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Words and Phrases to Avoid When Speaking in The Workplace

Professional Conduct: What to Avoid in the Workplace

In today’s competitive world, mastering English is crucial for professional success. However, knowing which phrases to avoid in a business environment is equally important.

 

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This blog provides a comprehensive list of phrases that you should not use while speaking in a company or workplace. Whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting your career, this blog will help you communicate more effectively and professionally. Enroll in a professional English course to refine your skills further and ensure you’re always making the right impression. Read on to discover how to elevate your professional language.

Speak with confidence, succeed with clarity!

 

Words to Avoid for Professional Success in the Workplace

“Here are the words related to workplace communication to steer clear of for more effective interactions.”

 

  1. Dude

Hindi Meaning: दोस्त

English Meaning: Friend, buddy

Example: Instead of saying “Dude, can you send me that report?” say “Can you please send me that report?”

 

  1. Chill

Hindi Meaning: आराम करना

English Meaning: Relax, take it easy

Example: Instead of saying “Let’s chill after the meeting,” say “Let’s discuss this after the meeting.”

 

  1. Freaking

Hindi Meaning: बहुत

English Meaning: Very, extremely (often used for emphasis)

Example: Instead of saying “This project is freaking amazing,” say “This project is very impressive.”

 

  1. Anyways

Hindi Meaning: वैसे भी

English Meaning: Regardless, in any case

Example: Instead of saying “Anyways, we should move on,” say “Regardless, we should move on.”

 

  1. Stuff

Hindi Meaning: चीज़ें

English Meaning: Items, materials, tasks

Example: Instead of saying “I have a lot of stuff to do,” say “I have many tasks to complete.”

 

  1. Bossy

Hindi Meaning: हुक्म चलाने वाला

English Meaning: Domineering, overbearing

Example: Instead of saying “She’s so bossy,” say “She tends to be very directive.”

 

  1. Kids

Hindi Meaning: बच्चे

English Meaning: Children

Example: Instead of saying “I have to pick up my kids,” say “I have to pick up my children.”

 

  1. Cool

Hindi Meaning: बढ़िया

English Meaning: Great, excellent

Example: Instead of saying “That’s cool,” say “That’s excellent.”

 

  1. Kinda

Hindi Meaning: थोड़ा

English Meaning: Kind of, somewhat

Example: Instead of saying “I’m kinda busy,” say “I’m somewhat busy.”

 

  1. Gig

Hindi Meaning: काम

English Meaning: Job, task

Example: Instead of saying “I’ve got a new gig,” say “I’ve got a new job.”

 

  1. Gonna

Hindi Meaning: करने वाला हूं

English Meaning: Going to

Example: Instead of saying “I’m gonna finish this,” say “I’m going to finish this.”

 

  1. Wanna

Hindi Meaning: चाहना

English Meaning: Want to

Example: Instead of saying “I wanna leave early,” say “I want to leave early.”

 

  1. Whatever

Hindi Meaning: कुछ भी

English Meaning: Anything, regardless

Example: Instead of saying “Do whatever you want,” say “Do anything you prefer.”

 

  1. Nope

Hindi Meaning: नहीं

English Meaning: No

Example: Instead of saying “Nope, I can’t do it,” say “No, I can’t do it.”

 

  1. ASAP

Hindi Meaning: जल्द से जल्द

English Meaning: As soon as possible

Example: Instead of saying “Send this to me ASAP,” say “Send this to me as soon as possible.”

 

  1. Literally

Hindi Meaning: सचमुच

English Meaning: Actually, really

Example: Instead of saying “I’m literally exhausted,” say “I’m really exhausted.”

 

  1. Hangout

Hindi Meaning: मिलना-जुलना

English Meaning: Meet up, get together

Example: Instead of saying “Let’s hang out after work,” say “Let’s meet up after work.”

 

  1. Fancy

Hindi Meaning: शानदार

English Meaning: Elaborate, high-end

Example: Instead of saying “That’s a fancy plan,” say “That’s an elaborate plan.”

