This blog shares some of our thoughts about plain language, and the latest discussions about plain English and clear design in New Zealand, and around the world.

To find out more about Write, go to or join us on Facebook at

18 January 2012

Slang on trading floors is disappearing

Shifts in our language to improve clarity can happen naturally over time. And the trading floors in London are no exception.

Slang like ‘cable’, ‘Bill and Ben’, and ‘the Stokkie’ are less likely to be heard. And the reasons — foreign exchange traders are now more likely to be university educated. They make more electronic deals, and now deal in the Euro, and in an international environment.

These changes have made a difference, as explained in the article ‘Modern trading killing off “barrow boy” market slang’.


  1. Monkey? Loonie? Gives a whole new meaning to 'insider trading'.

  2. Funny this should come up now. A couple of days ago I had a realisation about when I first became aware of my interest/frustration in unnecessarily complex information. It was the first time I visited New York and went to the Wall Street Visitor Centre (not sure of its proper name). The guided tour that took in views of the trading floor promised, as these things tend to, to be simple – it started out that way but I recall it soon became extremely complicated, and there was born my cynicism toward the language financial institutions use.

    That was a good number of years ago. Is it still the same? Probably. At least I can justify another trip to NYC to find out.