Standing Order – In the UK. an instruction given to a bank to debit a fixed amount of money from an account, usually every month on the same date, to pay a bill, mortgage, etc.
Standing Room Only – A sales technique in which a company or individual selling a product gives the impression that many people wish to buy the product, encouraging people to purchase it immediately in case it sells out and they don’t get another chance.
State Benefit – In the UK, money given by the government to people who don’t have enough funds to live on and need financial assistance, often because they are unemployed or too ill to work.
State Of The Art – The highest level of development and/or technology applied to a product or service which is currently available.
Statistician – A person who specialises in or works with statistics.
Status Enquiry – In the UK, a request made to a bank asking for a report on a person’s financial status, i.e., whether they can repay a loan, mortgage, etc.
Staycation – US term for spending one’s vacation at home or near to one’s home.
Stealth Marketing – Also known as Buzz Marketing. A method of advertising a product where customers don’t realise they are being persuaded to buy something, e.g., people recommending a product on Internet Chat Forums, without others realising that the person actually works for the company or manufacturer selling the product.
Steering Committee – Also called Steering Group. A group of people who are responsible for monitoring a company’s operations or project progress, by ensuring it complies with company policies, resources and costs are approved, etc.
Stenographer – A shorthand typist. From Greek: Stenos (narrow) and Graphie (writing)
Sterling – The basic monetary unit of the UK, e.g. the pound.
Stet – Latin for ‘let it stand’, a term from printing, which extends to proof-reading and copy-checking, editing, etc., to indicate that a word or section marked for deletion (crossed through) within a document or other media is to be retained.
Stevedore – Also called Longshoreman. A person who works on the docks, loading and unloading cargo.
Sticker Shock – A US term for the feeling of surprise or shock experienced by some customers when they see that the price of an item they were thinking of purchasing is much higher than they expected.
Stipend – A fixed, often modest, payment, usually made on a regular basis, to someone, e.g. an apprentice, for living expenses during a training period.
Stock – An investor’s share of ownership in a company which entitles them to equity in the company, dividends, voting rights, etc.
Stock Exchange – An organised market place where shares in companies are traded by professional stockbrokers.
Stock Ticker – A display which automatically updates and shows the current prices and volumes of traded shares on the Stock Market.
Stockbroker – A person or company who buys and sells shares, bonds, etc., on behalf of others, in return for a fee.
Stocktaking – The process of listing all the items, materials or goods which a shop, company, etc., has in stock. An inventory of merchandise.
Storyboard – Used in films, TV programs, etc., drawings or photographs which are illustrations of the scenes which are to be shot.
Straight Rebuy – When a business or individual orders the same goods, in the same quantity from the same supplier.
Strapline – A subheading in a newspaper or magazine. A slogan attached to a well known brand.
Strategic Industry – An industry which is considered essential to the economy of a region or country.
Strategic Management – The process of predicting and assessing a company’s opportunities and difficulties, and making decisions so the company can achieve its objectives and gain a competitive advantage.
Strategic Relationships – an agreement between two or more enterprises to conduct specified business processes in a joint manner. Usually related to technology development and/or marketing and distribution efforts.
Stress Puppy – A person who seems to thrive on stress, but is always complaining about it.
Strike – A work stoppage caused by a disagreement between employees and management over working conditions, pay etc.
Strike-Breaker – A person who continues to work, or is employed to work, during a strike.
Structural Engineer – A professional who researches, plans and designs structures, such as buildings, bridges, etc.
Sub Judice – Term used when a legal case is currently under trial or is being considered by a judge, and any information about the case must not be disclosed to the public.
Subcontract – To hire someone to carry out some of the work that you have been contracted to do.
Subliminal Advertising – An illegal form of advertising. An image which is flashed onto a screen, usually for about one second, or a message played at low volume, that can influence the person watching or listening but they are not aware of what they have seen and/or heard.
Subordinate – Someone who is lower in rank than another person, and is subject to the authority of a manager, etc. Less important.
Subpoena – An official summons which requires a witness to attend a court case and testify at a specific time and place. Failure to do so may result in them being punished for contempt of court.
Subrogation – The right of an insurer, who has paid out a claim to an injured party, to sue the person, company, etc., who caused the injury.
Success will produce reward.
Succession Planning – The process of identifying suitable employees who can be trained and prepared to replace senior staff when their positions become vacant.
