The Use and Meaning of Jargon in Finance

Use of jargons to make more specific expression of thoughts. Theoretical information on emergence and development of a slang. Jargon in Finance. Some examples of use of a financial jargons which were found in scientific articles. Discourse analysis.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
Вид реферат
Язык английский
Дата добавления 06.01.2015
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The Use and Meaning of Jargon in Finance

2 year part-time student

Marina Chernishova

Matriculation Card № mc11018

Adviser: lect. Vineta Apse

Riga 2013

Executive summary

This report is concerned with the use of jargons to make more specific expression of thoughts.

The first part of the report is findings. In this part includes literary review and empirical part. The part of literary review is named “Meaning of a Jargon”. It consists of theoretical information about jargons. The empirical part is named “Use of Jargon in Finance” and there are determined jargons and several examples from the articles. This part is focused on financial jargons that had been found in articles.

As a result, it is found that no one person cannot do without jargons in written or spoken language. It is necessary to use jargons correctly.



1. Meaning of Jargon

2. Use of Jargon Finance




jargon slang finance

In recent years, there has been grown popularity of using a jargon. Jargon became an integral part of our speech. Every person consciously or subconsciously use jargon in their everyday life. Jargon is used not only in speeches, but also in newspapers, documents, formal and informal letters, different books, social networks etc.

Jargon is used to make people's conversations that are specialized in one area simpler. Also, jargon in some cases helps people to express their thoughts shorter, than if they had used simple language. In addition, nowadays, the Internet and different dictionaries can explain people meaning of many jargons that are known.

The goal of the report is to determine meaning of jargon and to gain deeper understanding of it.

The enabling objectives of the report are as follows:

1. To study and analyze theories of jargon;

2. To identify jargon;

3. To draw relevant conclusions.

The following hypothesis has been worked out: jargon has been widely used in our everyday life.

The following research methods were applied:

1. Literature review;

2. Discourse analysis.

The paper will use discourse analysis as a primary research method and literature review as a secondary research method.

Meaning of a Jargon

First part deals with theory of jargon. The literature review gives information about this term. The theoretical framework is used as a basis in the empirical part of the paper.

It is necessary to explain the definition of financial jargon.

The definition of the term jargon varies in different sources. For example, jargon is a language that is characterized by uncommon or pretentious vocabulary and convoluted syntax and is often vague in meaning. (Online 1)

Another definition is: the specialized or technical language of a trade, profession, or similar group. (Online 2)

In meaning, jargon is close to slang, but it is more professional and efficient. Both are used in a particular area, and people that are not familiar with this language will have big problems in understanding of meaning of some of the words or phrases. Also, people should be sure that they know correct meaning of jargon that they use. Some people use jargon just to impress others. But, not all people will be impressed, only because they do not understand meaning. In the article “The Most Annoying Business Jargon” from magazine “Forbs” (Online 4) Christopher Steiner quotes Karen Friedman ( author of Shut Up and Say Something: Business Communication Strategies to Overcome Challenges and Influence Listeners (Praeger, 2010):

"People use jargon because they want to sound smart and credible when in fact they sound profoundly dim-witted and typically can't be understood, which defeats the purpose of speaking in the first place."

People who know jargon very well can express their thoughts in different ways but only in certain circle of people. (Appendix 1)

In 1782, the philosopher Condillac said that “every science requires a special language because every science has its own ideas.” (Online 3) Therefore, each area has its own jargon and not always some word or phrase will have same meaning. Not every simple person will understand what has been said certain specialist. For example, doctors always explain people everything that they have said in simple language. But among themselves they speak in particular language. Professionals try to avoid using jargon that clients cannot understand. Often, they explain meaning of unclear words.

There are a lot jargons that we can meet in our everyday life, such as:

1. Warrant -- a certificate issued by a company giving the holder the right to purchase securities at a stipulated price within specific time limits or perpetually. A warrant is sometimes offered by a company as an inducement to buy an offering of common stock or other securities. (Online 6)

2. Deflation - the opposite the inflation, deflation is a decrease in the price of goods and services, and the value of wages. It usually happens during a recession. (Online 7)

3. EBITDA - Earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. (Online 6)

4. Assets -- any possessions that has value in an exchange. (Online 6)

5. Dividend - which a company makes to its shareholders. (Online 7)

And a big amount of other words and phrases. Mentioned jargons, nowadays, are clear almost for all people, because we can see, read, hear and use them in everyday conversations.

