A Dictionary of New Words and Expressions

Word / Expression Meaning
ABEND Hacker term for software crash. It stands for "ABnormal END" and comes from an error message on the old IBM 360, and also happens to be German for "evening", when these things are more likely to occur of course, just as you're about to don your coat. Alternative meanings include "Absent By Enforced Net Deprivation" - you've lost you Internet privileges, or you've no Net access due to computer downtime, or you're on holidays and offline, or your ISP has just gone belly-up...
(ah kor' de on ay tid) adj.
Being able to drive and fold a road map at the same time.
ADMINISPHERE The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.
ADMISISTRIVIA Fairly old term now, for all the trivial activities and reports required by administrators, project managers, projects themselves etc.
AIRPLANE BLONDE Someone who has bleached/dyed hair - but still has a "black box".
ADMINISTRIVIA Refers to those bits and bobs on a website that don't deserve their own page or section, and don't quite fit under a specific category either. Examples: the legal stuff about copyrights, liability, licensing, etc. Privacy stuff used to be administrivia but has since been upgraded to a subject in its own right.
AJOPALISE, to To apologise jokingly.
AL-DESKO Eating while at your desk
ALPHA GEEK: The most knowledgeable, technically proficient person in an office or work group.
ALPHA PUPS Term used by market research people for the "coolest kids in the neighbourhood". Example: "If them alpha pups like it, we'll shift a million of them."
ALT-TAB, to The frequent workplace practice of hitting "alt+tab" on your keyboard to hide your current window (e.g. which shows you've been dossing on the Web again) and bring up a more official-looking one from behind. Example: "I couldn't post that joke to the boards because the boss sneaked up so I had to alt-tab."
ALTABATION The frantic alt-tabbing between screens when boss enters the office.
ANTICIPOINTMENT That feeling you get when a product/event fails to live up to its own hype. Example #1: "That Windows XP was a huge anticipointment." Example #2: "Yeah, that Windows Millennium Edition anticipointment."
AMBIDIGIDEXTERIOUS The ability to easily manipulate your right mouse button easily.
AMSOMNIA When you're dead tired at work and can't doze off but don't know it, or when you couldn't sleep but don't remember it.
APLASTICATE To smash or squish with something plastic, as in "Aagh!! There's a wasp in the canteen! Let's APLASTICATE it!"
APTIDUDE TEST A psychological exam designed to evaluate the temp's "propensity towards subservience", "overworkability", "likelihood of suing" or being an all-round "dude with dangerous attitude".
ASSMOSIS The process by which some people seem to  achieve success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.
ASTROTURF CAMPAIGN A fake grassroots lobbying campaign, a particular problem for Net-based "issue" campaigning where "mass" phoney mailings are easier than ever. Example: "Tom is a terrible spin-doctor, he's just starting an astroturf campaign about his website using his first cousins."
AQUADEXTROUS Having the ability to turn bath taps on and off with your toes
(ak wa lib' re um) n.
The point at which the stream of drinking water is at its perfect height, thus relieving the drinker from (a) having to suck the nozzle, or (b) squirting himself in the eye.
(ak wa deks' trus) adj.
Possessing the ability to turn the bathtub faucet on and off with your toes.
BALKAN CEASEFIRE Unit of time, roughly equal to the time it takes to reload a gun.
BANANA ROLL Beauty industry term for the roll of fat directly situated beneath the buttock crease.
BEER COMPASS The invisible device that ensures your safe arrival home after a booze cruise, even though you're too pissed to remember where you live, how you get there, and where you've come from.
BEERIOD Weekly malady suffered by men after a night on the tiles. Symptoms include headache, moodiness, bloated stomach. "Leave me alone lass, my beeriod started this morning."
BEER COAT The invisible but warm coat worn when walking home after a booze cruise at 3 in the morning.
BEER SCOOTER The ability to get home after a night out on the pints but not remember it. e.g. "I don't even remember getting home last night, I must have caught a beer scooter".
BELOW ZERO (BZ) Marketroid jargon for a customer who costs more to serve than they return in value. Example: A typical average BZ can tie up a sales assistant for half an hour while trying on a dozen pairs of top-of-the-range Gucci shoes, then he/she buys a pair of socks, complains about the price and fecks off without actually buying anything. Becoming a BZ is also an interesting tactic for delaying those canvassing TDs or strange religious sects on your doorstep.
BERTIBOWL, the A proposed new national sports stadium in Ireland, championed by Ireland's Taoiseach (i.e. prime minister) Bertie Ahern.
BESK, a A combined bed and office desk designed for people who have to late at the office, or work from home
BETAMAXED A technology that has been overtaken by an inferior technology with more marketing clout. Example: "The Apple Mac was betamaxed out of the market by the IBM PC."
BIO-TUNING Being tuned into one radio station, but the signal drifts to another, then when you move around the room you find your own body alters which station you hear.
BI-STAR or just Binary star configuration A combination of two things that are apparently inseparable, for whatever reason. "Bicycle couriers and Tour de France pants? So bleedin' bi-star!"
BIT FLIP A 180-degree personality change. "Padraig did a major bit flip and became a Born Again Christian."
BLAMESTORMING Sitting around in a group discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed and who is responsible.
BLINKENSPEIL The continous blinking of a digital readout on e.g. a clock radio or VCR.
BLOWING YOUR BUFFER Losing one's train of thought. Occurs when the person you are speaking with won't let you get a word in edgewise or has just said something so astonishing that your train gets derailed. "Feck, I just blew me buffer!"
BODY NAZI You know the type - that hardcore gym fanatic who looks down on anyone who doesn't work out obsessively.
BOHICA!!! An exclamation by the poor proles and grunts who do the real work when senior managers announce their latest greatest brilliant sales/customer service/quality initiative. It's really an acronym and sounds a good bit more polite than "Bend Over, Here It Comes Again".
BONE-OF-CONTENTION A stiffy that causes an argument. e.g. one that arises while watching Olympic beach volleyball on TV with girlfriend.
BOOKMARK, to To take note of a person for future reference. Example: "I bookmarked him after seeing his cool demo at the Internet World Show."
BORINGNESS Being bored and annoyed at the same time, such as finding nothing on Cable TV even though you've paid for 141 channels.
BOTTOM-LINING Picking on affluent communities to "trial" (it's a verb) and "pilot" (another verb) your new interactive services.
BRAINBAG A laptop carry-all, originally airline slang for a pilot's briefcase containing flight papers, passport and other personal effects.
BRANDALISM Defacing public spaces such as footie stadiums, major thoroughfares and even our schools with logos, ads and corporate slogans.
BRIDEZILLAS The new wave of fussy, over-perfectionist, style-fixated brides who ban guests from receptions for being too fat or frumpy, and dump registrars because they are "too ugly" for the official photos.
BREAK-OUT-SPACE A consequence of all that hot-desking, which means bosses no longer need to keep expensive office space available for workers who may only be there part of the time. Hotdesking causes yet more problems of rootlessness and alienation, so some employers have now gone for break-out space - a quiet area away from the bustle of the workplace where informal meetings can be held.
BUGWARDS-COMPATIBLE Software deliberately written to behave in a similar fashion to earlier buggy or non-standard versions.
BUNNY BOILER An unhinged and overly possessive woman. From the rabbit boiling scene in "Fatal Attraction". e.g. "I don't like the look of yer wan - could be a bunny boiler".
BUY-BURN-RETURN Buying a CD, ripping it to your hard drive, burning a copy then returning the original to the shop.
(burg' uh side) n.
When a hamburger can't take it anymore, and hurls itself through the grill into the coals.
(buz' aks)
n. People in phone shops who walk around picking up display phones and listening for dial tones even when they know the phones are not connected.
BUSTARD Very rude bus driver
CALENDAR BATTLESHIPS A to-and-fro game played between a pair of overextended work colleagues attempting to agree upon a date for a meeting.
CALM TECHNOLOGY Technology that stays in the background till needed, thus enabling a user to interact with it in a calm, engaged manner. Coined by Mark Weiser, a researcher in the legendary Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre, and nothing to do with that annoying little paperclip c*** in MS Word.
CAREER-LIMITING MOVE (CLM) An ill-advised activity. For example, slagging off your boss while he/she is within earshot is a serious CLM.
(kar' pur pet u a shun) n.
The act, when vacuuming, of running over a string or a piece of lint at least a dozen times, reaching over and picking it up, examining it, then putting it back down to give
the vacuum one more chance.
CARTORIGAMI The art of map-folding
CHAINSAW CONSULTANT An outside expert brought in to reduce the employee head count, leaving the brass with clean hands.


