The Oxford University Press has launched its Oxford English Dictionary’s (OED) words at work appeal and is asking for people to submit terms they have in their workplace to be included in the dictionary.

Examples given included a server having ‘comped your desserts’, a plumber needing to ‘sweat the pipes’ and a doctor or nurse ‘collar and board a patient’.

Fiona McPherson, senior editor at the OED, said: ‘When we use words every day at work, it’s difficult to imagine that their meanings might not be quite so obvious to other people. However, with such a vast array of professions and industries, it’s not surprising that certain terms from your own workplace may lead to looks of bemusement from those not in the know. Whether you have baffled others or been baffled, let us know about these words and terms from your working life.’

Oxford University Press has asked the general public to send their unusual or less well-known work words and expressions to the OED’s website ( or to tweet them using the hashtag #wordsatwork.