Summons – An official document which orders a person to appear in court to answer a complaint against them.
Sunk Cost – A company’s past expenditures which cannot be recovered, and should not be taken into account when planning future projects.
Sunset Provision – Also called Sunset Clause. A provision which states that a particular law or regulation will expire on a certain date unless further action is taken to extend it.
Superannuation – A pension, for which regular sums are deducted from a person’s salary while they are working, which is paid by an employer when the person retires from their job.
Supertax – Also called Surtax. An additional tax on something already taxed, e.g. an income above a certain level.
Supplies Goods – production support products that will not become a part of the purchaser’s end product. Examples are drill bits, machine lubricants, wiping rags, etching chemicals, pencils, paper, paper clips, etc.
Supply And Demand – Supply is the amount of a product or service which is available, and demand is the amount which people wish to buy. When demand is higher than supply prices usually rise, when demand is less than supply prices usually fall.
Supply Chain – A chain through which a product passes from raw materials to manufacturing, distribution, retailing, etc., until it reaches the end consumer.
Surface Mail – Mail which is transported over land or sea, not by air.
Sweat Equity – Term used to describe a person’s investment in a project, etc., by the contribution of their time and effort, rather than their money.
Sweatshop – A place, often a clothing factory, where people work long hours in poor conditions for low wages.
Sweetheart Deal – An agreement or contract which offers very favourable deals to one or both parties, but is often not in the best interest of others, such as shareholders.
SWIFT – Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. Founded in Brussels in 1973, a system for transmitting payments, share transactions and other financial messages safely between financial institutions all over the world.
Sychophant – A servile person or follower, not necessarily of low rank, who tries to please a (more) powerful or influential person by using flattery, and often by informing on others, from which the word is derived in its original Greek meaning (sykophantes is ancient Greek for informer).
Symposium – A meeting or conference at which experts discuss a particular topic, often with audience participation.
Synergy – The working together of two or more individuals, groups, companies, etc., to produce a greater effect than working individually.
Table d’Hote – Technically ‘table d’hôte’ – a food menu which offers a full meal with set courses and limited choices at a fixed price, from French ‘host’s table’.
Tachograph – A device which is fitted to vehicles, especially commercial vehicles, which records the speed, distance and time travelled.
Tag Line – A memorable slogan or catch phrase used in advertising.
Tailor-Made – Adapted or made for a particular purpose or individual.
Take-Home Pay – The amount of money received by an employee after deductions, such as tax, insurance, etc.
Takeover – The purchase of one company by another.
Takeover Bid – A bid made by an organisation or individual to acquire a company, usually by offering to purchase the shares of the company’s shareholders.
Takeover Panel – A panel set up in certain countries to ensure that all company takeovers comply with laws and regulations, and that all shareholders are treated equally and fairly.
Tangible Asset – Physical assets, such as machinery, buildings, vehicles, cash, etc., which are owned by a company or individual.
Tare – The weight of packaging used in wrapping and protecting goods which is deducted from the total weight of a product in order to ascertain the actual weight of the goods. The deduction in weight of a vehicle used to transport goods in order to determine the actual weight of the goods.
Target Audience – The specific group of people that an advertisement, product, TV program, etc., is aimed at.
Target Company – A company that another company or organisation wants to acquire.
Target Market – A specific group of people with similar characteristics, needs, lifestyle, etc., at which a company markets its products or services.
Tariff – A government tax on imported and exported goods.
Task Force – A group of people formed to work on a particular project or assignment.
Tax – A fee imposed by a government on personal or corporate income, products, services, etc., in order to raise revenue to pay for public services.
Tax Abatement – Also known as a Tax Holiday. An exemption or reduction of taxes by a government for certain companies for a specific period of time, often as an incentive for industrial development.
Tax Allowance – The amount of income that can be earned or received in one year before tax has to be paid.
Tax Avoidance – Legal ways of paying the minimum amount of tax possible by making use of allowances and exemptions.
Tax Bracket – Based on income levels, the higher the income the higher the tax bracket, therefore people earning more money have to pay a higher rate of tax on the part of their income which is below the lower tax bracket allowance.
Tax Evasion – Illegally avoidng paying tax, usually by making a false declaration of income.
Tax Exile – A person or business who chooses to leave a country to reside or operate in another country, usually called a Tax Haven, where taxes are much lower or there aren’t any.