Aerobic exercises performed while sitting in a chair (or a wheelchair).

CHAT ROOM An online place people go to to lie to each other.
CIRCLING THE DRAIN Originally medical slang for a patient near death who refuses to give up the ghost. Now more generally used to describe IT-type or other projects that have no more life left in them but refuse to die. "That disk conversion project has been circling the drain for years."
CLICKS 'N' MORTAR Phrase that your company uses to persuade clients that you are an enterprise that aspires to the best qualities of both new-age (online) and old-age (offline) business. An equally gangling, awkward close relation is "clicks-and-bricks".
CIRCULAR DEFINITION See "Definition, circular".
CLM - Career Limiting Move - Used among microserfs to describe ill-advised activity. Trashing your boss while he or she is within earshot is a huge CLM.
COLD PEACE A relationship between two countries in which there is no war, no trade, no travel, and no diplomatic relations.
CONSULTANT A title unemployed slackers use in Dublin while trying to find people prepared to pay them loads of money to be told what they already know.
CRAPPLET A badly written or profoundly useless Java applet. (Example: "Mary - I just wasted 30 minutes downloading this shite bloody crapplet!")
CRAPPUCINO The particularly frothy type of diarrhoea that you get when abroad.
CRITICAL MESS An unstable stage in a software project's life when any single change or bug fix can result in two or more new bugs. Continued development at this stage leads to an exponential increase in the number of bugs.
CUBE FARM:  An office filled with cubicles.
CYBERSKACKING Surfing the internet instead of working
CYLBRARIAN Really fancy, smart and "with-it" name (well, librarians might think it is) for librarian-type person who makes a living doing online research and information retrieval.
DARK FIBRE When high-bandwidth fibre-optic cable is laid containing far more potential that can be currently used, the wire is said to be dark. Telecom companies aren't the only ones laying dark fibre - so are railways, oil and gas companies that own miles and miles of hollow pipe.
DATA CHOLESTEROL Describes the build-up of data or traffic that slows down an application's ability to perform. Example: "Our software solution improves the performance of your mission-critical applications by up to 30% by reducing the build-up of data cholesterol with transaction volume."
DATA DUMP Yuck! Either a brainstorming session, or a "project debriefing" - where the people handing over a project do a "data dump" for their successors' benefit.
DAZPERATION Discovering your favourite top needs a frantic handwash before going out for the night, or you've no clean socks in the morning.
DEAD END USERS (DEUs) Derogatory term that tech support uses to refer to clueless callers with painfully obvious questions (OK wake up - it's taking the piss out of the term "end users").
DEAD TREE EDITION The paper version of a publication available in both paper and electronic forms, as in: "The dead tree edition of the Irish Times..."
DECEPTIONIST Person who (a) receives visitors, mail, and phone calls, and performs any "little jobs" no one else wants to do, from collating the boss's post-it notes and unjamming the fax machine to proof-reading budgets and stalling unwelcome callers on the phone with diversionary tactics and (b) occupies a position, formerly known as a receptionist, that pays next to nothing. But the job is highly deceptive in this other sense: if the Deceptionist calls in sick or gives notice, Chaos Theory rules.
DE-INSTALLED Euphemism for being fired.
DEJA MOO The feeling that you've heard that bullshit before.
DESIGNOSAURS A virtually extinct species of designers who refuse to work with computers.
DESKFAST Eating your breakfast at your desk (particularly in companies where workers are rarely "out to lunch" any more).
DEJA BREW The feeling that you've had this pint before.
DEJA MOO The feeling that you've heard this bull before.
DILBERTED To be exploited and oppressed by your boss. Derived from the experiences of Dilbert, the geek-in-hell comic strip character. "I've been dilberted again. That wally revised the specs for the sixth time this week."
(dimp) n. 
A person who insults you in a cheap department store by asking, "Do you work here?"
(dis kon fekt') v.
To sterilize the piece of confectionary you dropped on the floor by blowing on it, assuming this will somehow "remove" all the germs.
DOCKERS' TEA BREAK Descriptive of something very long.
DOCUMENTATION A manual which tells you how to use a program, system, or utility one version ago, and which is now unsupported.
DOORWAY SCAM A con where you (a) create a phony webpage, (b) submit it to search engines and get it a prominent ranking, (c) then once it's indexed and users start clicking on the link, you make sure they're automatically redirected to your real site - such as a porn one.
DOT-COMMUNIST A dot-com's employee who's sitting on the stock options - "Hey, we own the company!" - and believes all that Global Digital New Economy bullshit. Not to be confused with a "venture communist", who doesn't believe the propaganda but will take the money anyway.
EARWORM Musical phrase or tune that stays in your head
(ek na lub' ma) n. 
A rescue vehicle which can only be seen in the rear-view mirror.
(eye' ful eyetz) n. 
Gangly people sitting in front of you in the cinema who, no matter what direction you lean in, always follow suit.
EGO-SURFING Scanning search engines, databases etc for references to your own name.   OK, admit it, everybody does it the first time they try a search engine.
(el bon' iks) n.
The actions of two people manoeuvering for one armrest in a cinema.
 (el a cel er ay' shun) n. 
The mistaken notion that the more you press a lift (elevator) button, the faster it will arrive.
EMOTAGS Spoof HTML tags such as <smile>, <smirk> or <flame>, used in email discussion groups and online forums instead of emoticons. Example: "<joke>Welcome back you toady slimeball</joke>".
