Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Business Articles

How to sound smarter at work (without annoying everyone)

Raise the bar on your vocabulary game like you’re studying for the SATs. These 10 words will dazzle, delight, and impress your coworkers and boss.


young laughing

Hello, Smarty Pants McSmarterson

It’s time to step up your vocabulary game and simultaneously impress your coworkers whilst doing so. The following ten words will help raise your esteem in your associate’s eyes and cause them to wonder if you’ve been attending night school of late. Start sprinkling a few of these beauties into your roundtable meetings, but not too many at once. You never want to be the guy who causes his coworkers to roll his eyes. But you do want to be the guy who sends them to their dictionaries as soon as your meeting is over.

1. Aplomb – noun: self-confidence or assurance, especially when in a demanding situation. Synonyms: poise, composure

How to use it: She planned the event with confidence and pulled it off with great aplomb.

2. Beleaguer – verb: to cause constant or repeated trouble for a person, business, etc. Synonyms: harass, pester, badger, vex

How to use it: Budget problems have beleaguered this project throughout all Q2.

3. Bloviate – verb: talk at length, especially in an inflated or empty way. Synonyms: spiel

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

How to use it: Did you watch last night’s debate? Several of the politicians continued to bloviate in order to dodge the issues.

4. Caustic – adjective: sarcastic in a scathing and bitter way. Synonyms: derisive, acerbic, abrasive

How to use it: You can often come across as sarcastic and caustic, which is neither appreciated nor professional.

5. Didactic adjective: in the manner of a teacher, particularly so as to treat someone in a patronizing way. Synonyms: patronizing, pedantic

How to use it: Three’s no need for you to speak to us in such a didactic manner, we are all equals here.

6. Exacerbateverb: make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse. Synonyms: inflame, aggravate

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

How to use it: If you complain behind your boss’s back, it will only exacerbate the issue since he is bound to find out.

7. Idiosyncrasy – noun: a distinctive or peculiar feature or characteristic of an individual, place, or thing. Synonyms: peculiarity, oddity, eccentricity

How to use it: Writers are a breed of their own; they have quite a few idiosyncrasies.

8. Innocuous adjective: not harmful or offensive. Synonyms: harmless, innocent

How to use it: Her perfume is very strong, but it’s an innocuous scent.

9. Paradoxical -adjective: having the nature of a paradox; self-contradictory. Synonyms: contradictory, incongruous, anomalous

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

How to use it: The ideas appear paradoxical, however they work together seamlessly.

10. Parsimonious adjective: unwilling to spend money or use resources. Synonyms: stingy, frugal, cheap

How to use it: We can’t be parsimonious if we want to see the most lucrative results.

Even smarter:

Remember to parse these words out frugally so you appear educated, but not as if you are trying too hard. And never, ever bloviate.


Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Staff Writer, Abigail White is a wordsmith who hails from the Deep South, having graduated with a degree in Journalism from Auburn University. She is usually reading three books at once, loves history, sarcasm, and arguing over the Oxford comma.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.



Business Entrepreneur

We have all heard the phrase "no one wants to work anymore," but the fact is: it's not new, and there is a way...

Opinion Editorials

(EDITORIAL) Hustle culture is the highlight of the American workplace culture, but there are both pros and cons to overemployment.

Opinion Editorials

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) You can't expect blind loyalty from employees. Positive employee engagement is crucial to retain and enhance staff performance.

Opinion Editorials

(OPINION EDITORIAL) Sometimes bosses can be the absolute worst, but also, you depend on them. Here's how to deal with an abusive boss and,...


The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.