20 Common Workplace Jargon That You May Have Never Heard Of

As society changes, the language evolves too. Sometimes we may have trouble comprehending what others are trying to convey even when spoken language is the same. In different modern day workplaces, the respective employees use jargon in their daily conversation. Jargon refers to the technical, industry terminologies that may not be understood by people who are not within the particular industries. Listed below are the jargon used in different workplaces that may sound foreign to you.


In medical industry, these are the jargon that you will hear daily.

1) Frequent Flyer

Related image
Image Credit: imgflip.com

You are a frequent flyer if you seek medical attention for literally every little health issue. A frequent flyer usually intends to find excuses to escape work. In some cases, it refers to junkies desperate to get a taste of drugs.

2) Episode

Image result for the period of a disease
Image Credit: accounts.smccd.edu

No, this doesn’t refer to the different episodes of your TV shows. Medically, episode describes the period of a disease or treatment with a definite start and finish.

3) Yellow Submarine 

Image result for jaundice
Image Credit: parenting.firstcry.com

An obese patient whom suffers from jaundice at the same time. A yellow submarine often needs critical medical attention.

4) Patient Is High Risk

Related image
Image Credit: irishmirror.ie

As self explanatory as it is, it actually means something more. They use this term to remind everyone to be careful in handling blood or body fluids as patients are HIV or Hepatitis positive.

5) Boyfriend

Related image
Image Credit: aginghomehealthcare.com

Don’t take it literally. It means an old patient who is simple and a joy to take care of. A boyfriend is also sweet and unintentionally hilarious.


On the other hand, let’s decode these law enforcement jargon.

6) 10-4

Related image
Image Credit: dccicomm.com

It simply means “affirmative”. It can also be a “yes” to a question or to inform that everything is okay.

7) Ride The Lightning

Image result for police tasing hangover
Image Credit: pedestrian.tv

Sometimes you need to give some “lightning” to the people you’re trying to pursue. Ride the lightning refers to the act of tasing someone when he/she refuses to give in.

8) Code Eight

Image result for requesting backup cartoon
Image Credit: reddit.com

A police enforcer issues a code eight when he requires immediate assistance in serious situations. If you’re on duty, you drop the doughnuts and coffee in your hand and head to the location right away, as portrayed on the screen.

9) Run In

Image result for stolen goods
Image Credit: loopcayman.com

The yard where the criminals use to store their stolen goods or vehicles.

10) Assumed Room Temperature

Image result for crime scene with dead body
Image Credit: darkroom.baltimoresun.com

Nothing to do with describing the room temperature. This jargon explains that an individual has died.


In the meantime, the military has their own list of jargon as well.

11) Bird

Image result for army helicopter
Image Credit: defensenews.com

Eagles? Sparrows? Robins? The term bird in military has nothing to do with living birds, but it refers to the helicopter.

12) Scrambled Eggs 

Related image
Image Credit: therebutnotthere.com

As much as some of us love it for breakfast, it actually refers to the embellishments found on an officer’s cap.

13) Flaming Asshole

Related image
Image Credit: airfighters.com

If you take it too literally, you might be imagining something inappropriate. Flaming asshole is an Air Force term to describe the fiery effect of a jet plane turning on its afterburners during combat.

14) Oxygen Thief

Related image
Image Credit: someecards.com

If you have a friend who talks too much all the time, he/she may be an oxygen thief. The military uses this slang to describe someone who is either useless or have a lot to talk about.

15) Sandbox

Image result for army in iraq
Image Credit: skynews.com

The clue is in the noun “sand”. It refers to Iraq, or usually desert areas.


Last but not least, expect to hear these jargon if you’re part of a business or a marketing team.

16) Eat The Elephant One Bite At A Time

Related image
Image Credit: driessen.nl

Who would eat an elephant? It means to break a large task into smaller ones.

17) Herding Cats

Related image
Image Credit: someecards.com

If you have a cat, you may find it easier to pet it. In corporate offices, herding cats is the act of managing a group of people who don’t necessarily want to be managed.

18) Low Hanging Fruits

Related image
Image Credit: reddit.com

With only minimal efforts, you can reach your targets or accomplish your goals.

19) Marinate

Related image
Image Credit: imgflip.com

Marinate is a part of cooking process but in offices, it implies that you will consider an idea further privately.

20) Zombie Project

Related image
Image Credit: itsadeliverything.com

In this non-zombie-apocalyptic world, zombie project refers to a project that cannot be gotten rid of, despite the efforts that have been given to eliminate it.

While jargon in conversation may promote secrecy, it definitely doesn’t go well with everyone. To some, it proves to be time wasting when they appreciate it if you can just be straight to the point. To some, you may give them the vibes of showing off. Have you got any more jargon to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!