Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Are you using outdated slang expressions?

It’s vital that you are aware of which English expressions have gone out of style.

In today’s episode, David Burke, Los Angeles-based star of Voice of America joins us.

He shares some business English slang words that are being phased out.

He also shares details about some that are still current.

Listen in to learn how to stay relevant and connected in English in 2023 and beyond.

David Burke the Slangman

David has been known as the Slangman on the Voice of America for the past six years.

He has been helping 300 million listeners around the world understand daily English slang.

He is also the author of the books Street Speak and Biz Speak.

These are about popular American English idioms and slang.

David has also starred on a TV show called Hey Wordy!

It teaches children about language and culture through music and animation.

He is very enthusiastic to teach and share slang.

He has dedicated his time and effort to helping others make connections through communication.

His passion was sparked at a young age when he felt lost in the French language.

He knew how to speak good academic French but when people would use idioms and slang, he couldn’t keep up.

This made him realize he could help bridge that disconnect in learning the English language.

Slang in the workplace

You can feel isolated when you only learn a language from textbooks.

You may be able to share your ideas but you will have difficulty speaking like a native.

This can make it difficult to connect with colleagues in your workplace.

If you’re not on top of expressions and slang, you can misinterpret a conversation.

It’s important to use current, relevant slang.

Today we’ll discuss some phrases you can use and some you should stay clear of because they aren’t used as commonly anymore.

#1: To run it up the flagpole

This phrase means sharing information that will be presented to decision makers.

This expression is still relevant to this day.

It is used often in business English.

“I have an idea I’m going to run up the flagpole.”

#2: Let me circle back to you

This means to return to someone you are talking to or something you want to discuss later.

This is no longer used as much due to overuse.

You can say “I’ll touch base with you later” as an alternative.

#3: I don’t have the bandwidth

This refers to your capacity or energy to tackle something.

Just like ‘circle back’, this has been used so much that it is being phased out.

Some words, when used too much, start sounding mechanical.

You need to be authentic in order to build a relationship.

#4: Synergy

This is a word made from two words.

It is combining ‘synchronization’ and ‘energy.’

It was used a lot used to refer to teamwork or harmonious collaboration.

It is becoming an outdated expression and is not used as often anymore.

#5: Quiet quitting

The phrase ‘quiet quitting’ is popular and current.

It is a concept referring to people who are no longer going above and beyond in their work.

This has started since the transition of employees to the work-from-home setup.

Don’t miss our recent episode where we discussed this new phenomenon.

#6: Lean remote

This is similar to working on a hybrid setup.

This is a working setup where you sometimes report to the office and other days you work at home.

It is a fairly new expression.

#7: Zoom fatigue

This expression is related to the work-from-home setup where conversations are done virtually.

As many of us have started working online, the need for video conferencing has grown.

Individuals may have a lot of meetings over Zoom in a day, which can be exhausting.


Changes to the business world in the past couple of years have changed the way we speak.

It is important to stay relevant and keep up to date on slang and expressions, especially in the workplace.

If you want to hear more from David and get access to resources to improve your slang game, you can visit

You can also check out his podcast “Slingin’ the Slang” where he talks all about slang and idioms.

He shares all the shifts of slang from outdated slang to current English expressions.

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Share them in the comments!

David’s Bio

David Burke has been known as “Slangman” on Voice of America for 6 years where he’s been helping 300 million listeners around the world understand our everyday slang. He’s also the author of the Street Speak and Biz Speak series of books on Popular American idioms and slang and he’s the host of the Slingin’ the Slang video podcast. You can learn more about his work at his website.

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