New words – 19 June 2023

a group of people in business clothing entering a building
skynesher / E+ / Getty

RTO abbreviation
UK /ˌɑː.tiːˈəʊ/ US /ˌɑːr.tiːˈoʊ/
abbreviation for “return to office”: going back to the workplace after working from home during and after the Covid pandemic

The very existence of the RTO debate — with its emphasis on the physical location of employees — is really a failure to prioritize the needs of a business. There’s no single RTO answer that works across the board. What does work, no matter the company or the department, is a focus on clients and shareholders.
[, 19 April 2023]

rust-out noun [U]
a feeling of extreme boredom and lack of enthusiasm, caused by not having enough to do at work or working on unfulfilling tasks for too long

The vast majority of us are familiar with the concept of burnout, especially those who work in fast-paced or high-pressure industries. But, according to experts, a lesser-known workplace phenomenon has now emerged: rust-out, burnout’s bored, disengaged cousin. Rust-out is commonly caused by “moving too slow” or being “still for too long”.
[, 11 May 2023]

climate quitting noun [U]
UK /ˈklaɪ.mət ˌkwɪt.ɪŋ/ US /ˈklaɪ.mət ˌkwɪt̬.ɪŋ/
the act of leaving your job because the organization where you work is not doing enough to fight climate change

New research released by KPMG today shows that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors are influencing employment decisions for almost half of UK office workers, with millennials and younger workers driving the growing trend of ‘climate quitting’ – seeking out a more environmentally friendly job.
[, 24 January 2023]

About new words

10 thoughts on “New words – 19 June 2023

  1. Relieved I’m not the only one who has heard and seen “Rust-out” lately.

    We needed that word for being bored and disengaged.

    Do we have another word or phrase for seeking a more ecoaware job?

  2. And I just remembered what I wanted to say about Return to Office:

    That abbreviation is used a great deal for other things.

    Like Registered Training Organisation.

    So it may confuse people.

    Maybe R2O instead?

    1. Denis

      What are your thoughts on RBTO (= return back to office)? I was going to propose BTO (= back to office) when I suddenly recalled that this abbreviation has already been included in the dictionary and stands for “built-to-order” (also “build to order”), which is an adjective that is normally used before a type of product that is specially made for the customer who orders it.

      1. “Return” already has the “back” in it.

        Unless you wanted “back” as part of a body; to shoulder the burden.

        We love things which are built to order or bespoke.

        GBTO could probably be construed as something a little bit impolite or rude.

        [or you could have people singing the Beatles song].

        If you want to say TURN BACK TO OFFICE – oh, dear, this is even worse!

        As an abbreviation it could be allowed to stand. [ie TBtO]

        Some midwit dictionaries have long or midsize abbreviation and acronym lists.

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