EMPLOYEE RUSTOUT Not quite as well known as its counterpart, employee burnout, this is a far more interesting workplace condition in which staff potential is underused and/or they are barely cranking through the job.
ENRON, to Verb coined by US Senator Tom Daschle. When you've been enroned, you've been cheated big time.
ENVELOPE, the This is something you push. Don't ask why.
ESPLANATION An attempt at an explanation at an office party while totally jarred.
ESSO JOB Employment on a Monday to Friday basis (ESSO stands for Every Saturday and Sunday Off).
ETCH-A-SEX Trying to draw a smile on a person's face by twiddling both their nipples simultaneously like an Etch-a-Sketch thingummy.
EUROCREEP No, nothing to do with the band Radiohead, economists are using this term to describe how the euro currency will be adopted by UK high-street stores in 2002, as the new currency is brought into the sterling zone by tourists, returned holiday-makers and British business execs after trips to the euro zone.
FEATURE ENHANCEMENT Posh software industry term for a bug fix.
FLABBERGASTERISK Grammatical symbol expressing extreme emotion, used when a mere exclamation mark is just not enough. A Flabbergasterisk in Microsoft Word can take many designs, e.g. massive bullet-points, many pointy stars etc.
FLASHBOX That little box-shaped light that remains visible for some time after looking directly into the flash bulb on a camera.
FLICKFLASH That moment when you get that sudden realisation that you've dialled the fax number instead of the voice one. It's now too late to do anything about it as the telecom company has already charged you for the wasted call. But aren't the fax machine's whistles only brilliant?
FLIGHT RISK - Used to describe employees who are suspected of planning to leave the company or department soon.
FLOORDROBE The permanent clothes mountain on the floors of all teenagers with varying layers of cleanliness and tidiness.
FOI-able Available via a country's Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.
FOOLCENT That habit shops have of thinking that customers really will delude themselves that "€19.99" is effectively far less than €20.
FORELOG Opposite of backlog - i.e. the huge amount of stuff people expect you to do before you go on holiday.
FOREPLOY Any misrepresentation about yourself in chat rooms and discussion boards for the purpose of obtaining a shag.
FUTURE-PROOFING Designing/building a product/system so that it won't be made obsolete by later waves of technological advancements. An aspiration that usually signals its complete failure.
FRIGMAROLE Unnecessarily time-consuming foreplay.
(frust) n. 
That small line of debris that refuses to be swept onto the dust pan and keeps backing a person across the room until he or she finally decides to give up and sweep it under the rug.
GANG FAQ When members of a group email a FAQ to some eejit who has asked a particularly stupid or old question in an email discussion list or on a newsgroup. Unlike a mailbomb, each person sends only one copy, but tons of members participate.
GENERATION FU - (or f*** you) Carefree, high-earning big spenders with no interest in long-term commitments or Ogra Fianna Fáil.
GENERATION XL Kids or young adults who are obese. A pun on generation X.
GENERICA Features of the American (or Irish for that matter) landscape that are exactly the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls, subdivisions. Used as in: "We were so lost in generica that I forgot what city we were in."
GLAZING Corporate-speak for sleeping with your eyes open, particularly at boring conferences and breakfast meetings. "Didn't Jeff notice that half the room was glazing by the second set of PowerPoint slides?"
GLOBESITY Term coined by the World Health Organisation to describe the worldwide epidemic of obesity. Well, not quite worldwide. But 750 million adults around the world are overweight, and 300 million more are obese.
GLOCALISATION (Or "Glocalization") The work that US-based websites need to do to recognise that the Internet's population is increasingly likely to be other cultures and non-English speakers. Think of it as, um, "market-by-market localisation on a global scale". Also taken to mean the self-preservation drive or of individual countries and local cultures to create their own twist on - or resistance to - a globalisation trend.
GOING POSTAL: Euphemism for being totally stressed out, for losing it.  Makes reference to the unfortunate track record of postal employees who have snapped and gone on shooting rampages.
GOLDEN ROLODEX CIRCLE The same handful of "experts" that newsrooms of broadcasters and publications always ring for an instant sound-bite or guest appearance.  Example: "Who've we got in the golden rolodex under 'radio'? Try under 'W' - oh look, it's Harry Whatsit."
G.O.O.D. Job A "Get-Out-Of-Debt" job. A well-paying job people take in order to pay off their debts, one that they will quit as soon as they are solvent again.
GREYBAR LAND The place you go while you're staring at a computer that's processing something very slowly (while you watch the grey bar creep across the screen). "I was in greybar land for what seemed like hours, thanks to that CAD rendering."
HAVS Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome, medical condition from prolonged use of vibrating joypads on games consoles.
HAND-ME-UP Possessions passed from children to parents
HANG-TIME Did this one come from basketball or something? It's the time when your PC's brand new Windows XP operating system freezes and you can't do sod all.
HEALTHSPAN Period of life free from major illness
HELIFINO Short for helifinocerous, a strange creature somewhat like a rhinoceros but never before seen by man. Often used as a generic reply to the question, "What is that?"
HIMBO At last, a male equivalent of a bimbo.