 

  1. Cheap

Hindi Meaning: सस्ता

English Meaning: Inexpensive, low-cost

Example: Instead of saying “That’s cheap,” say “That’s low-cost.”

 

  1. Jerk

Hindi Meaning: बदतमीज़

English Meaning: Rude person, unpleasant person

Example: Instead of saying “He’s a jerk,” say “He’s unpleasant.”

 

  1. Booze

Hindi Meaning: शराब

English Meaning: Alcohol, drink

Example: Instead of saying “Let’s get some booze,” say “Let’s get a drink.”

 

  1. Slacking

Hindi Meaning: ढीला पड़ना

English Meaning: Not working hard, being lazy

Example: Instead of saying “Stop slacking,” say “Please stay focused.”

 

  1. Wacko

Hindi Meaning: पागल

English Meaning: Crazy, irrational

Example: Instead of saying “That’s wacko,” say “That’s irrational.”

 

  1. Trash

Hindi Meaning: कचरा

English Meaning: Garbage, rubbish

Example: Instead of saying “That’s trash,” say “That’s rubbish.”

 

  1. Zonked

Hindi Meaning: थका हुआ

English Meaning: Exhausted, very tired

Example: Instead of saying “I’m zonked,” say “I’m very tired.”

 

  1. Janky

Hindi Meaning: घटिया

English Meaning: Poor quality, substandard

Example: Instead of saying “This is janky,” say “This is substandard.”

 

  1. Ripped off

Hindi Meaning: ठगा गया

English Meaning: Overcharged, cheated

Example: Instead of saying “I got ripped off,” say “I was overcharged.”

 

  1. Grumpy

Hindi Meaning: चिड़चिड़ा

English Meaning: Irritable, in a bad mood

Example: Instead of saying “He’s grumpy,” say “He’s irritable.”

 

  1. Cheesy

Hindi Meaning: सस्ता

English Meaning: Tacky, cheap

Example: Instead of saying “That’s cheesy,” say “That’s tacky.”

 

  1. Geek

Hindi Meaning: गीक

English Meaning: Enthusiast, expert (in a specific field)

Example: Instead of saying “He’s a computer geek,” say “He’s a computer enthusiast.”

 

  1. Lousy

Hindi Meaning: घटिया

English Meaning: Poor, substandard

Example: Instead of saying “That’s a lousy excuse,” say “That’s a poor excuse.”

 

  1. Nuts

Hindi Meaning: पागल

English Meaning: Crazy, insane

Example: Instead of saying “That’s nuts,” say “That’s insane.”

 

  1. Goof off

Hindi Meaning: समय बर्बाद करना

English Meaning: Waste time, be unproductive

Example: Instead of saying “Stop goofing off,” say “Please focus on your work.”

 

  1. Bonkers

Hindi Meaning: पागल

English Meaning: Crazy, mad

Example: Instead of saying “That’s bonkers,” say “That’s mad.”

 

  1. Slob

Hindi Meaning: गंदा आदमी

English Meaning: Messy person, unkempt

Example: Instead of saying “He’s a slob,” say “He’s messy.”

 

  1. Hilarious

Hindi Meaning: बेहद मज़ेदार

English Meaning: Very funny, amusing

Example: Instead of saying “That’s hilarious,” say “That’s very funny.”

 

  1. Bummer

Hindi Meaning: निराशा

English Meaning: Disappointment, letdown

Example: Instead of saying “That’s a bummer,” say “That’s a disappointment.”

 

  1. Phony

Hindi Meaning: नकली

English Meaning: Fake, insincere

Example: Instead of saying “He’s phony,” say “He’s insincere.”

 

  1. Hyper

Hindi Meaning: अति उत्तेजित

English Meaning: Overexcited, energetic

Example: Instead of saying “He’s hyper,” say “He’s very energetic.”

 

  1. Crappy

Hindi Meaning: घटिया

English Meaning: Poor quality, bad

Example: Instead of saying “That’s a crappy idea,” say “That’s a poor idea.”

 

  1. Jumpy

Hindi Meaning: चौंकने वाला

English Meaning: Nervous, easily startled

Example: Instead of saying “I’m jumpy today,” say “I’m nervous today.”

