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Google Has Its Own Workplace Language To Describe Things

September 25, 2015 - Written By Cory McNutt

Business jargon – even the smallest of businesses use it…those catch phrases that are often specific to just one business or universal jargon that can be used by any employee at any business.  ‘ALAP’ (as late as possible) is a good example of universal jargon.  It is used to indicate that even though you have your project done, you will turn it in ‘ALAP’ at the deadline to avoid being given more work.  Another good one is ‘On the air,’ which means that you are only reachable by email or phone via a mobile device.  However, large companies, like Google, with over 40,000 employees, often develop their own ‘language’ if you will that goes slightly beyond simple jargon.  We thought we would look at some of the internal terms that Google employees use to describe certain happenings, people or things.

Let’s start with the fact that many of these Googlers work in the huge Mountain View, California campus – its proper name is the Googleplex, but anybody that works there calls it the Plex, which makes perfect sense.  In order to get from one building to another, Googlers ride colorful bicycles provided by Google and are aptly named a ‘GBike.’  As you travel the campus you will undoubtedly run into the skeleton of Google’s own T-Rex, affectionately called, ‘Stan’…supposedly there to remind them to never become a dinosaur.

We’ve all heard of a newbie, well if you are a new employee at Google you are called a ‘Noogler’ and are distinguished from a ‘Greygler’ – Google employees 40 years and older – by having to wear a colorful beanie hat with a propeller on it.  Anybody can be ‘Gaygler,’ which is a member of the LGBT community or one of their supporters.  If you leave the company, then you are classified as an ‘Xoogler,’ which is pronounced “zoo-gler.”  Googlers have a term from when you start to when you get older to when you quit.

Like all workplaces, Google wants their employees to fill out that dreaded annual survey where you rate your mangers and life at work in general – here they call it the ‘Googlegeist’ and more than 90-percent of the employees respond.  Let’s not forget the annual performance reviews hand out by our bosses…at Google they affectionately call it the ‘Perf.’  Googlers use the common phrase TGIF to mean “Thank God It’s Friday,” but it also refers to their weekly all-hands (genetic jargon meaning all employees must attend)  hour long meeting – which is now on Thursdays, but retains the same TGIF name.  It is a worldwide Google Hangout and where ‘Nooglers’ receive their hats.

‘Jolly Good Fellow’ is a term of endearment given to Googler Chade-Meng Tan.  In the Google language, the term ‘Fellow’ is given to Google’s most valued engineers, but his title is to show what he works on – how to make people feel happy.  His business card even has printed on it, “Chade-Meng Tan, Jolly Good Fellow (Which nobody can deny)!”  ‘Tech Stop’ is the code name for Google’s IT department where they fix employee’s computers.  ’20-percent time’ is a term coined to allow its engineers to spend 20-percent of their time working on something other than their main job – it is where many of Google’s most important products came from…Gmail, Google News and AdSense, to name a few.  ‘GUTS’ is a Google term, short for Google Universal Ticket System, a way to track a ticket about a problem that needs fixed.  Speaking of fixes, ‘FitIts’ is a term coined for problems that engineers must focus on to resolve back-burner or backlogged projects.  We just looked at a few terms, but inside the biles of Google, I am sure there are more.