I’ve been working for various large corporations since 2009. Fairly early on, I noticed the tendency for corporate employees to use (often mangled) cliched or downright nonsensical phrases in their meetings. I heard so many that I started collecting them, and called them “corporatisms”. The list has become quite long over the years…here is the current version. I didn’t include acronyms, though…then my list would become a book!

Keep on keepin’ on
Kick the can down the road
Deep dive
Low hanging fruit
The well’s not dry
Kid in a candy store
Rob Peter to pay Paul
On board
Touch base
“there’s been a lot going on and a lot happening”
Action items
It is what it is
“SOP Development SOP” (the Standard Operating Procedure for developing Standard Operating Procedures)
“The big fish on the line”
Do what we say, say what we do
Get the right parties around the table
We have two plans: we have a plan A, and a plan B in this scenario.
Keep pushing
Dead in the water
Turn a blind eye
Feet to the fire
Heads up
Out the door
Breathing room
Winging it
Correct me if I’m wrong
Pieces and parts
This project is a go
Jump on it
Carve out some time
Out the door
Business as usual
Head above water
Let’s discuss this offline
Paint us into a corner
Table it
Shelve it
Sidebar that question
Escalate it
Correct me if I’m wrong
Buy off
“once we consense” (as in consensus), also “we’ve consensed”
Get it off top dead center (ah, car people)
Task force
When we were trying to skin the cat
Water over the dam
The target is still the target
Another feather in the cap (used as “straw that broke the camel’s back”)
Just to compare things apples to apples and side by side
It’s 9 of one, 6 or half dozen of another
No skin off our neck
Stab yourself in the foot
Cross the I, dot the t
“Root cause” used as a verb
The juice isn’t worth the squeeze
They want the fig leaf


Heard any good corporatisms lately?


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