 

  1. Bored

Hindi Meaning: ऊब

English Meaning: Uninterested, disinterested

Example: Instead of saying “I’m bored with this task,” say “I’m uninterested in this task.”

 

  1. Wicked

Hindi Meaning: भयानक

English Meaning: Evil, impressive (slang)

Example: Instead of saying “That’s wicked,” say “That’s impressive.”

 

  1. Cranky

Hindi Meaning: चिड़चिड़ा

English Meaning: Irritable, bad-tempered

Example: Instead of saying “He’s cranky,” say “He’s irritable.”

 

  1. Weird

Hindi Meaning: अजीब

English Meaning: Strange, unusual

Example: Instead of saying “That’s weird,” say “That’s unusual.”

 

  1. Lazy

Hindi Meaning: आलसी

English Meaning: Unmotivated, inactive

Example: Instead of saying “He’s lazy,” say “He’s unmotivated.”

 

  1. Flaky

Hindi Meaning: अस्थिर

English Meaning: Unreliable, inconsistent

Example: Instead of saying “He’s flaky,” say “He’s unreliable.”

 

  1. Gross

Hindi Meaning: घिनौना

English Meaning: Disgusting, unpleasant

Example: Instead of saying “That’s gross,” say “That’s unpleasant.”

 

  1. Yucky

Hindi Meaning: घिनौना

English Meaning: Disgusting, unappetizing

Example: Instead of saying “This food is yucky,” say “This food is unappetizing.”

 

  1. Bizarre

Hindi Meaning: अजीब

English Meaning: Strange, unusual

Example: Instead of saying “That’s bizarre,” say “That’s unusual.”

 

  1. Busted

Hindi Meaning: पकड़ा गया

English Meaning: Caught, discovered

Example: Instead of saying “He got busted,” say “He was caught.”

 

  1. Jitters

Hindi Meaning: घबराहट

English Meaning: Nervousness, anxiety

Example: Instead of saying “I have the jitters,” say “I’m feeling nervous.”

 

  1. Gobbledygook

Hindi Meaning: जटिल भाषा

English Meaning: Nonsense, confusing language

Example: Instead of saying “This document is gobbledygook,” say “This document is confusing.”

 

  1. Flub

Hindi Meaning: गलती

English Meaning: Mistake, error

Example: Instead of saying “I flubbed the presentation,” say “I made a mistake in the presentation.”

 

  1. Nag

Hindi Meaning: तंग करना

English Meaning: Complain persistently

Example: Instead of saying “Stop nagging me,” say “Please stop complaining persistently.”

 

  1. Mooch

Hindi Meaning: मुफ्तखोर

English Meaning: Freeloader, scrounger

Example: Instead of saying “He’s mooch,” say “He’s a freeloader.”

 

  1. Peep

Hindi Meaning: देखना

English Meaning: Look, glance

Example: Instead of saying “Take a peep at this,” say “Take a look at this.”

 

  1. Smarty-pants

Hindi Meaning: चालाक

English Meaning: Know-it-all

Example: Instead of saying “Don’t be a smarty-pants,” say “Don’t be a know-it-all.”

 

  1. Nerd

Hindi Meaning: पढ़ाकू

English Meaning: Intellectual, geek

Example: Instead of saying “He’s a nerd,” say “He’s very intellectual.”

 

  1. Rant

Hindi Meaning: चिल्लाना

English Meaning: Loud complaint, tirade

Example: Instead of saying “She went on a rant,” say “She gave a loud complaint.”

 

  1. Blow off

Hindi Meaning: टालना

English Meaning: Ignore, disregard

Example: Instead of saying “He blew off the meeting,” say “He ignored the meeting.”

 

  1. Clueless

Hindi Meaning: बेखबर

English Meaning: Uninformed, ignorant

Example: Instead of saying “He’s clueless,” say “He’s uninformed.”

 

  1. Zany

Hindi Meaning: सनकी

English Meaning: Eccentric, quirky

Example: Instead of saying “That’s zany,” say “That’s eccentric.”