HUMAN CAPITAL New buzzword for employees. Hence "Human Capital Managers" (formerly known as "Human Resources", formerly formerly known as "Them Bastards from Personnel"). Like Windscale nuclear reprocessing plant, sorry, Sellafield, they think that if they rename themselves often enough we'll either like them, or think they're safe, or forget that they exist.
ICEBERG PRINCIPLE Idea that a situation has only a small part of the problem initially visible.
IDEA HAMSTERS:  People who always seem to have their idea generators running.
INFOBAHN A crude mid-1990s attempt to Europeanise the Internet metaphors, moving them away from the American-sounding "information superhighway" towards the German autobahn idea.
INFORMANIA Addiction to checking emails and phone text messages
IGNORANUS A person who's both stupid and an arsehole.
INFORMATION CENTRE A room staffed by professional computer people whose job it is to tell you why you cannot have the information you require.
INOCULATTE An occupational hazard within the software industry, basically means "To take coffee intravenously".
INSOMNITHOUGHT That great idea you have late at night while lying in bed which can never be remembered the next day.
IRRITAINMENT Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. The O.J. trials, Ally McBeal, Monica Lewinsky, etc.
IT CONSULTANT Someone who gets rich explaining to others why they are poor.
JAVANT-GARDE Someone who champions 'new media' and the latest Web technologies as far cooler than 'traditional media' and technologies. Originated when Java was still cool and new.
JEET Short for "Did you eat yet?" The response is usually "nahdija" (= No, did you?)
KEEPAGE Hold on, if "keepage" is the opposite of garbage, does that mean "keep" is the opposite of "garb"?
KETCHSTUCK The bits left in a Heinz tomato ketchup bottle that you can never get out.
(lak' to man gyu lay' shun) n.
 Manhandling the "open here" spout on a tetrapak carton of milk so badly that one has to resort to the "illegal" side.
LAGANOIA The fear of being shunned or ignored because (thanks to network lag) someone has taken ages to reply to your discussion board posting, your email message or IRC conversation.
LINK ROT This is where a webpage's links became obsolete as the pages and external sites it's supposed to be connected to change location or die.
LRF support Sounds like a genuine computer feature, but it's really for finding out if that sales assistant or computer know-it-all is really a prat. Example: "I was thinking of buying this system, but does it come with LRF support?" (LRF = "Little Rubber Feet")
MAILBOTS Spotty drones, usually male, who by nature prefer dark, dank backrooms, but are required to occasionally surface to deliver mail to employees. They are technically equal in social status to the temp, thus creating an unspoken bond of respect between the two groups.
MARKET LENINISM What succeeded Marxist-Leninism as China's new governing style. An amalgam of the "iron fist" political rule of Leninism and the economic hyper-permissiveness of laisser-faire capitalism. Think Singapore (which William Gibson once dubbed "Disneyland with the death penalty").
MARKITECHURE That curious mix of marketing and dubious application results, as personified by IBM.
MARKETRIODS The androids in your marketing department.
McSHIT, going for a Entering a fast food restaurant with no intention of buying food - just going to the loo.
MEETING An assembly of self-appointed experts coming together to decide what person or department not represented in the room must solve the problem.
MICROSOFT WORD Instrument of torture, currently under investigation by the European Commission, US anti-trust authorities and the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
MIDDLE YOUTH Too old to be considered young, but too young to be considered middle aged
MILLENNIUM DOMES The contents of a Wonderbra, extremely impressive when viewed from the outside, but there's actually sweet FA in there worth seeing.
MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS A method of keeping staff permanently shackled to their workplace.
MONETISE, to To render as an impressionist painting.
MONKEY BATH A bath so hot, that when lowering yourself in, you go: "Oo! Oo! Oo! Aa! Aa! Aa!".
MOTIVAINTINGS Wall decorations featuring daft slogans such as "Vision is not seeing things as they are, but as they will be," or "Challenge: the harder the course, the more rewarding the triumph." All inspired by Mao Tse Tung's early propaganda efforts of course.
MOUSE POTATO:  The on-line, wired generation's answer to the Couch Potato.
MULDER, to To find someone who you know has been plotting to deceive, inveigle, and obfuscate (but the truth is out there, kids!).
MUTTER MACHINE A machine for playing office background noises such as ringing phones, laughter and chat, in order to make a small office sound much larger and busier.
MYSTERY BUS, the The vehicle that arrives at the pub on Friday night while you're in the loo after your 10th pint, and whisks away all the unattractive people so the pub is suddenly packed with stunners when you come back in.
MYSTERY TAXI, the The taxi that arrives at your place on Saturday morning before you wake up, whisks away the stunner you slept with, and leaves a 9-Pinter in your bed instead.
NETOPATH An extreme and deranged variety of Net abuser.
NETSPLOITATION MOVIE Hollywood film cashing in on the Net, which is always portrayed as big and scary (e.g. Sandra Bullock in "The Net", John Travolta in "Swordfish").
(ne on' fan see) n.
A fluorescent light bulb struggling to come to life.
NUTRACEUTICAL One of those so-called "functional foods" in our supermarkets (e.g. bacteria-enhanced yoghurt) that claim to be good for you and are a cross between pharmaceuticals and, er, plain old-fashioned food.
NEVERENDUM A form of Irish referendum where the people have spoken, but they didn't vote the way the politicians wanted. So the politicians say we'll keep having referendums till eternity until they vote the other way.
OHNO-SECOND That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake.
