Business English: 10 Most Common Workplace Abbreviations & 80 Business Acronyms You Should Know
An abbreviation is a shortened form of a word or phrase. In written English, we use abbreviations to shorten common sentences to save time. This post will explain most commonly used abbreviations that are used in a business setting.
10 Common Workplace Abbreviation
ASAP = as soon as possible (If this is an Email from your boss, drop everything else and work on the report!)
E.g. “Send me the report ASAP”.
FYI = for your information (When you share information to keep people in the loop, it’s FYI.)
E.g. “FYI, this is the update I got from the team.”
BTW = by the way (Some even use it to mean “back to work” — safe for ending an online chat with colleagues.)
E.g. “I read that article BTW. Not so great”.
EOD = end of day (End of day can mean before closing time or before you or Roohi leave for the day, whichever happens first.)
E.g. “John, I will send you the details by tomorrow EOD”.
ATTN=attention (Used to indicate who a letter is for)
E.g. “Attn: John Smith”
N/A= not applicable (It is used to indicate when information in a certain table cell is not provided, either because it does not apply to a particular case in question or because the answer is not available.)
E.g. “How old is your son?: N/A” (because the person is still single).
COB =Close of business (Used to refer to the end of a working day, usually when stating a deadline)
E.g. “This is just a reminder that the survey is still open and will remain open until COB today”
COD = cash on delivery (It is a mode of payment; you pay when the goods are delivered.)
E.g. “We don’t have to pay the printer now. It’s COD.”
TBD = to be decided (You will know it eventually.)
E.g. “No. of participants: TBD”
RSVP= Répondez s’il vous plait (RSVP is indeed French and it stands for répondez s’il vous plaît. It literally means “please respond”. RSVP is now a fixed idiom, even in French.)
E.g. “RSVP to John by April the 20th”
80 Business Acronyms and Business Abbreviations You Should Know
Some abbreviations can be used in emails or chatting online, some are specific to the virtual workplace.
- Acct – Account
- Ad– Advertisement
- Approx – Approximately
- APR – Annual percentage rate
- BS- Bachelor of Science Degree
- B2B – Business to business
- BA – Bachelor of Business Administration Degree
- CEO – Chief Executive Officer
- CFO – Chief Financial Officer
- Co. – Company
- Corp. – Corporation
- CSR – Customer Sales Representative
- Dept. – Department
- Div – Division
- Ea. – Each
- EST – Eastern Standard Time (the time on the East Coast of the United States and some Canadian provinces)
- FAQ – Frequently Asked Question
- FWD – Forward
- GDP – Gross Domestic Product
- Govt. – Government
- HQ – Headquarters
- Inc. – Incorporated
- ISO – International Organization for Standardization
- Jr. – Junior
- Lb. – Pound (weight)
- LLC – Limited liability company
- Max – Maximm
- MBA – Master of Business Administration Degree
- Memo- Memorandum
- Mfg– Manufacturing
- Min. – Minium
- Mo – Month
- No – Number
- Pkg – Package
- PO – Purchase order
- PR – Public relations
- Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 – First quarter, second quarter, third quarter, fourth quarter
- Qty – Quantity
- R&D – Research and Development
- Re – In regards to, regarding
- Recd. – Received
- ROI – Return on Investment
- SWOT – Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats
- Temp – Temporary Secretary
- VP – Vice President
- W/ – With
- W/O – Without
- Yr. – Year
- 404 – Abbreviation for the “Error 404 – Not Found” message displayed when coming across a dead link online. Can also mean lost or confused, e.g. “After coming out of the weekly staff meeting, I still felt 404.”
- COOP – Continuity of operations planning.
- EOM – End of message.
- EOT – End of thread.
- ESP – Email service provider
- FWIW – “For what it’s worth.” Commonly used in email communications.
- IAM – “In a meeting.”
- IM – instant message.
- IMO – “In my opinion.” Commonly used in email communications or IMHO – “in my humble opinion.”
- KPI – Key performance indicator.
- KRA – Key result area.
- MBO – Management by objectives.
- NSFW – Not Safe For Work. Your college buddy has just sent you a link titled “Check this out! (NSFW).” Don’t click on it if you value your job.
- NWR – Not work related.
- OLT – Online Training.
- OTP – “On the phone.”
- RACI – tool used to assign roles and responsibilities to team members. Stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed.
- ROWE – Results Only Work Environment.
- SMART – used in goal setting, it stands for Specific, Measureable, Attainable or Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
- SME – subject matter expert.
- SNS – Social network site.
- SOHO – Small Office / Home Office.
- VC – Virtual Class.
- VLE – Virtual learning environment.
- VPN – Virtual private network.
- VW – virtual worker.
- VWVW – virtual worker at virtual workplace.
- WAH – Work At Home, see WFH.
- WBT – Web-based training.
- WIIFM – “What’s in it for me?”
- WFH – Work From Home.
- 401k – A common type of US retirement savings plan