The context is a daily stand up meeting on a software project where developers tell the managers their status. It is very easy for developers to bullshit, where they sound like they are busy, accomplishing something, doing something technical, or otherwise misdirecting. These are empty words and can easily be called out. What is a good business-ese word for this kind of bullshit?

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    It's never good "business-ese" to heap scorn on the contributions of others in a business status meeting. But if all you're bothered about is avoiding "lowering the tone" even more with gratuitous scatology, take your pick from synonyms of waffle, twaddle, blather, etc. May 4 '17 at 16:03
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    Any synonym, however weakened from BS, will still be confrontational. You may have to redirect, before the meeting tell people to emphasize content and not feel obligated to fill time with words (give them the opportunity to 'pass'. Also you may get better advice over at workplace.stackexchange.com
    – Mitch
    May 4 '17 at 16:10
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    E.g. Saying "That's empty blather" while not a taboo word, is still confrontational.
    – Mitch
    May 4 '17 at 16:12
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    This sounds like you're using Scrum as a project management style. If so, are you the scrummaster? If so, then it's your duty to call them out, I believe. Perhaps something like "That doesn't really sound like you're making the progress you need to be. What are your roadblocks?" If you're not the scrummaster and that person isn't technical, you might consider meeting with them informally to voice your concerns or, as a more scrum-like option, meet with the BSers and ask them how you can help. Also estimating story points is a great time to say how much effort an item should take. May 4 '17 at 16:16
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    This question seems related but not identical to the other question, which was closed anyway. May 6 '17 at 4:47


You might say they are obfuscating, or it is to obfuscate. This might sound a bit like college-level word usage, but it's actually a cheeky word you're likely to hear in an office situation.

OED bears me out:

Verb. trans. To cast into darkness or shadow; to cloud, obscure.


  1. They were trying to obfuscate their lack of progress with technical jargon.
  2. Developers have mastered the arts of computer science and obfuscation.
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    +1 since obfuscation is also a term used in development where code is deliberately made hard to read, usually via an automatic tool, in case it is decompiled.
    – Ash
    May 5 '17 at 0:12

You might try "Sales Puff"

Even if your workmates don't know the word it's meaning is pretty self evident and easy to remember.

"John, let's quit the sales puff and let us know either what your real estimate for completion is or let us know where you're getting hung up"

It is even a recognized legal term:

Puffing Law and Legal Definition uslegal.com

The term “puffing” refers to “extravagant claims made by sellers in order to attract buyers.”

It is the exaggeration of the good points of a product, a business, real property, and the prospects for future rise in value, profits and growth.

However, it cannot be the basis of a lawsuit for fraud or breach of contract, unless the exaggeration exceeds the reality.

If the puffery includes outright lies or has no basis in fact, a legal action for rescission of the contract or for fraud against the seller is possible. Puffing cannot be legally construed to be a guarantee.

another use of "puff" in this way:

puff piece is more related to journalism of exaggerated praise -- I think less useful in the situation you describe

Wikipedia has it's own article on "puffery"

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