Buzzword Bingo

Have you heard of Buzzword Bingo?

The idea is that you have a little fun during a dull meeting by using bingo cards filled with vague, commonly-used office terminology. The first one to connect 5 buzzwords in a row wins.

I doubt anyone has ever truly played this game (and it’s hardly productive), but many of us have found ourselves in a meeting where the conditions are perfect for buzzword bingo.  Let’s give it a try now.

How many buzzwords can you find in the following example:

If we have some extra bandwidth while we’re circling the wagons, perhaps we could piggy-back a little morale booster to add value to the meeting and get our arms around the bigger picture. It’s not reinventing the wheel, but if we commit to best practice, this paradigm shift could push the envelope and ramp up to be a win-win situation with a strategic fit that lands us on the fast track towards proactive thinking outside the box.

(Just writing that made my head buzz.)

Do you have any favorite buzzwords? Do some make you laugh? Do some make you cringe?  Let’s “bat this around” for a while.

Popular search terms for this article:

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Peter is Vice President of Digital Marketing at an investment holdings company in Washington DC and Co-Founder at True North.


  1. Ted Goas on the 23rd June

    Oooh! I have tons!
    – Leverage
    – value-added
    – leadership
    – clarity surrounding a process or issue
    – submit (used as a verb)
    – transparency

  2. Brian on the 23rd June

    Speaking of buzzword toys, check out CapsuleCEO for the iPhone/Android ( It’s GREAT for you office-types! It’s basically a buzzword phrase generator that makes you look smarter than you actually are (I can’t tell you how many times it’s saved my ass when the boss demanded something immediately). Great stuff.

  3. I have never heard of buzzword bingo. This is the first time I heard about it.

    Though I do not get it fully, I will give a try from the example:

    add value

    bigger picture

    best practice

    paradigm shift

    push the envelope

    strategic fit

    fast track

    proactive thinking

    outside the box

  4. Nick Allen on the 24th June

    My US colleagues have some real good ones.

    – Reaching out (often used to measure outreach)
    – If you have bandwidth (ironic as our IT can never keep ours high enough)
    – Lawyer up
    – Herding Cats
    – Web 3.0 (no really)

  5. Ashim on the 24th June

    There’s an awesome pic called “Project Management Bingo Lingo” (cant find the full version on the web. This has some hilarious phrases like-

    Analysis paralysis
    Crunch mode
    Keeping you up at night
    Herding cats
    TPS report
    Silver Bullet
    Setup for Failure
    Open kimono

    cant remember more.. 🙁

  6. Carl Natale on the 24th June

    On my card I have:

    -Bullet points
    -Evaluate penetration (You would be surprised how often this is used outside the porn industry)
    -Paradigm shift (Already mentioned but a beautiful phrase nonetheless)

  7. Joe Kesonu on the 24th June

    My absolute favourite that my former boss used to use almost once a day.

    “open the kimono”

    Always made me chuckle just a bit. In fact, I would incite him to say based on our conversation. I would say something like “we should get to the bottom of that issue”. And he would agree and then drop his favourite buzz phrase.

    • Peter North on the 26th June

      That is a terrific one; I just looked it up.

      Perhaps if you can’t play “Buzzword Bingo” you could play “Buzzword Bait,” and see if you can lead a meeting or conversation towards certain buzzwords.

      It would be a great way to featurize and relanguage any sort of information touchpoint.

  8. Meg on the 30th June

    That kimono one is new to me… one that I hate is “reach out to” – as in, Meg, why don’t you reach out to the marketing director. Perhaps she can provide some insight through meaningful dialogue.” Oh, and “deliverables.” GAH.

    • Sara on the 16th July

      Oooh, I forgot about “deliverables”. That’s sickening, too.

  9. Sara on the 16th July

    I was just thinking about some of these today, and how certain buzzwords and phrases literally make me nauseous anymore. My top offenders:

    –“outside the box”
    –“reinvent the wheel”
    –“ramp up”
    –“get our arms around this”


  10. Joy on the 14th October

    “glean nuggets”
    Example: I’m hoping to glean nuggets about our capabilities in…

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