American Business Language
Your resource for understanding the jargon used in American business


Our book is a great resource for business students, international businesspeople and ESL students studying at U.S. universities.  It

also makes a nice gift for international clients and customers. Order a copy directly from the




Are you sometimes confused by terms like:

Acid test, bear hug, CLM, cash cow, mushroom job, turkey trot, round file, mcjob, poison pill, SNAFU or painting the tape?*

Our dictionary can help!  Over 2,500 terms, phrases, and acronyms defined with examples.  Search alphabetically or with the Google Search below. 

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    business acronyms

Need Help.  Send us questions or other confusing business terms you encounter.  We will try to define them for you.  Contact Information

Test your knowledge of business jargon with our matching exercises.

matching exercise.doc

Create your own jargon with our business buzzword generator.

Business Buzzword Generator       


 Recent Business Jargon:

HELOC.  Home Equity Line of Credit

SWF. Sovereign Wealth Fund

"upside down." In mortgage markets, a situation where borrowers owe more than what their home is currently worth.

 "open the kimono." When companies reveal their financial condition.

"yield to worst." A callable bond's yield to the call date.

"jingle mail."  Banks receiving mail containing the keys to houses that borrowers are defaulting on.

*Acid test is a financial test of solvency comparing a firm's liquid assets and liabilities.  A bear hug is the rescue of a company from a hostile takeover.  CLM is a career-limiting move.  A cash cow is a business in a slow growth market that generates surplus revenue.  A mushroom job is efforts to deceive others.  Turkey trot refers to the shuffling of ineffective employees from one department to another.  A round file is a waste basket. A mcjob is any low-level, distasteful job.  A poison pill is a financial maneuver to avoid being taken over by another firm.  SNAFU refers to Situation Normal, All Fouled Up.  Painting the tape is an illegal stock market tactic of dividing a large order into many small orders to give the appearance of purchases by many buyers.

Links Encyclopedia of American Business Project WelcometotheEncyclopediaofAmericanBu.htm

Directions for authors Directions.htm

List of topics from first edition firsteditionListofTopicsbusencyc.htm

Topics for second edition TopicsforSecondeditionofEncyclopedia.htm

 three sample entries threesampleentries.htm