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What Language Is This? 2023 Terminology

I was under the impression that 2020 and 2021 had given us enough changes in terminology that our speech patterns would need no further adjustments.  Well, I was wrong – there are more!  Thank you to Wunderman Thompson as well as countless individuals and posts for the following list of terms we need to know as we progress through 2023.  (This is a partial list, by the way!)

  • Hybrid – okay, this started in 2020 and has just gotten ‘louder’ and less defined.  It now means some combination of work-from-home and in-office work.  There is no precise definition from candidates or employers on hours or days for either side of this work-space term.
    • This is the first question candidates ask when we call them about a potential new opportunity.  They have their own definition and are accustomed to working/living their lives under the rules that came into being during the first years of the pandemic.  Their question is based on trying to maintain their newer work/life integration arrangement. 
  • Workation – this seemed to start in 2021 and is now simply a way to work remotely from a much more (personally) fun and climate-friendly location.  As long as there is good Wi-Fi, a person can work remotely from anywhere.  
  • Zirt (or Zhirt) – the top of an outfit worn by a Zoom attendee.  (NOTE – apparel companies have had a run on shirts and blouses; they have not had equivalent sales on pants.) 
  • Quiet Constraint – (from Fox News – 11/02/22) a workplace trend we see emerging where many employees hold in valuable knowledge at work, rather than sharing it with their colleagues.  This is judged to be at 58% of employees who do this, with Gen Z leading at 77%.  (WHY – a theory postulates that it is due to remote and/or hybrid work arrangements.)
  • Situationship – temporary commitments based on current situational emotional needs or lifestyle changes.  (Younger generations are intentionally entering temporary partnerships, embracing a relationship that may ebb and flow between “friends” and “more than friends.”) 
  • Proximity Bias – (from MSP Business Journal article – 10/11/22) concern that workers who come into the office are being treated better/given better performance reviews/are receiving more frequent promotions that their coworkers who chose to work from home or in a hybrid situation.  (Remote workers are also worried that they will be laid-off first.)
  • Rewirement (NOT retirement) – leaving long-standing careers to focus on new goals and aspirations.
    •  Unretirement – retirees taking new positions, looking for social interaction and augmented income.
  • Boommate – inflation and high housing costs spurring more baby boomers to find roommates.
  • Shrinkflation – the practice of reducing a product's amount or volume per unit while continuing to offer it at the same price.
  • Superself – an all-encompassing wellness lifestyle that sees people centering their lives on the betterment of their mental and physical health.  

There are more out there!

Each day, a new term seems to find itself in the news or being coined in some article.  My request – send what you find to me (at  I want to keep a running list – for sharing here and for personal use.  (One must keep up with the times!) 

And thank you – from warm/sunny Arizona!