Share your profession's jargon

Every profession has it’s own jargon. Indeed, when you get two people from the same workforce together, their conversation often ends up unintelligible. So, what are some choice bits of your profession’s jargon?

I’m a Peace Corps Volunteer, and like all things related to the government, acronyms are key. For example:

PCV- Peace Corps volunteer
RPCV- returned Peace Corps volunteer, someone who has finished their service
CD- Country Director, the big boss for each country
PCMO- Peace Corps doctor
PST- The training period before you become a full volunteer
IST- A training that usually takes place three months after swearing in
COS- Close of service, finishing your time as a Peace Corps volunteer
ET- to leave early
HCN- host country national, someone from the country you are serving in

Additionally, there is some terms that stay the same from country to country:
Admin sep- to be kicked out for breaking the rules
Med sep- to have to leave for medical services

And some that are country specific. We’ve had:
Clando- to leave your assigned city without permission
Wack evac- to have to leave because of mental illness

Finally, in Cameroon we ended up speaking a sort of French English mix, simply because we spent 90% of our lives speaking in French. So you might hear a Peace Corps volunteer say something like:

Yesterday my proviseur was deranging me. I clando’d to the capital to visit an HCN friend, and he found out. He was so fache I thought he was going to frap me. So he called the CD and said he wanted me admin-sepped. I said I’d just ET first! Anyway, since COS is just a month away, the CD told my proviseur to calm down. I’m not sure what’s gonna happen next, I’ll just have to attend. Are we ajouting more beer?

What kind of jargon do you have? What is the most unintelligible paragraph you can think of that anyone in your profession would understand immediately?

I’m in IT; we have shitloads of jargon and even more acronyms. I have a natural revulsion to both, but it’s hard to avoid using either. Here’s a sample…

SCCM runs on a VMWare VM which is hosted on the SAN. The two main obstacles to installing software using this tool are BITS throttling on the user segments and internet latency for the SSL VPN users.

Ha, I like those. We just called people who were out of site without permission…“out of site without permission”.

Along with the rest of your list, we also had MST (mid-service training). And don’t forget LPI (language proficiency interview). I finished my PST at intermediate low, but at COS I LPIed out at advanced mid. There’s also the different group numbers, which I guess they don’t do in every country, but I was a B-19.

I’m also in IT (and have a daughter who’s a RPCV). In addition to the usual stuff, we have some site-specific terms:

EEC – Electronically Enhanced Classroom
EEL – Electronically Enhanced Lab
260s, 270s, 280s, 620s, 760s, 780s – Dell computer models we use

Fundraising has a surprisingly long lexicon of jargon. Some of the more common ones:

LYBUNT – “Last Year But Unfortunately Not This Year.” Someone who gave last year but hasn’t so far this year.
SYBUNT – The same, but the first word is “Some”. Someone who hasn’t given in a while.
Pay-Cash (or Pay-Stock, Pay-Other, etc.). The action of paying on a pledge. See also “Straight Cash”, a payment which comes in without an attached pledge.
NGs – Never-givers.
MGOs – Major Gift Officers, aka DOs (Development Officers). The people who go out and ask for money.
Charleston – Refers to a certain software company based there.
Pyramid – A report which contains gifts at various levels arranged from highest to lowest. It used to contain a graph which looked like the eponymous name, but most shops (qv) have dispensed with the graph part. Boards love 'em.
Book – A collection of stats, research, etc. for use by the CEO or other higher-ups. Vital pieces of information which may or may not be looked at.
Copy And Steal Everything – A cynic’s definition for the acronym CASE (officially Council for Advancement and Support of Education). The explanation for why so many university websites, annual reports, etc. look so similar.
President’s Report – Annual list of those who gave to the institution. Woe betide those whose President’s Report is not 100% accurate.
Suspect/Person of interest – Not exactly a prospect (someone likely to give), more like “someone who has money.” By the time you get down to “person of interest” it’s more like “someone whose Rolex may or may not be fake.”

