Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Back-End Load - A fee or commission paid by an individual when they sell their shares in an investment fund.
Back Shift - A group of workers or the period worked from late afternoon until late at night in an industry or occupation where there is also a day shift and a night shift.
Backscratching - Informal term for reciprocity or returning favours, as in the term 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours'.
Back-To-Back Loan - A loan in which two companies in separate countries borrow each other's money at the same time for a specific period at an agreed upon interest rate.
Back with Music - In the entertainment business, films, TV, etc., dialogue which is spoken over music.
Bait-and-Switch - In retail sales, when customers are lured by advertisements for a product at a low price, then find that the product is not available but a more expensive substitute is.
Balance Sheet - A financial statement of an individual, company or organisation, which shows assets and liabilities (money owed) at a specific date.
Balloon - Describes a long term loan in which there is a large final payment when the loan matures.
Bandwidth - In computing, the amount of information that can be transmitted through a communication channel over a given period of time, usually measured in 'bits per second' (bps).
Bancassurance - The selling of both insurance and banking services, usually by a major bank.
Bankers Hours - A short working day, often with a long lunch break.
Bank Loan - A loan made by a bank to an individual, company, etc., for a fixed term, to be repaid with interest.
Bank Run - Lots of sudden and heavy cash withdrawals at the same time from a bank or banks, because customers believe the banks may become insolvent.
Barista - A person who is a professional speciality coffee maker, for example, cappuccino, latte, espresso, etc.
Base 2 - Also known as the binary system, which is the basis of computer logic. Normal counting is based on 0-9. Binary just has 0-1, which means a new column is started after two, not nine. Binary counting does not go 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. It goes 0, 1, 10, 11, 100, 101, etc. Other than for computing it's not very practical.
Bean Counter - An informal derogatory term for an accountant, especially one who is perceived or suggested to be overly concerned about expenditure detail.
Beanfeast - Also known as a beano - an annual party, dinner, or outing given by an employer for its employees.
Bear Market - In the stock market a period of declining prices in which investors continue selling shares, expecting the prices to fall further.
Bear Raid - The practice, in the stock market, of attempting to push the price of a stock lower by selling in large numbers and often spreading unfavourable rumours about the company concerned.
Behemoth - A large and powerful organisation. (originally from Hebrew, behemot - beast)
Bells and Whistles - Extra features added often more for show than function, especially on computers, cameras, etc., to make the product more attractive to buyers.
Below The Line - BTL. Describes marketing which has a short-term duration, such as non-media advertising, direct-mail, e-mail, exhibitions, incentives, brochures, etc., which is targeted directly at the consumer/customer. Often used by companies on a limited budget.
Bench Warrant - An order issued by a judge for an absent defendent to be arrested and brought before a court.
Benefit Principle - A taxation principle which states that those who benefit more from government expenditure, financed by taxes, should pay more tax for the product or service than those who benefit less.
Benefits Realisation - Also Benfits Realisation Management, or if you prefer the US Englisg it would be Benefits Realization. This refers to the translation of projects into real and perceived positive effects, seemingly a concept devised originally in the field of IT and ICT (Information and Communications Technology) project management, where projects are notoriously difficult to manage successfully and generate clear end-user appreciation. The term, abbreviated to BRM, is increasingly applied more widely to change management and project management of all sorts, representing an additional final stage of project management process, for which a manager is sometimes specifically responsible.
Best Boy - The person on film sets, TV, etc., who is the assistant to the electrician.
Beta Test - The second test of a product, such as computer hardware, software, or even a website, under actual usage conditions, before the final version is used by or sold to the public. See Alpha Test.
Bid Bond - A sum agreed to be paid by a company that wins a contract if the work is not carried out.
Big Bang - Occurred (UK) on 27th October 1986, when major technology changes took place on the London Stock Exchange chiefly to replace manual systems with electronic processes.
The Big Board - An informal name for the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street.
