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The College Slang Guide

The use of slang has been a part of virtually every language since the very creation of language in humans. Certain groups in society find it advantageous to be able to talk to one another in a parlance that others find indecipherable. It lets you get away with saying things about people right in front of their face and they have no clue as to what you are talking about. Above and beyond that, there's a feeling of coolness, exclusivity and inclusion that comes from sharing slang with others.

Young people have forever been the pool from which a lot of slang has sprung. And where do a lot of young people end up? College! As such, colleges are a testing ground for a lot of slang that gets used not only just in college, but also worldwide. Here well focus on those terms that college kids’ drug-addled and overworked brains have come up with over the years.

In the 70s, we had the classic comedy Animal House to thank for popularizing the college life and wild parties and antics of students. It helped spread the use of terms such as brew and yabbos, among many others. Up to this point, no popular film about college had really showed this side of college. The 70s were really where a lot of the college slang used today really began to snowball.

The 1980s saw a continuation of such terms, plus more movies following the lead of Animal House, such as the various Revenge of the Nerds movies, exposing more people to the slang terms used by college students. Even the very term nerd, which was popularized in the 70s by the hit show Happy Days, was in the title! The use of college slang really picked up during this time as more and more movies depicting college life were created, well into the 90s and onward.

But what about today? The college slang terms you see thrown around in universities these days have their origins in the previous decades, by and large. Quite often, new slang terms are really just variations on previous themes. Though many popular slang terms have their origins in colleges, here we will just focus on those terms that you will be hard-pressed to find used outside of college.

Take Alpha Greek, for example. This term applies to the guy or gal that seems to rule the Greek system of the college. This term is quite often derogatory. Antler Festival is another great one. Antler Festival is simply a variation on the more popular sausage fest, meaning a party in which there are more men than women attending. Bag monster refers to a student that sleeps all day in their dorm room. Biohazard here applies to anything in your dorm room that has not been cleaned all semester, such as an article of clothing, your bed, or your microwave/fridge.

Cash cow; is another term with multiple uses that we’re all familiar with, but in this case it means an ATM – where most college students can pull money from the limited accounts their parents have given them access to. Then there’s Commodore, meaning an old computer. Those of us born before 1990 actually remember the old Commodore computers form back in the day! Copy jocks are those students that hog the copier in the library all day. Dot slash is a bit of computer-speak or text-ese that has made its way into college slang, meaning that a conversation is over. A fab fresh is a freshman that is fabulous and highly motivated. A freshasaurus, on the other hand, is a freshman that is utterly clueless. The Fifteen Minute Rule is a rule that allows students to leave class if the professor doesn’t show up within fifteen minutes of the class’ starting time. To frontload is to eat or drink before a party begins.

Wang Chung these days doesn’t refer to the 80s pop band. No, it simply means that something is old. T.O.E. refers toThe Other Education, meaning some sort of learning outside the classroom. Sexiled means that you have been kicked out of your dorm room while your roommate has a friend over. Quite often you know that you have been sexiled when you see a sock on your room’s door knob. Sco pro is short for scholastic probation. Scamming means that you are on the hunt for a member of the opposite sex. Rents has nothing to do with paying your bills – it is simply short for parents. R2D2 refers to the common dorm combination fridge/microwave. Quack shack refers to the college’s health clinic. A Prozac shot refers to a cookie dough snack. Playing house refers to a couple so close that they practically live together. A pizza pirate is one that doesn’t pitch in on the cost of pizza. The Parking Gestapo refers to the campus police that write parking tickets.

Mugging down has nothing to do with robbery, it simply means making out. M.P.A. means Mysterious Party Accident, meaning unexplained events that occurred during a party and everyone was too drunk to remember. A mouse potato is one that spends too much time on the computer. H.S.I. is short for has some issues and is commonly used to refer to someone’s ex. Horizontal engineering cleverly refers to napping. A hip heroine is a very cool female upper classman.Hallcest refers to dating someone from your hall or dorm. G2G means that you gots to go, meaning that you are in hurry.

While it is a lengthy list, these are really just a few of the most common college slang terms out there. What’s more, slang terms often vary from school to school. If you really want to familiarize yourself with college slang terms, head to the ever-popular Urban Dictionary or SlangSite. Both have search features that will open your mind more than you ever thought possible or maybe ever wanted!

Published: 2010-05-05