 

  1. Dumbfounded

Hindi Meaning: हक्का-बक्का

English Meaning: Amazed, speechless

Example: Instead of saying “I was dumbfounded,” say “I was amazed.”

 

  1. Schmooze

Hindi Meaning: मक्खन लगाना

English Meaning: Chat, network

Example: Instead of saying “He’s good at schmoozing,” say “He’s good at networking.”

 

  1. Snooze

Hindi Meaning: सोना

English Meaning: Sleep, nap

Example: Instead of saying “I need a snooze,” say “I need a nap.”

 

  1. Gripe

Hindi Meaning: शिकायत करना

English Meaning: Complain

Example: Instead of saying “Stop griping,” say “Stop complaining.”

 

  1. Spaz

Hindi Meaning: अनाड़ी

English Meaning: Clumsy person

Example: Instead of saying “Don’t be a spaz,” say “Don’t be clumsy.”

 

  1. Blabbermouth

Hindi Meaning: बकबक करने वाला

English Meaning: Talkative person

Example: Instead of saying “He’s a blabbermouth,” say “He’s very talkative.”

 

  1. Nasty

Hindi Meaning: गंदा

English Meaning: Unpleasant, offensive

Example: Instead of saying “That’s nasty,” say “That’s unpleasant.”

 

  1. Fuddy-duddy

Hindi Meaning: पुराने ख्यालात का

English Meaning: Old-fashioned, conservative

Example: Instead of saying “He’s a fuddy-duddy,” say “He’s old-fashioned.”

 

  1. Nitpick

Hindi Meaning: नुक्स निकालना

English Meaning: Find fault, criticize

Example: Instead of saying “Stop nitpicking,” say “Stop finding fault.”

 

  1. Bawl

Hindi Meaning: चिल्लाना

English Meaning: Cry loudly, shout

Example: Instead of saying “She bawled her eyes out,” say “She cried loudly.”

 

  1. Twisted

Hindi Meaning: विकृत

English Meaning: Distorted, strange

Example: Instead of saying “That’s twisted,” say “That’s strange.”

 

  1. Dweeb

Hindi Meaning: गीक

English Meaning: Nerd, geek

Example: Instead of saying “He’s a dweeb,” say “He’s a geek.”

 

  1. Hobo

Hindi Meaning: भिखारी

English Meaning: Homeless person

Example: Instead of saying “He looks like a hobo,” say “He looks homeless.”

 

  1. Punk

Hindi Meaning: बदमाश

English Meaning: Troublemaker

Example: Instead of saying “He’s a punk,” say “He’s a troublemaker.”

 

  1. Whiny

Hindi Meaning: शिकायत करने वाला

English Meaning: Complaining, whining

Example: Instead of saying “Stop being whiny,” say “Stop complaining.”

 

  1. Wimpy

Hindi Meaning: कमजोर

English Meaning: Weak, timid

Example: Instead of saying “Don’t be wimpy,” say “Don’t be timid.”

 

  1. Ditzy

Hindi Meaning: बेवकूफ

English Meaning: Silly, scatterbrained

Example: Instead of saying “She’s ditzy,” say “She’s scatterbrained.”

 

  1. Shady

Hindi Meaning: संदिग्ध

English Meaning: Suspicious, untrustworthy

Example: Instead of saying “That deal is shady,” say “That deal is suspicious.”

 

  1. Corny

Hindi Meaning: भावुक

English Meaning: Sentimental, cliché

Example: Instead of saying “That’s corny,” say “That’s cliché.”

 

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Phrases You Should Not Use While Speaking in a Company or workplace

“Here are the phrases related to workplace communication to steer clear of for more effective interactions.”

 

  1. What’s up?

Hindi Meaning: क्या चल रहा है?

English Meaning: Casual greeting often used among friends

Example: Instead of saying “What’s up?” say “How are you?”

 

  1. You guys

Hindi Meaning: तुम लोग

English Meaning: Informal way to address a group

Example: Instead of saying “You guys did a great job,” say “Everyone did a great job.”

 

  1. No problem

Hindi Meaning: कोई बात नहीं

English Meaning: Informal way to say “You’re welcome”

Example: Instead of saying “No problem,” say “You’re welcome.”