I’m in the oil field and there has been a trend to clean up the jargon because it can be read as offensive to the office types. One line on a morning report that I’ve read a million times

0600 - 1430: Nipple up BOP
1430 - 1700: Make up BHA and RIH to 1100’ (MD)
1700 - 1900: Motor failed POOH
1900- 0600: WO Baker

Nipple up is to make the connections
BOP are the Blow Out Preventers (some time abbreviated BOPE for Prevention Equipment)
BHA is Bottom Hole Assembly
RIH is Run In Hole
MD is Measured Depth as opposed to TVD or total vertical Depth
POOH is Pull out of Hole
WO is waiting on

Between the Army and the rest of the government, everythingis an acronym.

Electric Utility - focus on energy trading and unit commitment, plus some random stuff

bpm - bulk power marketing
efor - effective forced outage rating (name plate capacity times hours in a year / sum of hours available * capacity in that hour)
ee - energy efficiency
ferc - federal energy regulatory commission
crb- cost based rate
mbr - market based rate
pjm - an RTO (regional transmissions organization) coordinating wholesale energy movement in the mid-atlantic region
MISO - midwest independent system operator
ICE - intercontinental exchange
CP - coincident peak (your power usage when our utility hits its yearly peak demand)
CF - capacity factor - actual energy output as a percentage of max energy output over a given period
LF - load factor - energy usage as a percentage of peak load times hours in a given time period
8760 - number of hours in a year and a way of expressing that you’re looking for info in an a hourly format, e.g. do you have the 8760 forecast?
heat and cooling degree days - sum of the number of degrees above or below 2 base points (one representing the lowest temp before people turn on heat, the other highest before ac) in a given day over a period of days
fgd - flue-gas desulfurization (removes SO2 from emissions), also called a scrubber
scr - selective catalytic reduction (removes NOx from emissions)
NS - norfolk southern rail
CSX - the other east coast rail-line, I don’t know that it stands for anything relevant
No. 2 - heating oil
5 x 16 - hours ending 7 through 23, monday - friday, considered ‘on-peak’ (spoken as 5 by 16)
2 x 16 - same for sat and sun, considered weekend peak
7 x 8 - night, off-peak hours
5 and 7 - budget done with 5 months of actuals and 7 months of forecast
agc - automatic generation control - makes small tweaks to generation amounts to handle frequency
peaks and valley - there are two peaks during the day - one in the morning and one in the afternoon, the middel is called the valley
shoulder months - middle of spring and fall when people don’t need much heat or a/c

lots more where that came from, but I’m pretty sure that you’re bored silly by now.

Whoo boy, get ready - I’m a pilot. We’re all about acronyms and other jargon.

Some acronyms in no particular order:

FSDO: Pronounced “fizz-doh”, flight standards district offices
ILS: Instrument landing system
MEA: Minimum enroute altitude
MOCA: Minimum obstruction clearance altitude
OROCA: Off route obstruction clearance altitude
MDA: Minimum descent altitude
DA: Decision altitude
TCH: Threshold crossing height
MAP: Missed approach point
VOR: Very high frequency omni directional range
ATC: Air traffic control
FARs: Federal aviation regulations
VFR: Visual flight rules
IFR: Instrument flight rules

Many more where those came from. Here are a few phrases you might hear on ATC:

Cleared for the option
Descend at your discretion
Taxi to
Position and hold
Squawk VFR, frequency change approved
Resume own navigation

In addition to learning all the jargon and what it means, sometimes you get lengthy directives from ATC, some of which you’re expected to repeat back. A typical one on an IFR flight sounds like this:

“Navajo 12345, 6 miles from MONGA, maintain 4000 until established, cleared ILS 15.”

I’m in advertising… Media Buying specifically. We have quite a bit of jargon.

**TRP **- Total Ratings Points
**CPP **- Cost Per Point
**Makegood **- Replacement for a spot that has been missed for whatever reason
**Discrep **- When the invoice for spots actually run doesn’t match what was ordered. Have to resolve before station can be paid.
**Daypart **- TV and radio time is broken up by time periods.
**AM Drive, PM Drive, Midday, **etc - Radio dayparts
Early Morning News, Daytime, Early Fringe, Early News, Prime Access, Prime, Late News, Late Fringe - TV Dayparts
**Rotator **- When you buy something across a broad daypart mix… like Mon-Fri 6a-7p.
Broadcast month - We work off of a industry specific calendar. All weeks run M-Sun. All quarters and months start on a Monday. For example, Jan10 started on Monday 12/28/09.

