HI there, business jargon … explained from H to I

Would you dare subject your “head honcho” to a “haymaker,” or would you be “in a pickle” were you to do so? More English business jargon terms and their origins – this time starting with H and I.

English Business Jargon on HTWB

Do you “have money to burn,” but find that “if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen?

Hard head: someone who probably is very good at what they do, but does not take criticism lightly, or someone who is stubborn (or both!) convinced that they are right no matter what. A 20th century term. Can also mean someone who has hard convictions about their area of expertise and has every justification for being so. Finally, can refer to someone who is “hard headed” and so does not allow emotional issues to interfere with their business or otherwise strategic decisions, but who ultimately has everyone’s best interests at heart.

Hasn’t batted an eyelid: given that people who are nervous or stressed are supposed to blink frequently, this term – popularized in 20th century English language markets – refers to someone who has not shown any sign of concern, agitation, worry, excitement or other emotion because they are not blinking more often than they would in relaxed circumstances. [Read more…]

How to write in Canadian English…

If you want to annoy a Canadian, try telling them that you picked up on their American accent. That always does the trick to me even though my accent is tempered with a good few decades of British influence.

Writing in Canadian English

Writing Canadian English is not as simple as chopping it between US and UK English half-and-half…

But it’s not just the accent that’s different. (Tip: listen for the “ou” diphthong in a word like “house” … if it sounds like ha-owse  it’s American, but if it sounds like hoose  it’s Canadian. Plus, Canadians don’t whine/drone anything like as much as some Yanks do.)

Believe it or not, written Canadian English has a personality of its own

[Read more…]

EEEzy-FEEEzy does it for business jargon starting with E and F

Does your company’s canteen serve food that’s “finger lickin’ good,” or does it taste “fishy” and so doesn’t “fit the bill?” Enjoy these English business and general jargon terms – and their often surprising origins…

business jargon and its origins explained

I hope you don’t expect me to “foot the bill” for this “fender bender…”

English Business Jargon from E to F

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It’s D-Day for business jargon … some D-terms explained

Would you find any “dead wood” at work – and could you remove it with a “double edged sword?” And do you know why we use those terms today? Check out these Deees of business jargon!

Business jargon starting with D - explained on HTWB

Have you done a “dry run” with your “doggie bag?”

Damp squib: (sometimes said as damp squid, but as squid are sea animals they need to be damp to survive!) A squib, on the other hand, is a kind of firework and as you know, if fireworks get damp, they tend not to work properly or at all. So a “damp squib” is an occasion, activity, product, event, meeting, training course etc., that does not live up to expectations and is, basically, disappointing or even a total a failure. The first known use of the term goes back to the early 19th century in England. [Read more…]

Business jargon C words – no, not THAT one…

Would you “cock a snook” at a “cup of joe” and just “chill out?” And would you know where those terms originate? Find out the fascinating roots of our favorite business and other jargon here…

business jargon explained on HTWB

Should you “chew out” someone who cries “crocodile tears?”

C-Suite: this is an affectionate slang term for the senior directors/vice presidents and other top people in an organisation and, presumably, where their offices are located! It’s said to originate from the fact that many of the senior job titles in a company start with the letter “C” – e.g. Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Technical Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Information Officer, etc.

Can’t make head nor tail of it: (also can’t make head or tail of it) means you can’t understand something at all, and/or you find it horribly confusing. Apparently the Roman politician Cicero once wrote “Ne caput nec pedes” (neither head nor feet) when he was confused about something. More recently (from about the second half of the 17th century) people began using the term closer to its present form, but no-one is sure why we refer to “head nor tail.” Logically though, this must mean top/bottom, beginning/end, or of course two sides of the same coin. [Read more…]

21 reasons why English is a b*tch of a language to learn

The English language never fails to astound us with how utterly ridiculous it is … in many places. Here are a mere 21 examples of homonyms / homophones / homographs that confuse us on a daily basis and make life hell for most students from other cultures who try to learn it …

English homonyms and homophones on HTWB

Would you desert your dessert in the desert?

1.The bandage was wound around the wound.

2.The farm was used to produce produce. [Read more…]

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