Boardroom Bingo: The Game of Horrible Office Jargon


Boardroom Bingo: The Game of Horrible Office Jargon

Writer Mark Strauss wrote an amazing article explaining the etymology of popular office jargon complete with amusing alternative meanings. We loved the article. In fact, we made a game out of it.

Boardroom Bingo is a fun way to endure company meetings by tracking patois and parlance, palaver and pabulum. You win when you hear (or use—but don’t!) five idioms across, down, or diagonally. And of course, you already have the Free Space.

Each word has a funny definition from Mike Strauss or the writing and recruiting teams here at ProEdit. And please share your own funny definitions of office jargon using the hashtag #BoardroomBingo.

Enjoy hunting for office jargon!

Boardroom Bingo: The Game of Horrible Office Jargon


Here’s an excerpt from Mike Strauss’s ‘Let’s Take This Offline Where We Can Brainstorm a Little More Outside the Box’: Where did all this office jargon come from? A condensed etymology.

“This is in our wheelhouse.”

What it means: “We would be good at this.”

What it really means: “We need to prove we’re good at something.”

Origin: The Oxford English Dictionary defines wheelhouse as “a structure enclosing a large wheel, e.g., a water-wheel; specifically a house or superstructure containing the steering-wheel, a pilot-house.” As Daily Finance writer Bruce Watson observes: “It’s easy to see why the word has captured the popular imagination: wheelhouses are small spaces with excellent visibility, where the skipper is in control of the boat and prepared to face any dangers that it might encounter. In a wheelhouse…. a boat’s pilot can practice his ‘core competencies’ in an area with lots of blue ocean and the opportunity for plenty of ‘blue-sky thinking.’”

Bonus fact: Watson argues that “wheelhouse” entered the business world via baseball, which borrowed the nautical term to describe the heart of a hitter’s strike zone.

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