Those are just a few but there are many many more.

“We can California over the gable with a four in twelve with t&g with a PI of 24/0 and r-30 using ten-pennies”

A California roof is a roof which extends over an existing roof. Yes, it is used sometimes as a verb. Four in twelve is the slope of the roof: for every twelve inches horizontally the roof slope rises four inches. This is the most common residential roof slope here in SoCal.

T&g is tongue and groove plywood and a PI means panel index, or the number of inches that particular plywood can span. 24 inches for roofing in this case. It would not be allowable for a subfloor, hence the “0”.

R-30 is batt insulation used to insulate roofs, and ten-penny nails are used to nail the plywood to the rafters.

Incidentally…do any of you builders or architects or engineers out there use the term “California roof”? Or is that just here in…well, California?

And how about California corners?

I do IT security. I could bore you to death with tales of DNS spoofing, cache poisoning and hash salts. Even worse, I do it for a bank - home of the Alt-A NINJA HELOC liar loans, and cx that need plastic for their DDA.

That is: sub-prime, no income, no job, no plans to ever pay, applicants for home equity lines of credit (one facet of the mortgage and foreclosure crisis) and a customer that needs an ATM debit card for their checking account.

I’m a statistician. Here’s an example of in-field communication:

I’m in banking and there’s lots of jargon in it. Most of it has to do with government regulation (Reg D, Reg CC, Reg Z), and reporting forms (MIL, CTR). Some of it has to do with types of products (DD= demand deposit, CD, etc.) or rates and the like (APR, APY). Sometimes, when explaining stuff to customers, I find myself forgetting to spell out the acronyms.

Veterinary medicine. A lot of terms will be the same as in human medicine but we have some that are just for animals.

PCV - Packed Cell Volume alternately known as HCT, hematocrit or crit which is probably used more for humans.

HBC - Hit By Car

BD/LD - Big dog vs. Little dog. Obviously the patient is the little dog.

BAR and ADR, Wile E. At least, those are the histories I get…

BAR= Bright alert responsive.

ADR= Ain’t doing right.

I do the billing for a printing company
OOP - out of pocket (expenses)
web - a type of press that uses one continuous roll of paper
PMS - pantone matching system (colors), has nothing to do with cycles
CMYK - cyan, magenta, yellow and black (k) - where CMYK got his user name, these are the 4 colors that make up 4 color process
saddle stitch - books that look like they’re bound with staples on the spine
perfect bind - books that have square backed spines.

We used to have strippers, not the kind that take off their clothes, but they stripped in the type on the pages.
We used to have “blues” too which were blueprints, now everything is digital, or
DTP - direct to plate.
There are nipples on the presses too - they help move the sheet paper into the sheetfed presses.
AAs - authors’ alterations
PEs - printer errors

I’m not at work so I couldn’t think of more terms but we’re not allowed to use ADR on medical records, cage cards are okay but ADR on records is considered unprofessional by our bosses. We do use BAR a lot though.

We also aren’t allowed to use the alternate meaning of DIC on records.

[sub] DIC is Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation often leads to the alternate meaning of Dead In Cage. [/sub]

Darth Panda covered most of the power jargon I was going to say but then left out some of my favorites.

SPARK SPREAD A market based ratio that defines the relationship of natural gas prices to Electric power prices produced by gas generators.

CRACK SPREAD Sounds rude. Market based relationship of crude oil to refined oil products.

Odorant In a world where consumers spend millions to deodorize everything around them your friendly natural gas company adds oderant to natural gas in order to give it that nasty smell.

My histories are submitted by veterinarians/vet techs/vet students. I do not write them. But yes, I’ve seen ADR used on some forms. And other colloquialisms that are far from professional. I wonder if sometimes they’re just writing down the first thing the client says, and the history evolves into some weird stream of conciousness.

I thought about BAR today because a coworker asked me what the hell it meant. To her defense, she had studied vet medicine outside and had been in research for many years before switching tracks. Slang escapes her…