Freshers' Dictionary

Cambridge and Pembroke have their own quirks, and the language used is one of the more noticeable. Here is a quick introduction to some of the terms!

  • ADC - Amateur Dramatics Club (can refer to the society and their theatre)
  • ASNAC - Anglosaxon, Norse, and Celtic (a subject)
  • Ballot - The system by which rooms are allocated after first year.
  • Bedder - Lovely person who empties your bin and hoovers your room.
  • Bedwards - You'll find out soon enough
  • Blue - Someone who plays sport at university level.
  • Boatie - Some poor soul lured into the cult of the boat club and tight lycra.
  • BOP - College fancy dress party at the start and end of every term.
  • Bumps - An inter-collegiate rowing competition.
  • Cantab - Anyone who is a student of the university.
  • Chilled Vibes - Not just state of being, but a way of life
  • Compsci - Someone who studies Computer Science.
  • Cuppers - Inter-collegiate competitions in various sports.
  • CUSU - The Cambridge University Student Union.
  • DoS - Director of Studies, the person overseeing your academics at Cambridge.
  • Ents - Entertainments; can be anything from korfball to war reenactment.
  • Grad Parlour - The graduates' common room on J Staircase. Full of leather armchairs and “interesting chat”. Apparently. Only Pembroke uses the term ‘parlour’. People from other colleges will give you funny looks when you say this.
  • Gyp - Tiny college kitchen, mainly used for preparing light snacks.
  • Hostel - A house owned by college and lived in by students. A number of Pembroke students choose to move out of college and into a hostel in their second or third year.
  • JP - Junior Parlour, both the Pembroke bar, cafe, and social space, and the collective undergraduate body.
  • JPC - Junior Parlour Committee, the elected representatives of the undergraduate body.
  • Mathmo : Friendly term for those studying maths.
  • Matriculation - The process by which a person (you) becomes a member of the university (you write in a book).
  • May Week - Bizarrely occurs in June. An amazing and quite surreal week of sunshine, garden parties, balls and fun to celebrate the end of exams and the end of the academic year. Starts with ‘May Week Sunday’ / 'Survival Sunday'.
  • MML - Modern and Medieval Languages (a subject)
  • Muso - A student of Music. Or just someone who lives for CUMS (Cambridge University Musical Society).
  • Natsci - Affectionate slang for a student of Natural Sciences (pronounced nat-skee).
  • PBS - Psychological and Behavioural Sciences (a subject)
  • Plodge - The Porters' Lodge, the hub of college organisation.
  • Pidge - Your pidgeon hole, where mail and notices will go.
  • Squash - An event at which societies recruit new members.
  • Terms - Michaelmas (Summer-Christmas), Lent (Christmas-Easter), Easter (Easter-Summer)
  • Thesp - Someone who is involved in theatre.
  • Tripos - The exams you take at the end of each year, and the way in which Cambridge organises its subjects.
  • Trough - An affection name for the Pembroke canteen, which actually has pretty good food.
  • UL - The University Library.

This Website is maintained by the Pembroke JPC IT Officer.

The initial design was built by Vikash Patel.

Cover Photo Credits: Alex Łyszkowski  

Special Thanks to Chris

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