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Handy Jargon Buster

This is an interactive and evolving resource.

We value the input of all our visitors.


If you come across unfamiliar language related to mental health or services, or find yourself faced with more letters than a scrabble board, we hope you will find your answer here...

If you do not - please contact us and we will do our best to figure it out and then include it here to help others

Where would you like to start?

Remember - you cannot assume that everyone else in that meeting or everyone else reading that document understood the abbreviation, acronym, jargon or reference; some were probably just as confused as you and were embarrassed to admit it.  They may have been service users, carers, or even professionals - it can happen to anyone. There is no shame in politely challenging such language as you encounter it - in fact, you will be doing everyone a massive favour because Plain English needs to return to all communication in mental health care and general services.


Please do ask, and then share what you learn with us.

  • William Safire referred to Jargon as "Insiderisms"


  • Barry Ritholz’s practical approach described Jargon as "something groups develop as a shorthand to communicate among themselves"


  • Theodor Adorno believed "Jargon took over the task"


  • Ben Aaronovitch saw Jargon as the art of "turning nouns into verbs"


  • David Lehman described Jargon as "Verbal sleight of hand"


  • Wendy Kaminer saw it more poetically, describing Jargon as       "The only place where the right brain and left brain meet"


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