Terms and Definitions
Here you’ll find a (non-exclusive) list of terms used by students at Cambridge and Emmanuel College.
Arch ‘n’ Anth: Short for Archaelogy and Anthropology
Asnac: Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic
The Backs: Big grassy areas behind the colleges on the river
Bedder: The lovely people that clean your room, and empty your bins each day. Once upon a time they used to make the beds (and some still do) – hence the name!
Bevs: ‘Beverages’ A common word for drinks in the context of going out (don’t have to be alcoholic)
Blues: Cambridge Blues/Half Blues/Quarter Blues/Honorary Blues are sporting colours awarded to athletes at the university that compete at a high level
BNOC: ‘Biggest Name on Campus’ The yearly popularity contest held by student newspaper The Tab (definitely not worth it, trust us)
Boaties: People who row, make it their entire personality and generally seem to have to get up early in the morning to do so
Bop: From 70s disco hits to the latest Steps releases, the staple musical diet of university nightlife.
Catz: St Catharine’s College
Cheese: An Ent, more often than not dedicated to the latest and greatest or at least ‘most mature’ cheese
Cindies: A local night club in Lion Yard – Officially called Ballare – but everyone knows it as Cindies
College Parents: Undergrads in college will normally ‘propose’ to one-another, these will then be assigned college children – freshers – to show around and they remain so for their time in Cambridge. Don’t be surprised to hear ‘oh that’s my college grandmother/uncle..’, it’s a whole thing
Coming up: Arriving in Cambridge at the start of term – at the end of term you “go down”
Compsci: Computer Scientist, pronounced ‘Com-ski’
Committee: The elected students who run the MCR or JCR committees, can always be approached at any time for help or to answer questions
Crushbridge/Camfess: Popular Cambridge Facebook pages where students post about a crush they have or a confession they would like to make anonymously
C Sunday: ‘Caesarian Sunday’ – The last Sunday before exam period where students let go one last time and celebrate before exams start
Cuppers: Tournament between colleges in most sports
CUSU: Cambridge University Students’ Union
DoS: Director of Studies – you will meet yours at the beginning of term
Duck/Duckling: Graduate Freshers will be assigned a senior graduate at the start of their studies, their ‘duck’, to introduce them to the college and be a first point of reference. Similar to college parents for undergrads
Easter Term: Also known as Exam Term – the term between Easter and the Long Vacation
ECSU: Emmanuel College Students’ Union
Emma: Emmanuel College
Ents: Entertainments – most often musically based and in the evenings (good work avoidance)
Exec:The Executive – a group elected by the members of ECSU who take on specific responsibilities
Fellow: An academic affiliated to a college usually to do teaching and or research.
Fitz: Fitzwilliam College
Formals: Formal dinners are evenings held in hall throughout term, where students come dine in academic dress and gown, held by candlelight and with table service at Emma
Freshers: New students – usually in their first year
Freshers Week: The first week of the academic year where the MCR and JCR set up events and socials for students to meet and get to know the college
Full term: The 8-9 weeks that you must be in residence in Cambridge to qualify for a degree
Grad: Graduate students
Gyp room: Room in which the (now extinct) College servants (Gyps) sat. Name given to the kitchens on the staircases.
JCR: Junior Combination Room – refers either to a common room, or to the student representative body (ECSU)
Jester: The Jester is the smiley sculpture in the Emma Paddock
‘Keys’: Gonville and Caius College
LEA: Local Education Authority
Lent Term: The term between Christmas and Easter.
Lucy Cav’ : Lucy Cavendish College
Mainsbury’s: The large Sainsbury’s supermarket on Sidney Street
Minisbury’s: The smaller Sainsbury’s local at the corner of Emma on St Andrews Street
Marquee: The large white tent set up in the paddock with tables and chairs
Master: The master of the college – Currently Doug Chalmers for Emmanuel – the official head of a college
Master’s Arms: The temporary Emma bar set of next to the Master’s Lodge and Queen’s building
Matriculation: The day and ceremony by which you become a member of the college and the university for life.
May Ball: All-night decadent black tie/white tie event put on by many of the colleges in June to celebrate the end of exams/the academic year
May Week: Week in June given over to enjoyment after the exams have finished
MCR: Middle Combination Room – refers either to the graduate common room, or the representative body for graduate students.
Natsci: Natural Scientist
NPR: Normal Period of Residence – the ten weeks of term that you pay for room rental (even if you are not there for the full 10 weeks)
NUS: National Union of Students
Pennying: Just bring some pennies to formal with you and find out, beware of retaliation
P’hole, Pidge: Pigeonhole – where you pick up your post
Plodge: Porters’ Lodge
Punting: Exploit this in the summer, as you may well get very wet; involves propelling yourself along the river with a wooden pole, whilst standing on a flat wooden boat. The MCR has one available to be taken out when booked, free of charge
Reality Checkpoint: The large lantern in the middle of Parker’s Piece, historically it indicated the limits of Cambridge city center which when crossed would make you ‘return to reality’
Reporter: The Cambridge University Reporter – lecture lists galore in this black and white directory. Available at the University Press Bookshop or any other bookshop in Cambridge.
Roar! : Weekly Emmanuel College newsletter
Savino’s: Popular coffee and sandwich place next to North court with discounts for Emma students
Scholar: A student who has been awarded a First Class distinction on one year of their studies
SPS: Social and Political Sciences
Squash: Society event at the beginning of term to try and make you join them, usually with free drinks
Store: The room located next to the MCR pidges, currently used as storage for received packages for students
Tit Hall: Trinity Hall College
Van of Life: The kebab van on the North of Market Square – visit at your peril!
Van of Death: The kebab van on the South of Market Square – still visit at your peril!