.
Job StopperDefinition: An offensive tattoo or facial piercing that is always exposed, making securing a traditional corporate job difficult.
Usage: Of the eligible candidates, Michael was clearly the most qualified. He had the most impressive credentials, references and personality--but that flaming-eagle neck tat was a real job stopper.
DebtcadeDefinition: The period directly following the noughties, it refers to 2010 to 2019, a decade of extreme consumer and governmental debt. Coined by Adam Roberts, an editor for The Economist.
Usage: "My credit card was declined, my paycheck bounced, I've been evicted, my car was repossessed--and did I mention I might get laid off? The debtcade is really kickin' my butt.
TweatDefinition: A tweet designed to discredit you and damage the reputation of your business.
Usage: On Thursday, Lisa received a tweat from the competition: "OMG @lisacorp sucksss!!!!" Amateur, she sneered.
Sheep-ItDefinition: To blindly follow inefficient, corrupt or ludicrous business practices.
Usage: When Jerry's boss told him to write fake Yelp reviews about the competition, he decided to sheep-it: "There was a human toe in my soup and it was moving," he typed. It wasn't one of Jerry's finer moments.
NimbletonDefinition: An agile, entrepreneurially minded business
Usage: You may be in the nimbleton space if you:
- Bought an iPad 2 in March (at SXSW).
- Know about Klout scores.
- Care about Klout scores.
- Claim you're not concerned about being profitable. Yet.
Losing Your CouponsDefinition: Making a bad business decision--or what looks to everyone else like a bad business decision. Inspired by Groupon's now-legendary rejection of Google's buyout offer.
Usage: "You turned down $6 billion. From Google. Have you lost your coupons?"
XooglerDefinition: Pronounced ZOOG-ler and used to describe the swelling ranks of ex-Google employees headed for younger, nimbler startups--or starting companies of their own.
Usage: Kevin woke one sunny Monday morning to the realization that the magic of working for Google was gone. Two weeks later, he was a Xoogler taking the fruits of his "20 percent time" to his first VC pitch.
BrainhurtDefinition: A variant of "ugh," often uttered in response to work situations involving mind-numbing boredom and unreasonable demands.
Usage: "So this morning I get pulled into a sales meeting and they go on and on for two freaking hours and then they tell me to write an executive summary and mail it to at least 200 clients by the end of the day. Before I even had coffee. Brainhurt!"
Blackberry GoodDefinition: When something looks good on a tiny smartphone screen but hideous in real life.
Usage: Julie squinted at her BlackBerry and sighed with relief--the design looked perfect. It was only hours later, when she saw it in production, that she realized it would never work. It wasn't good. It was BlackBerry good. Just like that guy on Facebook.
Thumb TribeDefinition: Dexterous individuals who text better (and faster) than they talk.
Usage: Most of her classmates decorated their lockers with Glee cast photos; but Norah, one of the Tri-State area's thumb tribe elite, went with South Korean teenagers Ha Mok-min and Bae Yeong-ho the first Mobile Worldcup champions, who achieved glory with a record-setting pace of 356.974 strokes per minute.
Hit the SlideDefinition: To quit in a spectacular fashion. See also: Steven Slater and JetBlue.
Usage: On bad days, Chuck would steal coffee creamer from the office kitchenette and fantasize about hitting the slide. On really bad days, the plan involved burning fish and cauliflower in the microwave, pulling the fire alarm and streaking out past the VP's office.
Job FootprintDefinition: The duties in your job description, which because of our craptastic economy, is generally a longer list for less money.
Usage: After the downsizing, Lesli's job footprint became massive: building the website, writing ad copy, making sales calls, talking the CEO off the ledge. Luckily, since that kind of change can be hard to handle, her title and salary remained the same.
Osmosis MarketingDefinition: The idea that any brand's image--and resulting success--is achieved more effectively through the osmosis of pervasive blog buzz and tweet-trending than traditional marketing methods.
Usage: Robbie wished, not for the first time, that osmosis marketing hadn't worked so spectacularly for Justin Bieber's empire.
ClofficeDefinition: Literally a closet converted into an office. But any work space that provokes claustrophobia or thoughts of David Blaine is a cloffice, too.
Usage: "I get loads of work done in my cloffice. Two words: Verilux and Adderall."
BaldenfreudeDefinition: Satisfaction derived from the misfortune of bald or balding individuals. This bald-schadenfreude mashup was coined by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd to describe the delight over the woes of NBC president Jeff Zucker.
