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...

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