 

  1. Lame excuse

Hindi Meaning: बेकार बहाना

English Meaning: Weak or unconvincing excuse

Example: Instead of saying “That’s a lame excuse,” say “That’s a weak excuse.”

 

  1. I don’t care

Hindi Meaning: मुझे परवाह नहीं

English Meaning: Indifference or lack of concern

Example: Instead of saying “I don’t care,” say “It doesn’t matter to me.”

 

  1. Screw up

Hindi Meaning: गड़बड़ करना

English Meaning: Make a serious mistake

Example: Instead of saying “I screwed up,” say “I made a mistake.”

 

  1. Shut up

Hindi Meaning: चुप हो जाओ

English Meaning: Telling someone to be quiet in a rude manner

Example: Instead of saying “Shut up,” say “Please be quiet.”

 

  1. My bad

Hindi Meaning: मेरी गलती

English Meaning: Informal way to admit fault

Example: Instead of saying “My bad,” say “My mistake.”

 

  1. You bet

Hindi Meaning: जरूर

English Meaning: Informal way to agree

Example: Instead of saying “You bet,” say “Certainly.”

 

  1. Butt in

Hindi Meaning: दखल देना

English Meaning: Interrupt a conversation rudely

Example: Instead of saying “Don’t butt in,” say “Please don’t interrupt.”

 

  1. Let’s wrap it up

Hindi Meaning: इसे समाप्त करें

English Meaning: Finish or conclude

Example: Instead of saying “Let’s wrap it up,” say “Let’s finish it.”

 

  1. Get lost

Hindi Meaning: दूर हो जाओ

English Meaning: Rudely telling someone to leave

Example: Instead of saying “Get lost,” say “Please go away.”

 

  1. Cut it out

Hindi Meaning: बंद करो

English Meaning: Stop doing that (often used with annoyance)

Example: Instead of saying “Cut it out,” say “Please stop it.”

 

  1. Big deal

Hindi Meaning: बड़ी बात

English Meaning: Something important or significant

Example: Instead of saying “It’s a big deal,” say “It’s an important matter.”

 

  1. It sucks

Hindi Meaning: यह बेकार है

English Meaning: It’s very bad or unpleasant

Example: Instead of saying “This sucks,” say “This is bad.”

 

  1. Beat it

Hindi Meaning: चले जाओ

English Meaning: Go away immediately (rude)

Example: Instead of saying “Beat it,” say “Please leave.”

 

  1. Deal with it

Hindi Meaning: इसे स्वीकार करो

English Meaning: Handle or accept it

Example: Instead of saying “Deal with it,” say “Please accept it.”

 

  1. I’m broke

Hindi Meaning: मैं कंगाल हूँ

English Meaning: I have no money

Example: Instead of saying “I’m broke,” say “I have no money.”

 

  1. I’m starving

Hindi Meaning: मैं भूखा हूँ

English Meaning: I’m very hungry

Example: Instead of saying “I’m starving,” say “I’m very hungry.”

 

  1. Give me a break

Hindi Meaning: मुझे एक मौका दो

English Meaning: Allow me some respite

Example: Instead of saying “Give me a break,” say “Allow me some respite.”

 

  1. I’ll take a rain check

Hindi Meaning: मैं बाद में कोशिश करूंगा

English Meaning: I’ll do it later

Example: Instead of saying “I’ll take a rain check,” say “I’ll do it later.”

 

  1. It’s a no-brainer

Hindi Meaning: यह आसान है

English Meaning: An obvious decision or choice

Example: Instead of saying “It’s a no-brainer,” say “It’s an obvious decision.”

 

  1. Have a blast

Hindi Meaning: मज़े करो

English Meaning: Have a great time

Example: Instead of saying “Have a blast,” say “Have a great time.”

 

10 Tips- What to Avoid in Professional Communication

 

  1. Avoid Overusing Informal Language: Using slang or overly casual language can make you appear unprofessional. Stick to formal greetings and vocabulary in a professional setting.

Example: Instead of “Hey guys,” say “Hello everyone.”