Tax Lien – The right of a tax authority to claim assets belonging to a company or individual who default on tax payments.
T-Commerce – Television Commerce. The purchasing and selling of products and services using interactive television.
Team Player – A person in any type of profession who works well as a member of a team.
Teaser Ad – A brief advertisement which reveals only a little bit of information about a product, usually not yet available, in order to arouse widespread interest.
Teaser Rate – A low rate of interest, for example on a mortgage, loan, credit card, etc., which is below the going market rate and available for only a short period of time in order to attract borrowers.
Techie – A person who is very knowledgable, or an expert, in technology, especially computing.
Technical Analyst – A stock market analyst who uses charts and computer programs to study investments in order to predict the future of share prices, etc.
Technical Support – A service provided by the vendor of technology products, such as computers, mobile phones, televisions, etc., which the purchaser can use if they need help using the product.
Telecommunications – Known informally as Telecoms. Communicating over long distances by telephone, e-mail, etc.
Teleconference – A conference involving two or more people at different locations, using telecommunications equipment, such as computers, video, telephone, etc.
Telemarketing – Also known as Telesales. The selling of goods or services by contacting potential customers by telephone.
Teleworking – An arrangement in which the employee works at home and contacts their office or workplace by telephone or computer.
Tenant – An individual or business who pays a fee for the use of land, property, etc., to the owner. An occupant.
Tenant At Will – A tenant who continues to rent land, property, etc., past the expiration of the lease. Also a tenant who rents property without a written lease, therefore they can be forced to leave without notice from the owner.
Tender Offer – An offer, usually above the market price, made to the shareholders of a company by another company or individual as part of a takeover bid.
Term Assurance – A form of life insurance which pays out a lump sum if the policyholder dies within a fixed period of time.
Terms Of Reference – A document which describes the objectives, scope and purpose of a project, committee, meeting, etc.
Terrestrial – Term used to describe broadcasting systems, such as television, which operate on land, rather than from a satellite.
Tertiary Industry – Third sector of a country’s economy which covers the provision of services, such as transport, schools, financial services, etc., rather than manufacturing or production.
Test Case – Term used to describe a court case which establishes legal rights and serves as a precedent for future similar cases.
Test Market – In marketing, a product or service which is tested in a particular area of the country before it is launched nationally.
Text Message – A written message sent from one mobile phone to another.
The Big Board – An informal name for the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street.
The Daily Official List – The daily record setting out the prices of shares that are traded on a stock exchange.
Theory Of Constraints – Theory originally developed by Dr Eliyahu Goldratt, which states that every organisation must have at least one constraint that should be overcome by recognising and dealing with the cause of the ‘bottleneck’, thus enabling the company to achieve its goals.
Theory X – Developed by Douglas McGregor in the 1960s, a theory which states that most people in the workplace do not enjoy work and will take every opportunity to avoid doing their job because they are lazy and need to be closely supervised, threatened and disciplined by management.
Theory Y – Developed by Douglas McGregor. The opposite to Theory X, a method of managing people in the workplace based on the idea that most workers enjoy their job, are self-motivated and want responsibility, and the managers role is to help the workers realise their full potential by giving them more responsibility, including them in decision-making, etc.
Theory Z – A Japanese management style based on the theory, developed by William Ouchi, that workers like to build relationships with other workers and management, to feel secure in their jobs, develop skills through training, and have their family life and traditions valued.
These outcomes will be personally satisfying.
Think Tank – A group or organisation which researches and advises on issues relating to technology, economy, politics and social strategy.
Third Line Forcing – A situation which occurs when a supplier will only sell a product or service to a customer on condition that it is purchased from a third party nominated by the supplier.
Third Party – A person or organisation not principally involved with the other two parties but who has an interest in an agreement or contract. In an insurance policy, the third party is the person whose car, etc is damaged by you in an accident.
Third Sector – Part of a country’s economy which is non-profitmaking, such as voluntary work, charities, etc.
Third World – Refers to poor, underdeveloped nations in South Africa, Asia and South America.
Thrift – In the US, a savings or loan association. The practice of not spending too much money or using up too many resources.
Ticker Symbol – In the US, a set of characters, usually letters, used to identify a particular share on the Stock Exchange.
Tied Agent – A sales agent or business who represents or sells and/or offers advice only on one company’s products, such as insurance.
Time and a Half – Rate of pay which is 50% more than the regular rate, usually for overtime work.
