Slang: language peculiar to a particular group (http://www.merriamwebster.com/)
23 skidoo and bee's knees were popular phrases from the 1920s. Can't you just picture parents rolling their eyes as the younger generations bandied these about? In our lifetimes, we've heard popular phrases come and go, incorporating them into our own lexicon as necessary and appropriate.
The world of work, regardless of your discipline, has its own set of lingo that changes over time. Virtually every sector of the employment market has new buzzwords and it's essential to make sure you're up to date on the current terminology and concepts that are popular in your field today.
So how do you go about getting the scoop on the new phrases you need to know? There are a bunch of strategies you can try.
Read Job Postings/Classifieds: Employers will often include acronyms or industry-specific terminology in their help wanted ads. Take note of those that you don't recognize and do a bit of research to expand your knowledge.
Informational Interviews: The value of informational interviewing extends way beyond learning about new buzzwords (an upcoming post will cover the reasons why you should consider informational interviews). While you are talking with a professional in your desired field, don't be shy about asking him or her to define terms. Make sure it's okay for you to take notes, too, and write down phrases or concepts you want to learn more about.
Internet Sources: Professional groups, industry organizations, and general websites are all possible places to look for additional information. Type a phrase or term into your search engine and start your research.
Professional Journals and Organizations: These often offer the latest trends and information in a given field. And reading posts and replies on message boards can provide great insight.
As you become more knowledgeable about your field's slang and buzzwords, you'll begin to develop a comfort level with authentically and knowledgeably using these in professional conversations. You may also find that you've discovered an area or concept in which you'll want to enhance your knowledge level or skill.
All the best,