 

  1. Don’t Interrupt Others: Interrupting colleagues during meetings or discussions is considered rude and can disrupt the flow of conversation.

Example: Wait for your turn to speak and use phrases like “If I may add…” or “Excuse me, I would like to say…”

 

  1. Avoid Negative Body Language: Non-verbal cues such as rolling your eyes, crossing your arms, or sighing can convey disinterest or disrespect.

Example: Maintain eye contact, nod to show understanding, and keep an open posture.

 

  1. Don’t Use Filler Words: Words like “um,” “like,” and “you know” can make you seem unprepared or uncertain.

Example: Practice speaking clearly and pause briefly to collect your thoughts instead of using fillers.

 

  1. Avoid Gossiping: Speaking ill of colleagues can create a toxic work environment and damage your reputation.

Example: Focus on constructive conversations and maintain professionalism at all times.

 

  1. Don’t Over-Commit: Saying “yes” to every request can lead to burnout and reduce the quality of your work.

Example: Learn to prioritize tasks and say “I’ll need to check my schedule” or “Can we discuss deadlines?”

 

  1. Avoid Being Late: Punctuality shows respect for others’ time and enhances your reliability.

Example: Plan to arrive a few minutes early for meetings and appointments.

 

  1. Don’t Ignore Feedback: Constructive criticism is essential for growth. Ignoring feedback can hinder your development.

Example: Listen actively to feedback, ask questions for clarity, and implement suggestions.

 

  1. Avoid Being Unprepared: Coming to meetings or presentations without preparation can waste time and reflect poorly on you.

Example: Always review your notes and materials beforehand and be ready to contribute.

 

  1. Don’t Forget to Follow Up: Failing to follow up on tasks or communications can lead to misunderstandings and missed opportunities.

Example: Send follow-up emails after meetings to summarize actions and confirm responsibilities.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure that your professional communication is effective, respectful, and conducive to a positive work environment.

 

FAQs on Workplace Etiquette and Professional Conduct

 

  1. Why is it important to avoid gossiping at work?

Answer: Gossiping can create a negative atmosphere, damage relationships, and erode trust among colleagues. It can also lead to misunderstandings and harm the overall productivity and morale of the team.

 

  1. What should I avoid discussing with colleagues?

Answer: Avoid discussing sensitive topics such as politics, religion, personal finances, or health issues unless they are directly relevant to work tasks or projects. These discussions can easily lead to disagreements and discomfort among coworkers.

 

  1. Should I share confidential information with coworkers?

Answer: No, you should always respect confidentiality agreements and company policies regarding sensitive information. Sharing confidential details without authorization can lead to legal consequences and breach of trust.

 

  1. How should I handle disagreements with coworkers?

Answer: Disagreements should be addressed calmly and professionally. Avoid escalating conflicts or resorting to personal attacks. Focus on finding a resolution through respectful dialogue and compromise.

 

  1. Can humor be inappropriate in the workplace?

Answer: Yes, humor should be used carefully to avoid offending others. Jokes that are racist, or otherwise discriminatory are unacceptable and can lead to disciplinary action. It’s best to keep humor inclusive and respectful.

 

  1. How should I handle personal phone calls or social media use at work?

Answer: Personal phone calls and social media use should be kept to a minimum during work hours. They can be distracting and affect productivity. Use breaks or designated personal time for such activities.

 

  1. Should I discuss my salary or compensation with coworkers?

Answer: It’s generally not recommended to discuss salary or compensation details with coworkers, as it can create tension and misunderstandings. Such discussions are best left to be confidential between the employee and HR or management.

 

  1. What should I do if I witness inappropriate behavior in the workplace?

Answer: Report any inappropriate behavior, such as harassment or discrimination, to HR or a trusted supervisor. It’s important to uphold a safe and respectful work environment for everyone.

 

Conclusion

Mastering professional communication involves more than just vocabulary—it’s about using language that reflects your professionalism and competence. By avoiding these common phrases and choosing your words thoughtfully, you can elevate your professional image and enhance your career prospects. For continuous improvement, consider enrolling in a spoken English classes to refine your skills and confidently navigate any business conversation.

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