Time and Motion Study – The study and analysis of a specific job within an organisation, the results of which are used to improve efficiency and production.
Timeshare – A lease on a (usually holiday) property jointly owned by several people who have the right to use it during agreed times of the year, usually for one or two weeks. The industry is often associated with high-pressure or unethical selling methods.
Title Deed – A legal document which proves a person’s rights of ownership of property or land.
Tokenism – The practice of doing the minimum required, especially by law, by making small token gestures, such as employing or including a single person who represents a minority or ethnic group.
Top Brass – The most important people in a company or organisation.
Top Dog – The person who has the highest authority and is in charge of a whole operation, business, etc.
Top Dollar – The very highest price paid for a product, service, worker, etc.
Top-Heavy – Describes a company or business which has too many managers and/or administrators in comparison to the number of workers.
Top-Level Domain – TLD. The last part of a domain address on the Internet, for example .com (commerce), .gov (government), etc.
Tort – A wrongful act, other than a breach of contract, which is not criminal but harmful to another person, against which legal action for damages may be taken.
Total Costs – In business, the costs of manufacturing, overheads, administration, etc. – i.e., the sum of fixed costs and variable costs. In investments, the price paid for a share, security, etc., plus brokerage fees, taxes, interest due to the seller, etc.
Total Quality Management – TQM. A company management system which seeks to improve the quality of products and services and to improve customer satisfaction by giving everyone in the organisation the responsibility of achieving and keeping high standards.
Touch Base – To make contact, usually managers who want to communicate with their staff.
Trade – The buying and selling or exchange of goods and services. The buying and selling of shares on the Stock Market. A skilled occupation such as builder, carpenter, plumber, electrician, etc.
Trade Agreement – An agreement, usually between countries, to limit or change their policies when trading with one another.
Trade Descriptions Act – In the UK, a 1968 Act of Parliament which prevents misrepresentation of goods and services to customers by manufacturers, retailers or service providers.
Trade Secret – A secret device or formula used by a company in the manufacturing of a product which gives it an advantage over the competition.
Trade War – A conflict between countries in which each country puts up trade barriers in order to restrict or damage the others trade.
Trademark – the name of a product or service that has been legally registered as the property of an enterprise.
Trademark – TM. A symbol, logo, word or phrase which is used exclusively by a company, individual, etc., so their products or services can be easily identified, A Trademark cannot legally be used by anyone else.
Trading Floor – An area of a Stock Exchange where dealers trade in stocks, shares, etc.
Trailblazer – An innovator or pioneer. An individual or company who is the first to do or discover something, and leads where others follow.
Tranche – Describes part of a loan, investment, etc., which is a portion of the whole amount.
Transfer Deed – Also called Deed Of Transfer. A legal document which shows that the ownership of property, land, etc., has been changed from its legal owner to another party who now legally owns it.
Transnational – Multinational. Refers to businesses, organisations, etc., which operate in or between several countries.
Treasurer – A person in a company, organisation, club, etc., who is responsible for the management of funds and accounts.
Treasury Bond – In the US, a long term security issued by the government which pays regular interest.
Trial Offer – A temporary offer by a company usually aimed at first-time buyers in which a customer can try a product or service free or at discounted rates for a short period of time.
Troubleshoot – To identify and solve problems which arise in the workplace.
Trust Fund – Property or funds which are legally held in control of a trustee on behalf of an individual or organisation.
Trustafarian – A wealthy young person, who gives the appearance of being unemployed and living a bohemian lifestyle in less than comfortable circumstances, but who is living off a trust fund.
Trustbuster – A government agent whose job is to break up monopolies or corporate trusts under the anti-trust laws.
Trustee – An individual or organisation who is legally responsible for managing the financial affairs or another person or company.
Truth In Lending Act – In the US, a law which protects consumers by requiring companies which offer loans, credit and charge cards, etc., to disclose full information regarding terms and interest rates.
Turd Polishing – Australian equivalent of not being able to make a silk purse out of a pigs ear. An engineering term for fixing the defects in a product, process, system, etc., then repeating as new defects appear, rather than re-engineering it with fewer defects.
Turntablist – A person who uses vinyl records, a turntable of a record player and a DJ mixer all together as an instrument to create sounds.
Tycoon – A wealthy, prominent, successful business person, also referred to as a mogul, magnate, baron ,etc.