1K BUFFER A techie insult, meaning you've a rather low capacity for handling new things: "She's got a 1K buffer when it comes to learning that new accounts software."
OFFICE AUTOMATION The use of computers (q.v.) to improve efficiency in the office by removing anyone you'd want to talk with over coffee.
OFFICE BOTTY An occupational condition resulting from extensive subjection to the least comfortable chairs in the office. Example: "I've got a right case of office botty, and I can't feel my legs.
OPENPLANANOIA The awkward situation where you boss is moving towards you when you have contraband software running and you know that if you alt-tab it will draw his/her attention surer than if you leave things as they are (ta to Parsley for that).
ORTHOREXIA NERVOSA Recent nickname for an eating disorder in which concerns about healthy eating turn into a major obsession.
OVERDOG The opposite to underdog
OSTEOPORNOSIS A degenerate disease caused by mouse-clicking through porn sites.
PAPER CUT Either the most prevalent form of occupational injury in the modern Irish office, or the most common form of suicide attempt within the workplace. Other common methods include coffee overdose, sticking one's head in the microwave, throwing oneself in front of a speeding boss, and jumping from Microsoft Windows.
PASTE BOMBS As seen in chatrooms and on discussion boards, the random or non-sequitur chunks of text that are copied and pasted from your PC into an online conversation to aid, befuddle or frustrate others.
PDFing Either turning a document into an Adobe Acrobat file or PDF (portable document format), or a near-expletive. Example: "Where's that PDFing file? It was there a minute ago...."
PERCEPTION MANAGEMENT Manipulating perceptions in your favour. Example: "For the past three years the NSA and FBI have been involved in perception management by telling anyone who'd listen that terrorists are using encryption - and Congress should approve restrictions on domestic use."
PERMABITS Those objects found in, on and around an employee's desk, from little plastic figures on monitors and stickers with "amusing" slogans, to baby photos and snapshots of the Significant Other. These markers help to maintain the employee's feelings of alienation, that "I am only sitting in for someone else, like a cuckoo with typing skills, and you won't see me next week you miserable mean bastard. 
(pehp ee ay') n. 
The waiter at posh restaurants whose sole purpose seems to be walking around asking customers if they want ground pepper.
PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.
PERMATEMP A kinder, gentler 21st-century euphemism for "indentured servant." See also under Oxford English Dictionary: slave, bitch.
(pet ro fob' ik) adj. 
One who is embarrassed to undress in front of a household pet.
PHANTOM LOAD The electricity a device consumes when it is turned off. Common culprits include answering machines, PCs, some phones, TVs and videos. VCRs take six or seven watts just to run their electric clocks or instant-on features. The total phantom load in the US is said to equal the electricity consumption of Greece, Peru and Vietnam combined.
PHONESIA (fo nee' zhuh) n.  The affliction of dialling a phone number and forgetting whom you were calling just as they answer.
PINOCCHIO EFFECT Telling lies. Scientists have discovered that telling porkies does actually make liars' noses swell, and it triggers a bout of scratching. They noted that Bill Clinton touched his nose 26 times a minute during his denial of the Lewinsky affair. The researchers have dubbed it "the Pinocchio effect".
PIMPLACEMENT How your recruitment agency generates its income.
PISSINFORMATIONN Unusual if somewhat limited form of English now used in Dublin pubs by some serving staff from abroad.
PLASTIC CLOSET Said about person who refuses to admit to having cosmetic surgery. Example: "Is [Mrs X from Dalkey] in the plastic closet or wha'?"
POLITAINER A politician who is/was an entertainer, or who makes extensive use of entertainment media, particularly during a campaign. Think Jerry Springer (ex mayor). Think Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Californian governator. Think Twink. Or on second thoughts, don't.
POPULUXE Term coined by author Thomas Hine in his 1986 book of the same name, for cheap consumer goods that are also seen as stylish or fashionable. The style recalls quintessential 1950s design and architecture (think Le Corbusier and Marcel Breuer) - aerodynamic appliances with chrome accents, pastel shades tail fins on "autodynamic" American cars. Hines writes that the term "contains a thoroughly unnecessary 'e', to give it class".
POWER TEA Mid-afternoon tea - what some posh hotels (e.g. the Ritz Carlton in Noo Yawk) are now offering busy business suits instead of the breakfast meeting or power lunch trip. And by "power" we don't just mean a pot of Barry's and a plate of scones and strawberry jam
PLUG-AND-PLAY New staff member who started last week but doesn't need any training. "That new fella Stephen is only great. He's totally plug-and-play."
PRESENTEEISM The opposite of absenteeism. Persistently working longer hours and taking fewer holidays than the terms of your contract/employment demand - even when it's in your best interest. Particularly noticeable among either brown noses or staff enormously worried about or devoted to their jobs.
PUPKUS (pup' kus) n.  The moist residue left on a window after your dog presses its nose to it.
PURRANIOA The fear that your cats are up to something.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE Approaching or exceeding known performance boundaries. The expression was popularised by Tom Wolfe in "The Right Stuff", and originates in US test pilot speak from the late 1940s (the "performance envelope" is a range referring to a plane's performance capabilities and recommended limits at particular speeds and altitudes and under certain stress conditions).
PRAIRIE DOGGING:  When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.
