Know Your Business Acronyms

Know Your Business Acronyms

Acronyms have their uses, but even the most dedicated of jargonauts can agree that littering your conversations with them is hardly helpful. Still, over time a significant reservoir of general business acronyms have been added to office lexicons and it can be handy to familiarise yourself with them.

Image: Susanne Nilsson / Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

The Muse’s Kat Moon has compiled a list of the more common acronyms and even abbreviated, there’s still over 120 of them. Moon outlines a number of major areas — general, finance, technical, marketing and job titles — which should cover you most of the time.

Some are universally recognised:

COB: Close of business
ETA: Estimated time of arrival
OOO: Out of office

Others a little less so:

FWIW: For what it’s worth
IMO: In my opinion
KISS: Keep it simple stupid

And a few that I personally have never heard or seen before:

WIIFM: What’s in it for me
TED: Tell me, explain to me, describe to me

Hit up The Muse article for the full list.

Your Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Deciphering the 123 Most Common Business Acronyms [The Muse]


  • I regularly used WOFTAM during project management activities. Polite version – WOFTAM – Waste of Flaming Time And Money.

  • My company has a two sided A4 page of acronyms that are JUST for our company (handily PDFed on our internal site for new starters!).

    I’ve been here a year and a half and still hear new ones…

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!