Bikeshed Colour effect/Colour of the Bikeshed Law/The Bicycle Shed Law/Parkinson's Law of Triviality - This was originally a concept or 'law' proposed by C Northcote Parkinson in his (1957/8) book Parkinson's Law: The Pursuit of Progress, which also gave us Parkinson's Law itself. The revived Triviality Law was popularized in 1999 by Poul Henning Kamp, a computer developer, effectively and accidentally renaming it the Bikeshed Colour effect. Essentially the law contends that people in organizations (due to human nature and organizational behaviour) inevitably spend a disproportionately large amount of time and effort on trivia matters - especially attempting to apply personal influence - while neglecting the really important issues because they are difficult to understand, and consequently more difficult to influence. See Parkinson's Law and Parkinson's Law of Triviality, which includes more explanation about the Bikeshed Colour effectand its derivation.
Bilateral - Agreement or involvement or action by two parties, people, companies, countries, etc. See Unilateral and Multilateral.
Biometrics - The biological identification of human features, such as eyes, voices and hands, increasingly used to identify individuals, e.g., in laptop computers, entry systems and passports.
Bit Part - In films and TV, a supporting actor who has at least one line of dialogue, and who is usually listed in the credits.
Black Economy - Money earned in private cash transactions, which is untraceable, and therefore untaxable.
Black Knight - A company which makes a hostile takeover bid for another company that does not want to be bought.
Blamestorming - Portmanteau term contrived from Brainstorming and Blame, referring to meetings or discussions seeking to allocate responsibility for a failure or disaster. Popularised in the late 1990s by viral emails which listed amusing office terminology.
Blatherskite - A person who talks at great length without saying anything useful. Originally a Scottish 16thC expression adopted into American slang from the song Maggie Lauder during the US War of Independence.
Blind Test - Research method in which people are asked to try a number of similar products which are not identified by brand name, to decide which product is the best.
Blind Trial - A trial, with two groups of people, to test the effect of a new product, especially in medicine. One group is given the real product while the other group is given a placebo or 'sugar pill', which does not contain any medication.
Bloatware - In computing, software that needs so much computer memory that it takes a long time to load and therefore does not function properly.
Blue Chip - On the stock market, shares of a large company with a good reputation, whose value and dividends are considered to be safe and reliable.
Blue-Sky Law - In the US, a law designed to protect the public from buying fraudulent securities.
Blue-Sky Thinking - Open-minded, original and creative thinking, not restricted by convention.
Bluetooth - Wireless technology which allows data to be transferred over short distances between laptop computers, mobile phones, digital cameras, etc.
Blue Law - In the US, a law which regulates and limits activities for religious reasons, such as Sunday working or shopping.
Bodhisattva - From Buddhism, a person who seeks enlightenment for the good of, and motivated by a compassion for, other people. In Western thinking we could see this to be similar to Maslow's notion of 'trancendence' in the pursuit of self-actualization, notably helping others to self-actualize. Not an easy concept to explain; in the spectrum of human behaviour it's about as far away that can be imagined from the pursuit of a merchantbanker's bonus or the Presidency of Europe, if you'll forgive the clichés.
Boilerplate - A section of standard text, especially a contract clause, inserted into legal documents, or instead increasingly referring to a standard section of code inserted into computer programs or other digital applications.
Bold-Faced Names - Informal term for celebrities, used mostly in the USA.
Bona Fides - Credentials showing someone's true identity. (Latin - with good faith)
Bonded Warehouse - A warehouse in which imported goods are stored under bond, until the import taxes are paid on them.
Bonus - An extra sum of money given to an employee on top of their salary, often for achieving targets.
Bonus Culture - Term used when companies give their executives huge bonuses in addition to their large salaries, even if their performance has been poor, especially leaders of financial institutions.
Book Depreciation - A decrease or loss in value of a company's assets, as recorded in the company's finances.
Boomlet - A small period of rapid growth in trade and economic activity.
Bookkeeping - The recording of a business's transactions, such as sales, purchases, payments, income, etc.
Bootstrapping - Starting a business from scratch and building it up with minimum outside investment.