REGIFTING Recycling of unwanted presents
RESPLUGNANT Dazzlingly repulsive, e.g. when a supervisor arouses feelings of brilliant disgust.
RICE PADDIES Term of endearment (we think) for people originally from the Far East who have settled in Ireland.
SAFETY USERS Mobile phone owners who claim they have a phone only for emergency purposes. Service providers offer various enticements to turn such customers into full-time users.
SALAD   DODGER Overweight person.
SALMON DAY The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream, only to get screwed and die in the end.
SARCHASM The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the reader who doesn't get it.
SCAREMAIL An email that has been circulated en masse to warn friends and colleagues about the latest urban myth "scare" that is spindling out of control. However, this original meaning is obviously bound to fade a bit after the anthrax postal attacks in the US.
SEACHANGER Professional who changes lifestyle by moving to the country.
SEAGULL MANAGER A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps over everything and then leaves.
SECUTITY THROUGH INFERIORITY An approach by record majors and video distributors to reduce pirate copies by deliberately decreasing the project's quality or appeal until no one would want to make or distribute unauthorised copies.
SENIOR MOMENT When older people forget simple things for a while
SHOVELWARE A document that was shovelled from paper onto an Internet version without anyone bothering to adapt it properly to the new medium. Telltale signs are papercentric phrases such as "Go to page so-and-so", "later in this booklet" etc.
SINGLETON Someone who's neither married nor in a relationship
SITCOMs: What yuppies turn into under the Celtic Tiger when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids. Stands for: Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage.
SLORKINESS The feeling you get when you go somewhere (e.g. the kitchen), potter around for a while then leave without doing what you went in there to do. To feel slorky is to feel slightly silly and probably a bit annoyed. It also applies to logging onto the Net and checking out the latest sites, looking at the new messages on P45.net, then logging off and shutting down without checking your email which was what you switched the computer on for in the first place.
SLUGGING A form of instant car-pooling in order to qualify to drive in the much faster HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes. Commuters accept a lift from a stranger who needs the extra passengers in order to drive in the HOV lane. The "slugs" (passengers) gather at bus stops, and the etiquette demands that only the driver may initiate conversation, and slugs may not smoke, eat or muck about with the radio.
SNOWSTORMER A colleague or superior who generates an inordinate number of memos
SMOKESPERSON/SPOKESWOMAN A spin doctor for the cigarette industry.
SOLISTENING Soliciting information from customers, while apparently listening to their needs.
SPINQUISITIONS Inquiries into how government/business spin-doctors got it so wrong this particular time.
SQUIRT THE BIRD: To transmit a signal to a satellite.
STAGE PHONING Talking loudly on a phone while on a bus, train or in a public place
STARTER CASTLE Very large, ostentatious house built on a site so tiny there's not even room for the moat. Generally resented by the neighbours for its display of affluence and bad taste.
STARTER MARRIAGES Shortlived first marriages that end in divorce - but with no kids, no property and no regrets.
STEPFORD WORKERS A modern twist on the 1974 futurist film "The Stepford Wives". Stepford workers are supposed to be robotic and reflect the "image" and "lifestyle" that their company (e.g. a fastfood restaurant or coffee shop) is trying to push as "part of our brand".
STOCK OPTIONS A mythological beast, which nonetheless manages to motivate millions of people every day to get out of bed at ridiculous hours and drive through adverse conditions to a place where they'd rather not be in Eastpoint office park for the next nine hours each day. And they're worth sweet FA when your company goes belly up.
STRESS PUPPY: A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.
STUDENTIFICATION Those changes wrought by large herds of third-level students moving into your neighbourhood.
STUFF The basic substance of which all matter is composed. Contrary to common belief, matter is not made of atoms and molecules. It is actually made of Stuff. This comes in many varieties and colours. For example Blue Stuff is the stuff that powers your PC. You can see it filling up the percentage bar as your computer does work. It's really bad when your computer runs out of blue stuff. Sometimes one of the blue stuff tubes bursts or springs a leak, and then the whole screen goes blue. That's really bad.
SWIPED OUT What happens to your ATM or credit card because you've worn away the magnetic strip due to extensive use, rendering it useless.
TALKITECTURE Architecture as practised by a breed of architects (talkitects?) who talk a lot but don't actually build anything.
(tel e kras tin ay' shun) n. 
The act of always letting your phone ring at least twice before you pick it up, even when you're only six inches away.
TEXT MESSAGE A mysterious piece of code that Bletchley Park would have taken three years to crack but is easily understood by anyone under the age of 15.
THUMB CULTURE The deft inputting skills required for text messaging and handhelds.
THUMB GENERATION Young people who spend hours texting on mobile phones or playing computer games
TOBACCO SCIENCE Scientific research that's skewed or biased toward a particular industry.
TOURISTS: People who take training classes just to get a vacation from their jobs. Example: "We had three serious students in the class; the rest were just tourists."
TREEWARE: Slang for documentation or other printed material.
TRITTO Ditto, but a third time (a bit like when people say "Me three" after "Me too").


