Bacon wraps, humblebrags and power paunches – 10 business jargon phrases for 2016

Edith Hancock
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A "bacon wrap" takes a good thing and elevates it to genius (Source: Getty)

As anyone in the City knows, colleagues love a bit of blue sky thinking before close of play – and nothing beats touching base offline for a quick thought shower, unless of course none of you are singing from the same hymn sheet while you're trying to peel the onion.

If you understood and agreed with the above sentence, everyone in your office hates you.

A study earlier this year placed phrases like blue sky thinking and touching base offline among the top 10 most annoying pieces of business jargon in the UK.

Read more: Watch this brilliant rap against the blight of buzzwords

But without dated western office speak, how will business travellers visiting the City be able to converse with their overseas peers?

Enter linguist Adam Jacot de Boinod. The author behind works like 'The Meaning of Tingo' and 'I Never Knew There Was a Word For It' has updated the list of bad business jargon with a selection of expressions for the modern millennial worker. Hotel chain Amba has plans to supply every executive room in its Charing Cross and Marble Arch establishments with the pocket-sized book of business speak.

1. Bacon wrap

When you take something good and elevate it to excellence by changing it or adding value to it

2. Buffling

Speaking at length and off the point in a business context

3. Derp

A simple, undefined reply when an ignorant comment or action is made

4. Dumbwalking

Walking slowly, not paying attention to your surroundings because you are on a smartphone

5. Humblebrag;

Saying something apparently modest which is really intended to boast

6. Nomophobia

Fear of being without your mobile phone

7. Power paunch

A large stomach worn proudly as a badge of status

8. Qwerty nosedive

Falling asleep at the keyboard

9. Sunlighting

Doing a very different job on one day of the working week

10. Underbrag

Openly admitting to failings to prove you are confident enough not to care what others think of you


"Bacon wrap" – the process of taking something already good and elevating it to pure genius – has been tipped as the most useful phrase for the next generation of firm founders and execs.

Read more: From B2B to "lion's share": The bloopers and jargon to avoid

Good news for City veterans, too, as "power paunch" enters the British lexicon. Used to describe the sense of worth and status one attaches to their beer belly, the timeless trademark of successful Square Milers makes it into the top 10.

Also new to the list is "buffling". Much like bluffing, the term denotes speaking at length and off-topic in a business context. The Capitalist can only imagine the buffling of brand leaders at Cannes Lions this week.