Use of Jargon in Finance

People that use jargons have specialized knowledge, so, by using jargon they can save their time and be more precise. People can get information faster; it is possible to identify people of professional group. (Online 5)

This part consists of several articles that had been analyzed. During analysis have been explored only financial jargons. Every article has introduction, body part and conclusion.

The first article explains what personal pension is and how to create it. This article consists of 10 paragraphs. Each paragraph consists of several sentences. Almost in each paragraph is used jargon. In the article were found about 20 jargons. (Appendix 2)

For example:

1. Personal pension - a pension you take out yourself if your employer doesn't offer an occupational pension or if you're self-employed;

2. Bonds - Bonds are debt and are issued for a certain period of time;

3. Fixed amount - unchanging value;

4. Savings - money saved.

5. Portfolio - A collection of investments, real and/or financial.

These jargons are more or less clear for all people, they are widely used. So people are familiar with them and it will have no problem to understand meaning of the text.

The second article is about why selling SPX put options may not be profitable. The biggest amount of jargons is used in second paragraph, as first paragraph consists only of sentences. In this article are a lot a jargon, every sentence has several words or phrases. (Appendix 3)


1. Investment strategy - An investor's plan of attack to guide their investment decisions based on individual goals, risk tolerance and future needs for capital;

2. Cash inflow - Money received by an organization as a result of its operating activities, investment activities, and financing activities;

3. Riskless - thought to be devoid of risk;

4. VIX - The Volatility Index is a contrarian sentiment indicator that helps to determine when there is too much optimism or fear in the market. When sentiment reaches one extreme or the other, the market typically reverses course.

In this paragraph there are a lot jargons that could be clear and unclear. Due to a big amount of jargons, this text is hard to read, because a lot of jargons need explanations.

The third article tells us SIC codes, when and why we need them. In this article there are no so much jargons as in the second article. But jargons are very difficult. If person is not familiar with these terms, it will be hard to understand the idea of the text. (Appendix 4)

Examples of jargons:

1. SIC Code -- Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code. A numbering system established by the Office of Management and Budget that identifies companies by industry. It is used to promote the comparability of economic statistics from various facets of the U.S. economy;

2. Companies House - The place where records are kept of every UK company;

3. Annual return - yearly statement which gives essential information about a firm's composition, activities, and financial position, and which must be filed by every active incorporated or registered firm with an appropriate authority.

From these examples we can see, that sometimes it is difficult to understand financial jargons, and some of them we cannot understand in context. So people need to find explanations. Unfortunately, there are a lot of articles that people should analyze to understand them. Big amounts of article are written in such language, which will understand only professionals. Not in every article there are explanations of jargons that authors have used.


To summarize, the present research shows that jargon represent an integral part of language used in everyday life and specific conversations or texts. They are verbal and non-verbal indicators of people's way of expression of thoughts. The theoretical part helps to understand what jargon exactly means. And empirical part shows examples of jargon used in finance.

According to the obtained results of this research, the following conclusions can be drawn: jargons are very broadly used in our life. Some jargons every person can understand, but there are such jargons, that need to be explained. Nowadays, Jargon is such thing that cannot be excluded from our language. As it was mentioned above, people use jargons on subconscious level and sometimes they cannot control it.

It is believed that the theoretical part and the results will be useful for all people and they will use their knowledge in real life, because each person replenishes vocabulary with new jargons almost every day.


1. Christopher Steiner. Forbes. “The Most Annoying Business Jargon”. (2011) Available from:

2. Financial Jargon. Available from:

3. Financial Jargon Checker. Available from:

4. Mark Kolakowsky. Mastering Financial Jargon. Available from:


6. Paula Caudle, Kim Courtney, Heather Guyton, Michelle Keller and Carol Kind Students, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.Jargon. Available from:

7. Jargon: Use with care. Available from:

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