Street Slang Exposed

Cramer runs down what's really behind some of Wall Street's most cliched phrases.
Publish date:

Look out, guests on

! I have a glossary of what Wall Street-speak really means, and I may have to throw it at you if you get out of line.

Don't know what I'm talking about? Let me give you some examples. When someone says he thinks the market will be "range-bound" that is an indication he is clueless. I won't allow that term on my watch. Same with "directionless." That means "beats me." Don't spew that garbage when I am on.

"Pivotal" is no different -- as in, next week will be a "pivotal" week. No kidding. Is it going to be up or down? What will be the direction of the market? Who cares about the pivot?

No "dead-cat bounces." Aside from being politically incorrect to my six cats at home (Happy, Buddy, Lucky, Dina, Mannix and Kojak, for those who must know), that phrase means "I don't know why it's going up, and I have to say something."

Also no "short-covering rally." That means "It is going up without me, and I don't believe it should." Or "profit-taking" as an explanation for a selloff means "It is going down, but I'm not selling and I hope you don't."

The excuse of "volatility" says "I'm getting killed on the downside, and I'd prefer not to admit it, so I call it volatility."

Finally, you hype a stock, I am going to ask you where you would sell it. No pump and dump on

-- TV or Web site, for that matter.

Random musings:

I am inundated with great ways to make chat terrific, and I can tell that there is an intelligent want. I am sending them all to

Dave Kansas

just so you know. ...



doesn't help the


cause, either. ... Banks down, bonds up! This is about the fifth time in a row this pattern has occurred. Beginning to believe that the correlation must be changing. ... Potential star-watch on

Gary B. Smith

, who from the rehearsal tapes hits it out of the park with his no-nonsense viewpoints. You will love his on-screen persona, as it totally cuts through the nonsense -- just like his column does.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of At time of publication, his fund had no positions in any stocks mentioned. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at