Tyre Kicker – A person who appears to be interested in purchasing an item, especially a secondhand car, but has no intention of buying it.
Ultra Vires – Latin for ‘Beyond The Powers’. Legal term which refers to actions or deeds, especially performed by a corporation, that exceed official powers.
Unanimous – A complete agreement on a decision or opinion by everyone in a group.
Unauthorised – Without official endorsement or permission.
Unbundling – Dividing a company into separate companies, usually after a takeover, in order to sell some or all of the subsidiaries. Supplying a product, service or equipment in separate components.
Uncalled Capital – The value of shares which have been issued by a company but which have not yet been paid for by the shareholders.
Unconsolidated – Describes subsidiary companies whose financial statements, shares, etc., are not included in the parent company’s finances.
Uncontested – Without opposition or competition. A lawsuit which is not disputed by the person against whom it has been filed.
Undercut – To sell a product, service, etc., cheaper than the competition.
Undermanned – Describes a company, business, etc., which does not have enough workers to function properly. Understaffed.
Undershoot – To fall short of reaching a goal or target.
Undersubscribed – When a product, service, etc., is not being bought by enough people.
Underwriter – A person who assesses the risk and eligibility of an insurance company’s potential client. On the Stock Market, an organisation, such as a bank, that agrees to purchase any unsold shares which are offered for sale by a company.
Undischarged Bankrupt – A person who has officially been declared bankrupt but has not yet been given permission to start another business, and must not stop paying debts which are still owed.
Unearned Income – Personal income which has not come from employment but from investments, dividends, interest, etc.
Unemployment – An economic situation in which jobless people, often those who have been made redundant from their jobs, are actively seeking employment.
Unfair Dismissal – Term used when a person’s employment is terminated by their employer without a good reason.
Unfavourable Trade Balance – Describes when a country’s value of its imports exceeds the value of its exports.
Unhappy Camper – Someone who has complaints about their employers. An unsatisfied customer.
Unilateral – Performed by one person, group, side, party, etc – basically ‘going alone’. For example a unilateral decision is one made without dependence or condition upon others who might have interests in the matter in question.
Unilateral Contract – A one-sided agreement in which one party promises to do something (or refrain from doing something) in return for an action, not a promise, from a second party.
Unique Visitor – Describes a person who visits a website, as one unit, even if they have made several visits to the same site in a particular period of time, usually 24 hours.
Unit Trust – A fund which raises money from a number of investors, usually investing only a small amount each, which is then invested on their behalf by a fund manager in a range of shares, securities, bonds, etc.
Unlimited Company – In the UK, a company whose owners have unlimited liability, e.g. if the company goes into liquidation the owners are required to raise the funds to pay the company’s debts.
Unlimited Liability – The obligation of a company’s owners or partners to pay all the company’s debts, even if personal assets have to be used.
Unlisted – Refers to company whose shares are not traded on the Stock Exchange.
Unofficial Strike – Also known as a Wildcat Strike. A form of industrial action which does not have the approval or permission of a trade union.
Unregulated – Not governed or controlled by laws or rules.
Unsolicited – Not requested or invited, for example junk mail.
Unsought Goods – products that are usually purchased due to adversity rather than desire. For example, coffins, crutches, and medicine are all unsought goods. Another form of unsought goods are products such as life insurance and encyclopedias. They are products that the consumer seldom goes out looking for, therefore, a constant, aggressive selling process is required.
Unsystematic Risk – Also called Residual Risk. The risk that can affect a company’s share prices, production, etc., such as a sudden strike by employees.
UPC – Universal Product Code. A bar code, using thick and thin vertical lines, which is printed on labels, packets, etc., to identify a specific product, and is used for stock control.
Upselling – A sales technique in which the salesperson tries to persuade the customer to purchase more expensive and/or more goods than they originally intended.
Uptick – Also called Plus Tick. On the Stock Market, a transaction or quote at a price above the preceding transaction for the same security.
Uptime – The period of time which a computer, piece of machinery, etc., is operational and available for use.
Upwardly Mobile – Describes someone who is moving towards a higher social and/or economic position.
Urban Regeneration – Also called Urban Renewal, the redevelopment of run-down parts of a towns or cities, to include business and housing projects, typically funding by governments or agencies.
URL – Uniform/Universal Resource Locator – The address of a web page on the Internet.
Usance – In international trade, the period of time allowed, which varies between countries, for the payment of a bill of exchange.
