prairie dogging


Also found in: Idioms.

prairie dogging

A phenomenon that occurs in cubicle-filled office buildings. Whenever there's a loud sound or other unusual occurrence, everyone pops up to look over the walls to see what's happening. Co-worker conversations and team meetings may also take place via prairie dogging as an alternative to the water cooler or conference room. See mutter machine.
References in periodicals archive ?
Equally clever, albeit not as entrenched in everyday use, are phrases such as "mystery house" (a startup company with no discernible product or revenue source), "nerd birds" (weekday direct flights shuttling engineers and programmers between tech hotbeds Austin, TX, and San Jose, CA) and "prairie dogging" (when an office outburst or event prompts workers to stand on tiptoes or chairs to peer over partitions).