A buzzword (also fashion word and vogue word) is a term of art, salesmanship, politics, or technical jargon[1] that is used in the media and wider society outside of its originally narrow technical context.

Buzzwords differ from jargon in that jargon is esoteric but precisely defined terminology used for ease of communication between specialists in a given field, whereas a buzzword (which often develops from the appropriation of technical jargon) is often used in a more general way.


Reported examples of the use of buzzwords

  • Thought-control via intentional vagueness. In management, by stating organization goals with opaque words of unclear meaning; their positive connotations prevent questioning of intent, especially when many buzzwords are used.[2] (See newspeak)
  • To inflate the trivial to something of importance and stature.
  • To impress a judge or an examiner by seeming to know a legal psychologic theory or a quantum physics principle, by name-dropping it, e.g. "cognitive dissonance", the "Heisenberg uncertainty principle".
  • To camouflage chit-chat saying nothing.

Individual examples

Below are a few examples of words that are commonly used as buzzwords. For a more complete list, see list of buzzwords.

See also


  1. ^ Lundin, Leigh (2009-12-31). "Buzzwords– bang * splat !". Buzzwords. Criminal Brief. 
  2. ^ Politics and the English Language
  3. ^ The Register: The Long Tail's maths begin to crumble
  4. ^ Evolt: Buzzword Bingo
  5. ^ "The Buzzword Bingo Book: The Complete, Definitive Guide to the Underground Workplace Game of Doublespeak", author: Benjamin Yoskovitz, publisher: Villard, ISBN 978-0375753480
  6. ^'s Top 10 Buzzwords

Further reading

  • Negus, K. Pickering, M. 2004. Creativity, Communication and Cultural Value. Sage Publications Ltd
  • Collins, David. 2000. Management fads and buzzwords : critical-practical perspectives. London ; New York : Routledge
  • Godin, B. 2006. The Knowledge-Based Economy: Conceptual Framework or Buzzword?. The Journal of technology transfer 31 (1): 17-.

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • buzzword — buzz‧word [bʌzwɜːd ǁ wɜːrd] noun [countable] a word or phrase from one special area of knowledge, that people suddenly think is important and use a lot: • The term online business community is something of a marketing buzzword these days. * * *… …   Financial and business terms

  • buzzword — 1946, from BUZZ (Cf. buzz) + WORD (Cf. word). Noted as student slang for the key words in a lecture or reading …   Etymology dictionary

  • buzzword — see jargon, vogue words …   Modern English usage

  • buzzword — [n] popular word or phrase argot, cant, doublespeak, fuzzword, jargon, lingo, mediaspeak, phraseology, policyspeak, slang; concept 275 …   New thesaurus

  • buzzword — ► NOUN informal ▪ a technical word or phrase that has become fashionable …   English terms dictionary

  • buzzword — [buz′wʉrd΄] n. a word or phrase used by members of some in group, having little or imprecise meaning but sounding impressive to outsiders …   English World dictionary

  • Buzzword — Un buzzword (anglicisme) est un terme ou une expression de jargon qui est utilisée, pendant une certaine période, comme slogan pour désigner une nouveauté (technologie, produit, concept, etc.) et pour attirer l attention sur cette nouveauté. Son… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Buzzword — Dieser Artikel handelt von Schlagworten im Sinne von plakativen Worten, zu anderen Bedeutungen siehe Schlagwort (Begriffsklärung). Als Schlagwort (engl. buzzword oder catchword, frz. slogan) bezeichnet man einen Begriff oder Spruch, mit dem beim… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • buzzword — UK [ˈbʌzˌwɜː(r)d] / US [ˈbʌzˌwɜrd] noun [countable] Word forms buzzword : singular buzzword plural buzzwords a word that has become very popular, especially a word relating to a particular activity or subject a speech full of buzzwords and empty… …   English dictionary

  • buzzword — noun A word drawn from or imitative of technical jargon, and often rendered meaningless and fashionable through abuse by non technical persons in a seeming show of familiarity with the subject. Their salespeople know all the right buzzwords, but… …   Wiktionary