User Friendly – Easy to learn or use by people who are not experts.
USP – Unique Selling Point/Proposition. The key feature of a product or service which makes it stand out from the competition.
Utopia/Utopian – An imaginery society or world or situation which is ideal and everyone has everything they want, from the highly revered English statesman, scholar, lawyer and writer, Sir Thomas More’s 1516 century book Utopia, whose full Latin title loosely translates to mean ‘On the Best State of a Republic and on the New Island of Utopia’. The opposite term Dystopia, was devised two centuries later.
U-Value – Buildings and construction industry term referring to insulation effectiveness of materials.
Vacancy – A job opening which is offered by a company that wants to hire an employee. An available room in a hotel.
Vacancy Rate – The percentage of unoccupied rental space or units, e.g hotel rooms, compared to total available rental area at a given time.
Valid – Legally or formally acceptable or binding. Unexpired, e.g. a passport.
Value Engineering – In manufacturing, a method of producing a product at the lowest price but without sacrificing quality, safety, etc., and at the same time meeting the customers needs.
Value Investor – An investor who buys shares, etc., which they believe to be underpriced, in order to make a profit by selling them when they price rises.
Value Share – A share, etc., which is considered to be underpriced and is therefore a good investment prospect.
Value-Added Reseller – VAR. A company which purchases a product and modifies or enhances it before reselling it to the consumer. This practice is common in the computer industry.
Valued Policy – An insurance policy in which the insurer agrees to pay a claim for a specified amount in the event of loss, damage, etc., for items insured, such as works of art.
Vanilla – Plain and ordinary without any extras. Basic.
Vanity Publishing – The author pays the publisher.
Vapourware – Term used to describe computer software which is advertised before it has been, and may never be, developed, often to damage sales of a competitor’s product which has already been launched.
Variable Cost – In business, costs which vary according to the changes in activity, production, etc. of the company, such as overheads, labour and material costs.
VAT – Value Added Tax. A tax paid by consumers which is added to the price of certain goods and services.
Vendee – A person or business who buys goods, property, etc.,
Vendor – A person or business who sells goods, property, etc.
Venture Capital – Money invested in a new business which is expected to make a lot of profit but which also involves considerable risk.
Verbal Judo – The use of voice tone and body language to diffuse a potentially aggressive or violent situation without being confrontational. Described as Tactical Communications, Verbal Judo was developed in 1983 by American literary professor, martial arts expert and later serving policeman, Dr George (‘Doc Rhino’) Thompson, initially for the US police. Verbal Judo has since become a more widely applicable training program for handling conflict for all sectors, alongside the popularity of Thompson’s books, notably Verbal Judo (1993) and the Verbal Judo Institute.
Vertical Disintegration – A situation in which a company that previously produced parts and materials is now buying them from other suppliers.
Vertical Equity – A concept of economic fairness, for example people who are better off should contribute more taxes than those who are less well off.
Vertical Integration – A situation in which a company buys one or more of the companies which are involved in the production process of its goods.
Vertical Integration – the potential within an enterprise to incorporate all aspects of management, production, sales and distribution into their business operations. In theory, the greater the vertical integration, the less vulnerable an enterprise is to outside forces.
Vested Interest – When an individual, business or group has a special interest in something, such as property, an activity, etc., from which there is a personal or financial gain.
Veto – Latin for ‘I Forbid’. To vote against. The right to block a law, etc.
Vexatious Litigant – A person or party who regularly brings unsustainable lawsuits against another party in order to harass or annoy them.
Viable – Capable of being done or working successfully.
Vicarious Liability – Having legal responsibility for the actions of another, e.g. the liabilty of an organisation for the actions of its employees.
Vigorish – A slang term, also abbreviated to vig, for the commission or fee charged by a bookmaker or casino on a wager. Also the interest on a loan from a loan shark or unregulated loan provider. The term is Yiddish (Jewish) deriving from the Russian word vyigrysh, meaning winnings.
Viral Marketing – Also known as Word Of Mouth. An advertising and marketing technique which encourages people to pass on information about a product, etc., often by e-mail or from one Internet website to another.
Vocation – An occupation for which a person is strongly suited and/or to which they are dedicated.
Vocational – Relating to an occupation for which a person has undergone special training or has special skills.
Voice Recognition – Technology which allows computers, mobile phones, etc., to be operated by being spoken to.
