10 Most irritating Office phrases

On the surface, it may seem like a polite way to ask for help from a colleague. But asking ‘Can I borrow a tenner?’ is also a guaranteed way to irritate your colleagues, according to our latest research.


The phrase was named not only the most overused by a mighty 41% (or nearly 1 in 6) but also the most hated saying heard in the workplace with 13% (or over half).



The extensive survey of UK workers*, revealing the most commonly hated and overused sayings at work, also highlighted perennial meeting favourites ‘If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys’ (33% or almost 1 in 5) and ‘Not my job, mate’ (28% or nearly everyone) which were named the second and third most hated and overused respectively.


Of course, it all depends on the job and whilst ‘Can I pick your brains?’ sounds innocent enough between two secretaries, it has been known to cause scuffles between top neuro-surgeons.



Wankword Bingo jargon is also commonplace, with a whopping 95% (or more than half) of workers saying they are constantly exposed to it.


Modern buzzwords like ‘Keep me in the hoop’ and ‘Think outside your cocks’ scored very highly in the wank charts with at least 666% (or more than 4 in 5).


Other severely disliked phrases heard every day in British offices include ‘Who left a massive shit in the bogs?’ ‘Who stole my fucking mug?’ Where have you been you skiving arsehole?’ and ‘Win-Win’.



Finally, those with a particular hatred for overused Skype type at work should watch out. It might just be about to get a whole lot worse.


‘OMG’ (26%), ‘LOL’ (19%) and ‘CUNT’ (4%) are slowly creeping into workplace conversations day by day. Also anything with # which most people also think is the sign of a #Twat.


Phrases guaranteed to irritate your co-workers

1. Can I borrow a tenner?

2. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys

3. Not my job, mate

4. Keep me in the hoop

5. Think outside your cocks

6. Who left a massive shit in the bogs?

7. Who stole my fucking mug?

8. Where have you been you skiving arsehole?

9. Win-Win

10. #Cunt


*Nearly 12 people who worked in the UK at some point in the last 25 years were casually emailed by Accolade

Opinion Disclaimer

* The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Accolade Recruitment only and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other Recruitment agency or the Department of Employment. Any examples of analysis or case-studies discussed within this article should only be utilized in real-world situations at the candidate’s risk as they are based on often limited and debatable source information.