Something that just cries out to be printed as a slogan or logo on a T-shirt. Example: those T-shirts that say "I slept with Colin Farrell... and all I got was this lousy T-shirt".

TURFING Browsing the Web for crap sites about Irish genealogy...
UMFRIEND A sexual relation of dubious standing or a concealed intimate relationship, as in;
 "This is Bridget, my ... um ...friend."
UNINSTALLED Euphemism for getting sacked or made redundant. "Nathan made a right pig's ear of that project, so they uninstalled him on Friday."
UNDERLOAD SYNDROME Depression, fatigue or ill health caused by a lack of decent challenges or stimulation at work.
UNDER MOUSE ARREST Getting busted at work for going to The O'Byrne Files too much or, in the UK, for violating their draconian new Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Act. Example: "Sorry I couldn't get back to you. They've been intercepting me email and put me under mouse arrest."
UNREAD BESTSELLER A book that many people buy but few actually read in its entirety. Examples: Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History Of Time", "The Flood Report".
UPGRADEATHON A race that begins after you've upgraded one piece of hardware or software, which necessitates more upgrades, ad infinitum.
VULCAN NERVE PINCH - The taxing hand position required to reach all the appropriate keys for certain commands. For instance, the warm re-boot for a Mac II computer involves simultaneously pressing the Control key, the Command key, the Return key and the Power On key. Sometimes referred to as the "THREE-FINGERED SALUTE."
TREEWARE: Hacker slang for documentation or other printed material.
VAMPIREWARE A project that sucks the lifeblood out of all staff unfortunate to be assigned to it, and which refuses to die even though it never actually sees the light of day.
VAMPIRE TIME Juggling with your schedule so you can sleep all day and haunt clubs and other dens of iniquity at night. Applies to some programmers, first-time novelists, slackers, artists and other bohemian types.
VUJA DAY That peculiar feeling that you've never been here (or heard this) before.
WANDING That process at airport security where they search you with one of those metal-detection wands.
WEBLIFT A redesign or cosmetic surgery on your website for a new look and feel.
WINDOWS FREEDOM DAY This holiday moves each year. The date is calculated by adding up the total amount of time a typical user must spend restarting Windows and then determining how many working weeks that would correspond to.
WOMBAT "Waste Of Money, Bandwidth And Time."
XEROX SUBSIDY Euphemism for making excessive use of the photocopier in work for your own bits and pieces.
YUPPIE FOOD STAMPS - The ubiquitous €20 note spewed out of ATMs everywhere. Often used when trying to split the bill after a
meal: "We owe €8 each, but all anybody's got are yuppie food stamps."
ZIQXV A word with no meaning designed only for use in Scrabble to get a good score.
404 - Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found," meaning that the requested document could not be located. Used as in: "Don't bother asking him ... he's 404, man."