Voice-Over – A presenter or actor in a TV commercial or program who is heard but who is not seen on the screen.
Void – A contract, agreement, document, etc., which is no longer valid or legal.
Voluntary Bankruptcy – A situation in which a debtor voluntary files for bankruptcy because they cannot pay their creditors.
Voluntary Liquidation – A situation where the owners/directors of a solvent company decide to cease business, sell the company’s assets and pay all the creditors.
Vote Of No Confidence – A vote which shows that the majority of those voting have lost confidence in something, usually a government.
Voting Shares – Called Voting Stock in the US. A company share which gives the shareholder the right to vote on matters regarding company policy, etc.
Wage Differential – The difference in wage rates between different types of worker, often those with similar jobs but who work in different regions of a country, have different skills, hours of work, etc.
Wage Drift – A situation when basic rates of pay are not as high as levels of wages actually paid. This is often because of increases in overtime, bonuses, profit share, etc.
Wage Slave – Someone whose is totally dependent on the wages they earn.
Waiver – A formal statement in which someone gives up a right or privilege.
Walk Back The Cat – A metaphor for troubleshooting. When something goes wrong, the situation is analysed in chronological order to find out when the problem happened and why, and correct mistakes so they don’t happen again. Like when a cat unravels a ball of string and you have to rewind the twisted yarn to find the flaw.
Walking Papers – Also called Walking Ticket. A notification of dismissal from a job.
Wall Street – A street in Lower Manhattan where the New York Stock Exchange and financial centre is situated.
Warrant – A certificate which entitles the holder to buy a specific number of shares at a fixed price within a specified period of time. A legal document issued by a court of law authorising the police to make an arrest, search premises, etc.
Watch List – A list of investments being monitored because they are showing signs of unusual activity, often because the companies who own the shares may be takeover targets.
Watchdog – A person or organisation that monitors the practices of companies to ensure they are nor acting illegally.
WATS – Wide Area Telecommunications Service. In the US and Canada, a long distance telephone service which provides discounted calls for companies that place large volumes of long distance telephone calls.
Wayzgoose – A traditional August outing or party for printers, typically around St Bartholomwe’s Day, 24th August, marking the end of summer, when work by candlelight began each year. The term persisted in the print industry in more general use referring to a company party, although its use is now rare since large-scale automation and workforce reduction.
Webmaster – A person who is responsible for maintaining a website.
Webzine – An electronic magazine which is published on the Internet.
Weighbridge – Known as a Weigh Station in the US. A vehicle weighing system which consists of a metal plate set into a road which vehicles, usually trucks with loads, are driven onto to be weighed to check if they are overladen.
Weighting – An allowance paid to workers who live in certain areas of the country, such as London, to compensate for higher living costs.
Wet Lease – An arrangement in which an airline leases an aircraft, complete with crew, insurance, etc., to another company, usually for a short period of time.
What if?.. Scenarios/Modelling – ‘What If?..’ Scenarios or Modelling is a form of planning. ‘What If?..’ is a vague and general term covering methods of predictive or creative forecasting, in which scenarios or hypothetical situations are developed, almost always by extending or extrapolating an existing or historical situation
Wheeling And Dealing – Making a profit, sometimes dishonestly, buy buying and selling things, or acting as a go-between for two parties.
Whistleblower – An informant who lets the public or people in authority know about any wrongdoings or illegal activities within an organisation, usually the one the informant works for.
White Collar – Refers to employees who work in offices or business rather than manual workers.
White Collar Crime – An illegal act such as fraud, embezzlement, bribery, etc., committed by a worker in business or administrative function.
White Goods – Large domestic electrical appliances, such as cookers, washing machines, fridges, etc.
White Knight – A company, individual, etc., who offers favourable terms in a takeover, usually saving the acquired company from a hostile takeover.
White Van Man – A derogatory term for drivers of white commercial vans, who have a reputation for driving recklessly and intimidating car drivers by driving about three inches from their rear bumper.
Wholesale – The sale of goods in large quantities, usually to retailers who then sell them for a profit.
Wholesale Bank – A bank which provides services to large organisations, financial institutions, etc., rather than individual customers.
Wholesale Sales Method – selling to distributors at significantly discounted prices who in turn sell to full service or self service retail outlets.
Widget – A small program which is run by certain computers. A small device, switch, gadget, etc., whose name is not known.
