Jargon Blacklist

The following jargon have been provided by the community. If you would like to contribute a jargon please click on the Add to Jargon Blacklist button.

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What jargon term annoys you the most? Why?
Patient pathway

There's no pathway, it's not an stroll through the park, it a confusing system that's not clear, and this needs to be explained as all the different things you need to do when you are sick


It is used so often and I think I should be in bed... we don't need to embed something we need to include it that's all just say that. include...

retrophrayrengeal abscess

it means sore in back of throat


Because the definition of confinement is the action of confining or state of being confined. A woman in labour or birthing her baby, whether it is in hospital or at home, is not confined. It is a disrespectful, out-dated, archaic term.

strengths based.

I think using it between professionals is ok but clients and consumers have no idea what it means.

Systems approach/systems thinking

A buzz-phrase that is often used by people who do not understand its meaning, or apply its principles in a rigid, literal or overly simplistic manner. It is not a formula that you can throw numbers into and spit out an answer.

High level

A business cliche that is over used. Just say 'general' or 'brief summary'.

Client experience

Just bring it back to basics!


Always picture the person saying 'segway' on a Segway, usually riding along by the beach.

pain management

Please don't just use words, explain what you mean. Explain how this pain management process works. Don't just give me more medication without checking whether I need it or not. Also explain quite clearly that opiates are addictive and also have side effects.
Explain to me what my role is in pain management, I am not passive in this process.

Are there any questions?

Because after being hit with so much information, you are groggy from medication. Context was not explained ( e.g. taking medication home) so what can you ask, I had no idea.......

Organisations can be so involved in process and procedure which is understandable, but please don't forget me the patient.


The word 'journey' is not inherently evil... it is simply used in corny, figurative ways that only serve to frustrate, such as: 'career journey'; 'Let's take them on the journey'; 'journey to recovery'; and 'life journey'. How about 'path', 'progression', 'stages' or one of many other useful synonyms?

touch base

The phrase 'touch base' is annoying because it vague, impersonal and overused. There are numerous alternatives, such as 'make contact', 'talk', 'communicate', 'catch up' or 'meet'.

Fall between the gaps

This is a colloquial term that not everyone will understand. Why not just say 'miss out'

suicidal ideation

just say they have thoughts of suicide.

'at this point in time'

Just say NOW or RIGHT NOW. Stop trying to make 'now' sound fancy.

Soft drinks

They can rot your teeth and give you diabetes, they're not soft

Passed away

Another death euphemism. The person died.

Deep dive

means nothing.


pretentious and privileged

What jargon term annoys you the most? Why?
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Why should I pledge?


6 out of 10 of people in Australia have low health literacy.

Many Australians have trouble understanding and using information provided by organisations. They also have trouble navigating complicated systems like healthcare services.

When we use jargon, technical terms or acronyms, it is hard for people with low health literacy to understand and use information.

Drop the Jargon Day this year is on 23 October. Pledge and take part in activities at your workplace. Make it easy for people with low health literacy to get better information and outcomes from services they use.

Drop the Jargon 2018


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Pledge to Drop the Jargon

  • Use plain language in all communication – with other staff and with clients
  • Not use acronyms
  • Explain medical and other technical terminology
  • Check that information has been understood by your clients
  • Work with a professional interpreter when your clients have low English proficiency
  • Politely point out when your colleagues use jargon

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