'Bringing the newsness' and other retail lingo decoded

When a retailer tells investors they're "bringing in more newness," or they "don't like to use weather as an excuse," what does it really mean?

In the first case, it's pretty likely that their last assortment lacked excitement, so they need to improve the product to get consumers to shop at their stores. In the second example, they're probably about to use weather as an excuse.

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To cure the "post Labor Day blues," Wells Fargo analyst Paul Lejuez sent a note to investors decoding some of the most popular retail speak used by companies.

A shopper looks at Michael Kors handbags at Macy's flagship store in New York.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
A shopper looks at Michael Kors handbags at Macy's flagship store in New York.

"We are not calling anyone out specifically, but below we show a few things we have heard from management teams over the years that could have an alternate meaning," Lejuez wrote.

For example, if the company says that "early reads are positive" on an item, it really means, "The product just hit stores, but we sold some stuff so we're going to be optimistic."

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For those saying they're in "chase mode," that translates into, "We didn't order the right amount of the good product that's selling, so we're trying to get more of it quickly."

And what about the companies' "learnings," "opportunities" or things that were "left on the table"? "Mistakes," "mistakes" and more "mistakes."

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While Lejuez said he hopes the note will "serve as a decoder" for those new to the retail world, he's more focused on lightening the mood as summer comes to a close.

"We hope it provides a little lighthearted humor as we all adjust to having another summer and retail earnings season pass us by," he said.

—By CNBC's Krystina Gustafson