Confused by abbreviations in business English? Don’t worry. TBH*, you aren’t the only one!

*To be honest

Ever sat in a meeting and IYHO* (in your humble/honest opinion), you’ve had no idea what’s going on?

Business English fluency is increasingly important for the workplace, but there’s a lot more to it than fancy jargon and technical language. People are busier than ever before. And, with the need for speed, abbreviations and acronyms are an important part of getting the job done.

We teamed up with with YouTube star, Lucy Bella Earl (English with Lucy), to explain some of the most used acronyms and abbreviations in the office.

Let’s begin with a couple of abbreviations. Remember, abbreviations are a shortened form of a word or phrase.

V.

It means very.

I am v. pleased with the outcome → I am very pleased with the outcome!

Bus.

Business.

Could you send that to my bus. E-mail? → Could you send that to my business email address?

Corp.

Corporation.

The corp. tax is going to be high this year! → The corporation tax is going to be high this year!

Dept.

Department.

Tell the marketing dept. I’m not happy! → Tell the marketing department I’m not happy!

Ltd.

Limited (company).

Fine foods ltd. have called again. → Fine Foods Limited have called again.

Def.

Definitely.

I def. want to hire him. → I definitely want to hire him.

Perf.

Perfect.

That looks perf. to me. → That looks perfect to me.

w/

With.

Are you coming w/ me? → Are you coming with me?

w/o

Without.

Are you going w/o me? → Are you going without me?

Check out Lucy’s YouTube video, where she explains abbreviations and acronyms, and fast!

Informal abbreviations

Here are some more informal abbreviations. These crop up a lot in emails and texts and can save a lot of time. But be careful. They are probably used more in internal messages. Remember, if you’re talking to clients it’s not always polite to use these acronyms.

TBH

It means to be honest.

TBH I don’t think the client will care. → To be honest, I don’t think the client will care.

NBD

No big deal.

NBD I’ll do it tomorrow. → No big deal, I’ll do it tomorrow.

EOD

End of day.

I need the report by EOD. → I need the report by end of day.

IMO / IMHO

In my (honest) opinion.

IMO, it’s not worth your time. → In my opinion, it’s not worth your time.

LMK

Let me know.

OK, LMK if you need any help. → OK, let me know if you need any help.

OOO

Out of (the) office.

I am OOO on holiday. Call my manager. → I am out of (the) office on holiday. Call my manager.

POC

Point of contact.

Do you have a POC for that company? → do you have a point of contact for that company?

TOS

Terms of service.

Have you checked the TOS? → Have you checked the terms of service?

TL; DR

Too long, didn’t read!

TL: DR can you send me a summary? → Too long, didn’t read. Could you send me a summary?

ASAP

As soon as possible.

I need that on my desk ASAP! → I need that on my desk as soon as possible.

ETA

Estimated time of arrival.

What is your ETA to the office? → What is your estimated time of arrival to the office?

Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

They mean Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4. It’s the 3 month sections of the year. (January – March, April – June, July – September, October – December)

Profits were down in Q2. → Profits were down in Q2.

ICYMI

In case you missed it.

ICYMI here are the pictures from the Christmas party! → In case you missed it, here are the pictures from the Christmas party!

Phew! That’s a lot of acronyms and abbreviations! If you would like to learn more about how you can improve your English skills in a Business environment, then our Business English course could be just the thing for you. Check out our course details today. 

If you’re ready to start your own English language learning journey, visit our website and explore your options today.