Business English! Learn 10 most common workplace abbreviations & 80 business English acronyms.
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 the 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 the day (End of the 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”
Business English Acronyms and Abbreviations
- 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 – Maximum
- MBA – Master of Business Administration Degree
- Memo- Memorandum
- Mfg– Manufacturing
- Min. – Minimum
- 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. It 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 – a tool used to assign roles and responsibilities to team members. Stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed.
- ROWE – Results in 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 – a virtual worker at a 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