Usage: "As NBC reeled from the fallout of Jeff Zucker's tacit admission that his attempt to refashion the customary way Americans watch prime time had failed, Hollywood was ablaze with baldenfreude."
Scooby SnacksDefinition: The slobber-inducing dog snacks from the Scooby Doo cartoon have been slang for pretty much anything craveable. In these recessionary times, though, the term refers to the cheap tokens employers toss out as "incentives."
Usage:Alan thought his 80-hour workweeks would get him a bonus. Instead, he got Scooby Snacks--two tickets to the charity hockey game and an ergonomic chair, ganked from the manager on maternity leave.
TreponomicsDefinition: A soft economic theory that links 'trep activity with positive influence on the economy.
Usage: "Over the past 15 years, small businesses have created roughly 65 percent of all new jobs," President Obama said. "Through sheer grit and determination, these companies have weathered the recession and are ready to grow." (That's what we call treponomics, dude.).
Gray MatterDefinition: The older professionals hired by entrepreneurial firms seeking to become (or at least appear) more experienced and established.
Usage: Karl, who looked much younger than his 26 years, was tired of investors who didn't believe he had enough experience to make a profit. Maybe it was time to hire some gray matter.
TwobicleBuilt for two. Cohabitants sometimes have different shifts, but often not..
NoobicleFor the newest hire. Usually next to the restroom, far from the break room and/or situated where anyone can catch you shirking on Facebook.
ViewbicleCoveted workstation by the window. Hey, this matters if you work for the Man.
Ramen ProfitableDefinition: A business that makes just enough money to cover basic living expenses, such as toilet paper,running water and instant ramen.
Usage: "Of course we're profitable," Marc snapped. Lydia took in the unwashed plastic utensils and stained papers on the scuffed table that doubled as his office. "Yeah," she agreed, "ramen profitable."
OhnosecondDefinition: The fraction of time that passes before you realize you've made a horrible mistake, usually involving the "Send" button.
Usage: "My manager is such a douche," Alice e-mailed her buddy Mark--and in an ohnosecond realized that she'd actually sent the note to Mike, said manager.
Goldman SackedDefinition: A term used to describe the mass firings at investment banks during the financial crisis.
Usage: Wall Street is littered with the hungry, roaming Goldman Sacked--there are about 20 percent fewer bankers globally than there were before the crisis.
MancessionDefinition: The current recession, which has hurt men more than women.
Usage: In the Great Mancession of '09, 80 percent of jobs lost were held by men, and unemployment rates neared postwar records. No change in percentage of household chores completed.
Digital NomadsDefinition: The ever-expanding group of workers using wireless technology to eliminate the need for an office.
Usage: Scoreboard for 2009: Cyber Luddites 1.0; Digital Nomads 1.0 x 10100
GanjapreneurDefinition: Someone who smells opportunity in the medical marijuana industry.
Usage: About 25,000 ganjapreneurs and their customers attended the inaugural THC Expo in downtown Los Angeles last summer.
'trepDefinition: An abbreviation for "entrepreneur" that, for reasons obvious, has mainly been embraced by slang-obsessed teenagers and Netspeak devotees.
Usage: After the VCs kicked Mr. Sands and his ill-fitting suit to the curb, he downed a few beers at a bar and took the mic: "The first step/to becomin' a 'trep/is to find the funding./ Or you'll be left wonderin'/why you wasted all this time/on a dream with no rhyme or reason," he freestyled, poorly.
BossholeDefinition: A mashup of the words "boss" and "asshole," used to describe an employer who makes life hell on earth.
Usage: Sam had never given much thought to karma, but when his bosshole dropped a stack of contracts on his desk Friday night, he regretted the way he'd treated the last intern.
Have you worked for a bosshole? Tell us about it.
RecessionitisDefinition: A pecuniary pandemic gripping the nation. The word often refers to an excuse given by people in poor financial health (possibly feigned) for abstaining from social activity.
Usage: "Jack thought he was getting vibes from Rhonda, but when she said she'd been plagued by a case of recessionitis since the markets crashed last fall, he realized he didn't have a chance."
Jennifer LopezDefinition: Singer and actress J. Lo has been subject to both criticism and praise, but in investment circles, there's far more of the latter. Her, er, assets inspired the investment industry slang Jennifer Lopez, which describes the highly desirable rounding bottom of a stock's price on its way up.
Usage: "I wouldn't mind seeing a little more Jennifer Lopez on the GMGMQ."