What are some interesting acronyms

Office language - Abbreviations from everyday office life

“FYI - We'll huddle with the CEO at around four!” - A language of its own is spoken in offices that is difficult for outsiders to understand. Today's post explains the common terms used in office language.

The most important abbreviations from the office

There are many abbreviations in office language. In some offices there are one or the other exotic abbreviation that is only known within the company. But there are also many codes that are known in all offices. These are as follows:

  • Shelf P: Basically means nothing else than to put something in the trash can. The trash can in this case is the shelf. P simply stands for trash.
  • Asap: This word is an abbreviation for "as soon as possible". Translated, this means "as soon as possible". The meaning behind this is the notification that something is particularly urgent.
  • Go to 17: This office code describes nicely that someone has to go to the bathroom.
  • btw: This abbreviation stands for “by the way” and translates as “by the way”. This abbreviation is used in the office to provide additional information that does not have to be related to the actual message.
  • CEO: This term is used to denote the company manager. The word boss has been replaced with this term. The term comes from the English language and means "Chief Executive Officer" and thus describes the top boss.
  • C.t.: This abbreviation comes from the Latin language "cum tempore" and stands for "with time". This is a small delay for a business lunch. If you use the abbreviation, you allow yourself a little delay. The opposite would be s.t., which stands for sine tempore and describes that you will be punctual to the minute.
  • FYI: This abbreviation stands for "For Your Interest". Translated this means something like "interesting for you".
  • FYA: The abbreviation for "For Your amusement" translates as "For your pleasure".
  • Fubar: This abbreviation is often used by technicians. This, too, comes from the English language and stands for "fucked up beyond all repair". The abbreviation is used when something has absolutely failed. Whether it is a project or a device.
  • IMO or IMHO: These abbreviations mean "In my opinion" or "In my humble opinion". Both basically stand for "In my (humble) opinion". This in turn means that the person is absolutely convinced of their opinion.
  • KISS: This does not mean “kiss”, as you might have thought, but stands for “Keep it short and simple”. Translated it means "keep it short and simple".
  • OoO: This abbreviation can mean two different things, although the meaning is the same. Translated it means either “Out of Order”, ie out of order or “Out of Office”, which means that the person is not in the office.
  • TGIF: "Thank God it's Friday" is the meaning of this abbreviation. In the office, this abbreviation means “Thank God, it's Friday.” Those who are looking forward to the weekend like to use this abbreviation.
  • THX: This is an abbreviation for Thanks and simply means thank you.

Terms from office language


In addition to abbreviations and empty phrases, there are a few other terms in office language that could be important. It can't hurt to know these too.

  • Meeten- This means the meeting that you want to meet.
  • Huddle- This term stands for the mini-meeting. You meet at short notice and usually in a completely disorganized way.
  • Bullet Points - This means a PowerPoint presentation in which diagrams and lists play an important role. Basically, this should be avoided, only important points should be presented.
  • Banalysis- this term stands for quick investigation
  • Bio break: this is a different term like the abbreviation for “go on 17”. Fact, you have to go to the toilet.
  • In the flow: This does not mean anything other than that you do not want to be disturbed at the moment.
  • Action Items- A term for work that needs to be done urgently.
  • All hands event- This can either mean that all employees have to attend a meeting because a crisis is imminent or that the employees should be motivated at this meeting.
  • Have a slot- This is a term for putting an appointment in between.
  • It's going to be sporty: A term that has little to do with sports. This is more about a challenge that you probably won't be able to manage.
  • TIA: This term comes from English and stands for "thanks in advance", which means nothing other than "thank you in advance".
  • Airtime- This means that important people will be hit.
  • You name it- Another for the sentence that one completely agrees.
  • yup / yep- Basically, these two terms simply stand for a simple “yes”.
  • escalate- You can't do something so well, the team leader or even the boss has to do the work himself.
  • proactive- this is the name given to employees who are more than active. Who put a lot of effort and want to achieve the best.
  • HP- This is more about the abbreviation for "High Potential". This term stands for one with particularly high potential who can most likely be promoted.
  • HTH- a term from English that stands for no guarantee or for the hope that what you have contributed will help.
  • Wombat- the abbreviation stands for "waste of money, brains and time" and translates as "waste of money, intelligence and time". This in turn shows that the task or project is pointless.
  • On-board resources- Here, in-house resources are mainly used.
  • New ball game- Very interesting short style for the fact that everything starts at the beginning.
  • FaceTime- This simply means that someone is present in the office.

Typical phrases from office language

Set phrases are sentences from the office that, like the abbreviations, are not always easy to understand. It is very interesting that these sentences do not contain what is being said literally. Therefore the translation is not exactly unimportant!

  • "Pick up the customer." - is a phrase that does not mean that you have to pick up a customer from a certain point. Rather, it means that the customer is brought up to a certain level of information. This enables them to get to know and understand a product or service better. This in turn means that the customer is able to make a purchase decision because he is well informed. It's basically nothing more than a sales pitch.
  • "It's my turn!", this is a sentence that means completely different. Basically it stands for "I forgot and I take care now". My turn means that it can still take a while.
  • "We have to short-circuit each other." - this phrase is often used. But what exactly does it mean? Basically, one would have to talk about a matter, but this can take a long time. Hence an empty phrase that may never come of anything.
  • "Enjoy the meal!" - is a term that is heard very often in the office. However, this word is often associated with the fact that you have to take on work for a colleague who is actually at the table. One is not happy about this work and therefore welcomes people with a meal. This saves you the long explanation that colleagues are on their lunch break.

Do you use a special office language in your company? Let us know! We look forward to your comments!

The article "Office language - Abbreviations from everyday office life" was written by:

Stephan Forstmann

Expert for home office and healthy office work

Stephan originally comes from beautiful Dresden and has been an integral part of the office furniture expert's editorial team since 2009.

Stephan has been working in the home office since 2013 and has since become an expert in this field. He passes on his experiences, tips and best practices in the form of tutorials and articles in the guide.

In addition to the topic of home office, he deals daily with the topic of healthy office work and ergonomics.

You can find more articles by Stephan, for example, on Unternehmer.de or Abenteuer Home Office.

In his private life, Stephan loves and lives photography. You can talk to him for days about camera technology, composition and image design. He also regularly writes tutorials for photography.

If you would like to get in contact with Stephan, you are welcome to write him an email: [email protected]

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