HomeBUSINESSSurvey: The Most Annoying Corporate Buzzwords Revealed

Survey: The Most Annoying Corporate Buzzwords Revealed


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Are you fond of using the phrase “let’s circle back” in business meetings?

Your co-workers wish you would stop.

Preply, an online language-learning platform, recently surveyed over 1000 people to ask them what they thought of certain trendy corporate jargon. “Circle back” was deemed the most annoying phrase, followed by such overused doozies as “put a pin in it” (#6) and “low-hanging fruit” (#8).

Related: What Do You Do When Your Colleague Is Biased? Try These 5 Phrases to Professionally Call It Out.

Buzzwords you need to stop using in 2023

The survey also looked at what they called “modern buzzwords,” popularized in 2022.

The new words that survey participants wished would be retired immediately include “new normal,” with 42% calling it the most maddening phrase of 2022, “lean in” (18%), and “hop on a call” (16%).

“Level up” and “out of pocket” were not far behind in annoyingness.

HR reps may want to take note. The survey highlighted phrases that should not be used in job postings, with 55% of participants saying they view buzzwords in job postings negatively.

Among the worst offenders are: “fast-paced environment” and “rockstar.” The words “guru” and “ninja” also got a thumbs down, mercifully.


Acceptable buzzwords

Not all corporate buzzwords were deemed unbearable. The survey also revealed the least annoying buzzwords, such as “sync” (#1), “loop in” (#7), and an old familiar classic, “take offline” (#9).

We’re not saying these phrases will make you popular around the office, so use them sparingly.

Here are the full lists:

Top 10 Most Annoying Buzzwords

1. Circle back

2. Work hard, play hard

3. Boots on the ground

4. Let’s table this

5. Synergy

6. Put a pin in it

7. Get ducks in a row

8. Low-hanging fruit

9. Reinvent the wheel

10. Throw it up and see what sticks

5 Most Annoying Modern Words

1. New normal

2. Lean In

3. Hop on a call

4. Level up

5. Out of pocket

10 Least Annoying Buzzwords

1. Sync

2. Pushback

3. Pipeline

4. Level set

5. Have in back pocket

6. Window of opportunity

7. Loop in

8. Align

9. Take offline

10. On the same page

8 Buzzwords to Avoid in Job Listings

1. Like a family

2. Fast-paced environment

3. Rockstar

4. Guru

5. Ninja

6. Hustle

7. Work hard, play hard

8. Get your foot in the door


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