Buzzword

This is one of my favorite slang terms for spoken English and I can’t believe I forgot to teach it until now.  It’s a great one and can be used a lot.

A “Buzzword” is a word that makes people think or react a certain way just from hearing that one word.  It’s kind of weird and funny at the same time.  Some examples will really help you know what I’m talking about.

People often use buzzwords to sound like they know a lot about a certain topic when in fact they know almost nothing.  For example, someone who doesn’t know much about computers could say “VPN, RAM, memory, processor, CPU) etc.  Those can all be called “buzzwords“.  They are very specific to computers and make someone feel like they are smart or something.  The funny part is that usually other people can feel if someone is trying to show off by using too many buzzwords.

Another way that “buzzwords” can be used is to get an emotional reaction from an audience. Politicians might use words like “global warming or terrorism” as buzzwords.  These words carry a lot of feeling and emotion.  Just hearing those words can change the listener’s feelings and opinions.

Basically, if someone is acting like they deeply understand a topic but are just using big words in a strange way, they are probably just using “buzzwords“.  It’s a bit of a difficult explanation but I think you get the idea.

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