By: Ignacio Meneses, CCI Greenheart Work and Travel Marketing and Outreach Intern

Working in the U.S. can be challenging for many reasons including the jargon that is used at work (jargon means a specific language used at work by a trade).

Shift: The block of time that you work in a day.


“How long is your shift today?” “My shift is from 9:00 to 5:00 today.”



(verb) The registering of the start, or end, of your work day. “May I clock-in early today?”


Break: A rest or pause from work.


“When may I take my lunch break?”
Check out: (verb) To purchase something or pay for a service. When a customer wants to buy something they may ask: “May I check out?”
Pay date: The day an employee gets paid.


“Excuse me, when is my pay date?”
W-4 form: A tax form you fill out on your first day of work that tells your boss how much money to take out of your paychecks for mandatory taxes. “This year I will itemize deductions on my W-4 so I can lower my tax bill.”
W-2 form: A tax receipt that your company gives you at the end of the year that says the amount you earned that year, and the amount of taxes you paid that year. “When am I getting my W-2? I need it to complete my tax returns in January.”
Pay stub: A receipt that your boss gives you that states that your wages were successfully transferred digitally into your bank account. “My pay stub says I was paid $234.00 last Friday.”



Your first or last day of work. “My end-date at the restaurant is January 3rd.”
Employee evaluation:


When your supervisor rates your work performance. “Christina, let’s have your evaluation tomorrow.”

Interested in using these words while working in the United States? Consider joining Greenheart’s Work and Travel program!