We were very interested to discover this month that trading floor slang, which grew out of the industry’s “barrow boy” heritage, is dying out in the modern markets according to a recent Reuter’s online article.

Until quite recently, city slang dominated the financial market, which was a rich amalgamation of Cockney rhyming slang, market banter and horse-racing expressions. The demise of this special argot will be missed, according to the article, and is seen as evidence of a dying heritage as electronic trading is now the norm and there is less room for the personal touch.

An example of city trading slang?

“The Old Lady just bought half a yard of cable and there are plenty of bids for Bill and Ben.”


“The Bank of England just bought half a billion British pounds against the US dollar and there’s interest to buy the Japanese yen.”

How many of these slang words for numbers do you recognise?

A Spaniard: 1
From the Spanish name Juan

A prickly: 2
A prickly pear

A carpet: 3
UK prisoners used to be allowed carpet in their cells after 3 years

Lady Godiva: 5
Rhymes with fiver

But office slang is not!

But many of us work in an office, rather than a trading floor, and we have our own language too, or more often one that is thrust upon us! Yes, that considerably less colourful beast called “office jargon”, which has evolved to offer us a lnaguage we can use to ‘communicate’ without ever saying anything.

We have talked about office jargon before and it’s grip is just as stong as it ever was. To be honest, we suspect, going forward, if someone were incentivised to leverage some blue-skythinking to action the death of that particular language, then at the end of the day,not too many people would lose sleep over it! However, as that’s not likely to happen anytime soon, we’ve devised a little game of LJA bingo to keep you entertained while everyone around you is using it!