Together, with dedication, disdain and non-fuzzy logic, we can make a brave and gallant stand against the epidemic of worthless words that currently stalk our workplaces.


Have you noticed how there are certain words and phrases and acronym things we have to use at work but rarely EVER EVER use at home, such as...

Centre of excellence
Sanity check
Breakfast meeting
Business model
Do we communicate that to the field?
Scope creep
Send me the error message
Reboot the server
We need to spec that out


One of the most puzzling words in the English language today is "economy". It controls us, nobody controls it, Charlie McCreevy takes credit for it then he blames it, it means the really LARGE size in washing powder, and it means the really SMALL size in cars. Go figure.


Finally, the latest "New Definitions For Old Words"...

  1. Abdicate--v., to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
  2. Antisocial : Tea with your ma's sister
  3. Ammonia: "Jimmy's ma offered me a lift after school, but I said ammonia short way from home."
  4. Aspire: Where dead donkeys are cremated
  5. Balderdash:   A rapidly receding hairline.
  6. Biology: The study of shopping.
  7. Bulldozing: Falling asleep during a particularly long speech by a politician in the Dáil.
  8. Bustard:   A very rude Dublin Bus driver.
  9. Carcinoma:  A valley in California, notable for its heavy smog.
  10. Carpal: Someone you drive to work with.
  11. Chaise Longue: One of the taller leaders of the Cuban revolution.
  12. Circumvent:   The opening in the front of boxer shorts.
  13. Coffee:   A person who is coughed upon.
  14. Cyclone: To ride a bike without company
  15. Dimension: A child's face will light up at dimension of sweets
  16. Esplanade:   To attempt an explanation while drunk.
  17. Flabbergasted:   Appalled over how much weight you have gained.
  18. Flatulence:   The emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
  19. Gargoyle:    An olive-flavoured mouthwash.
  20. Geology: The study of American colloquialisms (that's the non-rude definition).
  21. KGB  : A bee you can't get a straight answer out of.
  22. Infantry: A sapling
  23. Lymph:   To walk with a lisp.
  24. Negligent:   Describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightie.
  25. Obsolete: Something that's still working fine but is more than a year old.   Any machine you own.
  26. Physiology: The study of carbonated drinks.
  27. Program: Metric advocate
  28. Rectangle: The mess left after a bad accident.
  29. Rectitude:   The formal, dignified demeanour assumed by a proctologist immediately before he examines you.
  30. Remember: what the doctors did to Mr. Bobbit
  31. Remiss: a divorced female
  32. Semantics:   Pranks conducted by young men studying for the priesthood, including such things as gluing the pages of the  priest's prayer book together just before vespers.
  33. Settee": A person who is set an exam.
  34. Sheet Music: a Ronan Keating CD
  35. Testicle:   A humorous question on an exam.
  36. Ukraine: A female sheep-lifting device
  37. Universe: A one stanza poem
  38. Willy-nilly:   Impotent.
  39. Zebra: Ze cloth which covers ze knockers.

*** Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteres are in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by itslef but the wrod as a wlohe.


This Guide outlines all the basic techniques you'll ever need to know about advertising vs. marketing. Now pay attention at the back of the class, kill the lights, let the slideshow begin...

Slide #1: You see a gorgeous lass at a party. You go up to her and say: "I'm a fantastic shag." That's called DIRECT MARKETING.

Slide #2: You're at a party with a bunch of mates and see a gorgeous lass. One of your friends goes up to her and, pointing at you, says: "See yer man there? He's a fantastic shag." Now that's called ADVERTISING.

Slide #3: You see a gorgeous lass at a party. You go up to her and get her telephone number. The next day you call and say: "Hi, I'm a fantastic shag." That's called TELEMARKETING.

Slide #4: You're at a party and see a gorgeous lass. You get up and straighten your tie. You walk up to her and pour her a drink. You open the door for her, pick up her bag after she drops it, offer her a lift, and then say: "Oh, by the way, I'm a fantastic shag." That's called PUBLIC RELATIONS, or PR.

Slide #5: Finally, you're at a party and see a gorgeous lass. She walks up to you and says, "I hear you're a really fantastic shag." That's something called BRAND RECOGNITION.

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Last updated: 13 December, 2006

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