Wind Farm – A large area of land, which has strong winds, on which a group of wind turbines are placed in order to produce electricity by driving generators.
Windfall – A sudden, unexpected sum of money or piece of good fortune received by someone.
Win-Win – Describes a situation or arrangement in which all parties benefit or profit.
With Profits – Describes an insurance policy which pays the sum assured plus any bonuses which may have accumulated over the term of the policy.
Without Prejudice – Written on a document in legal proceedings, negotiations, etc., meaning that any information contained in the document does not affect the legal rights of a party involved in a dispute.
Without Recourse – A legal term written on a bill of exchange which signifies that the buyer accepts the risk of non-payment from a third party, rather than the seller.
Work In Progress – Also called Work In Process. Work on a product, contract, etc., that a company has invested in but is not yet completed. A piece of music, art, etc., which is unfinished but may be available for viewing or listening.
Work Permit – A legal document which gives a person a right to employment in certain foreign countries.
Workaholic – A person who is addicted to work.
Working Capital – Also known as Net Current Assets. The amount of funds which are available to a company for everyday running costs, such as wages, rent, etc.
Working Capital – the cash available to an enterprise for day-to-day operations.
Working Time Directive – Rules set by the European Union which limits the maximum number of hours in a working week, the minimum amount of annual leave and the minimum amount of rest period in a working day to which an employee is entitled.
World Economic Forum – WEF. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, an non-profit, international organisation which brings together politicians, business and education leaders from all over the world to discuss ways to improve economic and social growth, health and environment issues, etc.
World Trade Organisation – WTO. An international organisation, established in 1995, with more than 150 member nations, based in Geneva, Switzerland. The WTO monitors international trade, helping importers and exporters conduct their business, and provides assistance to developing countries.
Wow Factor – The instant appeal of a product, property, etc., which impresses and surprises people the first time they see it.
Wrap – The end of a film shoot when everything is finished, the set can be taken down and everyone can go.
Writ – A written order issued by a court of law which orders someone to do, or not do, something.
Writ Of Execution – A court order which ensures that a judgement is enforced.
Write-Off – In accounting, to reduce the book value of an asset, sometimes to zero, or cancel a debt which has not been, or is unlikely to be, paid.
Write-Protect – In computing, protect the data on a disk or file from being accidentally deleted or edited.
X-Efficiency – A concept introduced by economist Harvey Liebenstein. A company’s ability to use its workers, machines, technology, etc., to produce maximum output at lowest cost and as quickly as possible.
Xenology – The scientific study and/or research of alien cultures and biology.
Xerox Machine – A piece of equipment which makes paper copies of documents, etc.
X-Inefficiency – When a company is not using its employees, machinery, resources, etc., effectively, often because of lack of competition.
Xylography – The art of engraving an image on a block of wood, or printing from woodblocks.
Yarnstorming – Also called yarnbombing, an intriguingly specialised type of peaceful demonstration and activism in which objects such as works of art, sculpture, railings, phone boxes, considered unattractive by the activists, are covered by knitting or crochet, usually at night, and mainly by young women.
Yellow Pages – A telephone directory, usually printed on yellow paper, which lists businesses, organisations, retailers, etc., in alphabetical order in categories according to the service they provide.
Yellow Sheets – Published every day in the US by the National Quotation Bureau, a list which shows information and prices of corporate bonds.
Yeoman – A servant or attendant in a royal or noble household.
Yield – The annual income earned from an investment, usually expressed as a percentage of the sum invested.
Youth Court – A court of law, which members of the public are not allowed to attend, that deals with juvenile (under 18 years of age) offenders.
Yuppie – Derives from Young Urban Professional. Term used since the 1980s to describe a young person who has a well-paid job and an affluent lifestyle.
Zero-Based Budgeting – ZBB. A system in which a yearly budget for a department in a company starts at zero with no pre-authorised funds, and the department has to justify its budget requests.
Zero-Rated – Describes goods or services on which the buyer pays no value-added-tax.
Zero-Sum Game – A situation in which what is lost by one person, company, etc., is matched by a gain by another/others. Used in economics and Game Theory to describe the relatively simple ‘strictly competitive’ situation whereby all the losses and gains balance each other to zero. Potential gains are finite; what is gained by one must be lost by another, and vice-versa.
Z-Score – Developed by Dr Edward Altman of New York University in the 1960s, a measurement of the financial health of a company which predicts the probability of the company going bankrupt.