Bossnapping - Believed to have started in France, the unlawful imprisonment of a boss, in the offices of a company or on the site of a corporation, by employees who are protesting against redundancy, closure of the company, etc.
Bottom Fishing - Buying the cheapest investments available which are unlikely to fall much further in value.
Bounty Hunter - In the US, someone who pursues criminals or fugitives and brings them to the police in exchange for a monetary reward.
Boutique - A small shop typically selling fashionable and expensive items such as clothing. The term 'boutique' is now increasingly applied to various other sectors and products to denote small-scale and high individual or hand-made quality, for example Boutique Hotels, below.
Boutique Hotel - A small individual hotel, commonly within a historic building, with luxurious stylish themed and furnished rooms, typically independently owned.
Bracket Creep - Slowly moving into a higher tax bracket with small pay increases over a period of time.
Brain Drain - The loss of highly skilled people to another region, country or industry, where they can work in a better environment and/or earn more money.
Brainstorming - Problem solving in small groups, contributing ideas and developing creativity.
Brand - A unique identifying symbol, trademark, company name, etc., which enables a buyer to distinguish a product or service from its competitors.
Brand Association -  Something or someone which make people think of a particular product.
Brand Loyalty - When a consumer repeatedly buys a particular brand of product and is reluctant to switch to another brand.
Bread and Butter - The main source of income of a company or an individual.
Break Even - To make enough money to cover costs. In business, the point at which sales equals costs. To make neither a profit or loss.
Bridging/Bridging loan/Bridge - A short term loan, normally at high rates of interest calculated daily, which 'bridges' a period when funds are unavailable, typically when payment has to be made before finance can be released from elsewhere to cover the transaction.
Brinkmanship - The practice of pursuing a tactic or method to the point of danger or damage, typically employed in competitive situations in which it is felt that the tactic will unsettle or cause the withdrawal of the adversary/ies. Dervies from the word brink, meaning the edge of a cliff or other dangerously high point.
British Standards Institution - BSI. An organisation which sets out formal guidelines to help businesses, etc., produce or perform more efficiently and safely. The BSI operates in more than 25 countries, and represent UK interests in other organisations, such as the ISO - International Organisation For Standardization.
Brownfield - Previously developed land, either commercial or industrial, which has been cleared for redevelopment.
Brown Goods -  Household electrical entertainment appliances such as televisions, radios and music systems.
Brown-noser - Insulting slang term for a sychophant, originally 1930s US military slang (brown-nose). Brown-nosing describes crawling or creeping to please a boss; an amusingly disturbing interpretation of various expressions which juxtapose the head of the follower with the backside of the boss, as in the rude slang metaphors: kissing arse/ass, arse-licking, bum-licker, etc.
Bubble Economy - An unstable boom when the economy experiences an unusually rapid growth, with rising share prices and increased employment.
Budget - Allocation of funds or the estimation of costs for a department, project, etc., over a specific period. The management of spending and saving money.
Built To Flip - Companies which have been sold soon after they have been created, so that money can be made quickly.
Bullet Point - A symbol, e.g. a dot or a square, printed at the beginning of each item on a list.
Bull Market - On the Stock Market, a prolonged period in which share prices are rising and investors are buying.
Business Angel - Also known as Private Investor. A, usually wealthy, individual who invests money in developing (often high risk) companies, and who provides their advice, skills, knowledge and contacts in return for an equity share of the business.
Business Plan - A written document which sets out a business's plans and objectives, and how it will achieve them, e.g. by marketing, development, production, etc.
Business To Business - B2B. Commercial transactions or activities between businesses.
Business To Consumer - Transactions in which businesses sell goods and/or services to end consumers or customers.
Button Ad - A small advertisement on a website, typically measuring 120 x 90 pixels.
Buy-in - Purchase of a company where outside investors buy more than 50% of the shares, so they can take over the company.
Buzzword - A word or phrase which has become fashionable or popular, or sounds technical or important and is used to impress people.

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