Cambridge is beleaguered by bizarre expressions, phrases, contractions, and abbreviations, the majority of which you will never use. Here are some of the many that exist…
Arc&Anth [‘ark-a-‘nanth] n. The course of Archaeology and Anthropology
ADC n. 1. The Amateur Dramatic Club, one of the larger student theatrical production groups. 2. The ADC Theatre on Park Street.
ASNAC n. One studying Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic. Rare.
Backs, The prop n. Pleasant green area west of the river, so called because it backs onto the riverside colleges of Trinity, Clare, Kings, etc.
Bar, The prop n. The College Bar is the place to go for a drink in College. Located behind the Library. Open from 9:30 to 11:30 most nights. Opens at 8:30 on Formal nights and closes at 11:00 during the Easter (3rd) Term. Also during the vacations the site for the famous MCR bar nights.
Beddern. A bedder’s job is to clean communal facilities and rooms. If you do not want to be disturbed leave your bin outside.
Black Tie n. Formal wear you need for most May Balls (see White Tie), and for events such as college dinners. For men: DJ, dress shirt, bow tie, and if you want a cummerbund/waistcoat. For women: cocktail dress.
Boatie n. One who spends many hours on the river at five in the morning, doing ‘ergos’ or being on alcohol bans.
Bop n. A college event, i.e. a disco. Occur rarely in the party room (underneath the bar)
Bursar prop n. The woman in charge of the College money.
CompSci n. One studying the Computer Science course.
CUMS prop n. Cambridge University Music Society.
CUS prop n. Cambridge Union Society.
CUSU prop n. Cambridge University Student Union, the University-wide student union.
DCAC prop n. Downing College Amalgamation Club, a body made up of all the junior members of college (i.e. the MCR and the JCR)
Dean prop n. He who deals with all disciplinary matters in college (and decides on the rules governing parties etc).
DJ n. Dinner Jacket. Item of formal wear.
Entz n. Entertainments, posh word for Bops.
Ergo n. Rowing machine.
Fellow n. 1. A permanent member of the teaching staff at College. 2. A friend from the 1950s.
Footlights prop n. 1. Cambridge comedy troupe. 2. Mexican restaurant in the Grafton Centre.
Formal Hall n. Three course evening meal. Book in the P’lodge. MCR has 50 places on Fridays which includes free sherry and port before and after the meal in the MCR. Fewer places available on Wednesdays and Sundays
Graduate Union (GU) prop n. The university-wide representative body for graduate students. See the Grad Union Website.
Grantchester prop n. Lovely little village just (walk or punt) across the meadows along the river to the south of Cambridge. Features include two nice pubs and The Orchard (where one can enjoy tea and cakes)
JCR n. 1. Junior Commmon Room, common room located in S staircase. 2. Undergraduate body of Downing College.
KFC n. Kitchen Fixed Charge. Term Bill Charge to subsidise college kitchens (slops).
prop n. Prof Geoffery Grimmet
Mathmo n. Someone who studies maths.
May Ball n. Lavish all night affair put on in May Week by individual colleges. Tickets range from £80 to £150. Black or White Tie.
May Week n. A week in June, after all exams finish. Characterised by drunkenness, debauchery, and more drink. Many garden parties are held.
NatSci [nat-ski] n. One studying Natural Sciences.
Penny v. Pennying is an activity where a penny is dropped in a drink in order to compel the recepient to drink (or down) the entire drink. Numerous rules of etiquette apply to the practice.
Pigeon Hole n. Otherwise known as P’hole. Housed in the Porters’ Lodge. Collect mail from here.
Porter n. You will know who they are (and vice versa).
Porters’ Lodge (also P’lodge) n. At the front of college. A porter is there 24 hours a day.
Praelector prop n. Master of ceremonies.
Punting n. An acceptable way to spend a summer’s day.
Term n. Of which there are three: Michaelmas, Lent, and Easter.
Tripos n. Cambridge exam system.
Tutor n. A fellow responsible for your pastoral care.
UL (University Library) prop n. Millions of books housed in Stalinistic type building by the Sidgwick site.
University Card n. Payment credit card for buying food in the servery and Butterfield Cafe and for booking formal hall in the P’lodge and for buying college wine. Also useful as an access card in various departments and as a library card in the UL.
Varsity n. 1. Cambridge student newspaper. 2. Sports matches between Cambridge and The Other Place.