Terminological inexactitudes: handy translations of Whitehall jargon (Vol. 2)

Written by Civil Service World on 27 March 2015 in Feature

Civil Service World's regular guide to the very best in Whitehallese

Terminological Inexactitudes

Ballpark figure

Utter guesswork. A million? Five million? A billion? To be honest, I won’t really know until I actually start looking into it. But let’s say a million.

Hope this is helpful

Obviously it’s not helpful. In fact it probably just ruined your week. But I want you to know I’m not a monster. 


It's not rocket science

Unless you work for the British National Space Centre, in which case it is.  

A few quick thoughts

Just so you know, I’m going to tear this piece of rubbish to shreds. 


Breaking down silos

We’ve identified a need to foster a more collaborative approach between teams – hence the new sofa by the ladies’ toilets. (See also: root and branch reform.)

New ways of working

Old ways of working. But in a glossier brochure.


To submit your own examples of Whitehallese, email editorial@civilserviceworld.com

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