Based on material produced by the Worcester JCR.
Ball: 2010 is the year of the Worcester Commemoration Ball, a huge event that is held every 3 years by our college. Although not the cheapest night out you’ve ever had, the no-expenses-spared decorations, ferris wheels, dodgems, performers, as well as the never-ending flow of drink and food.
Battels: College bills for accommodation, heating, buttery & fixed charges.
Blue: You become a blue by competing for Oxford in a sporting match against Cambridge. Some sports gain full blues, others only half blues.
Bod Card: Make sure you get the passport photo right because this will end up on your Bod card which you will then use daily for the next 3/4 years of university. Necessary for access to libraries, computing services and some University buildings, it also has the added bonus of serving as student identification to get you discounts at certain shops, such as Topshop and New Look, as well getting you a free McFlurry or burger when you order at McDonalds!
Bop: A College party usually held in the bar and organised by the JCR or MCR. There are usually 3 bops a term, each with its own theme. Past themes have included: ‘Wear What You Dare’, ‘Toybox’ and ‘Back to School’.
Bump: How you “score” in an inter-collegiate rowing race, by catching up with the boat in front and hitting it.
Buskins: Worcester’s own drama society.
Cloisters: The stone archs that you walk under as you enter college.
College Card: A white plastic card that is used to pay for meals (you charge it up using the machine in the plodge) and to obtain access to College. Also known as Access Card.
Cuppers: Inter-collegiate competitions in just about anything; football, cricket, drama, waterpolo, etc.
Collections: College exams for undergraduates in 0th week. Also means a formal report on progress, read to the Provost in the presence of the individual student at the end of each term (“Provost’s Collections”).
Essay crisis: The result of one too many nights out. Essay deadline at dawn and none of the work done? Be prepared for a long night of coffee/ coke, artificial light and heavy eyelids. Yet somehow you always make it.
Finals: The main exams at the end of an undergraduate course.
First week: Every Oxford full term has exactly eight weeks, which are numbered 1st week, 2nd week, etc. Many people stay up beyond this, however, so we also get 0th week, minus 1st week etc. Sunday is counted as the first day of each week.
Formal Hall: Second sitting of dinner. Definitely make the most of these where for the same price as first hall you get better food and a more ‘Oxford’ atmosphere with latin grace and a big stick thing being banged at the beginning.
Fresher: A new student.
Hall: Building where you can have breakfast, lunch & dinner and where undergraduates sit Collections. There are 2 dinners served each night – 1st Hall which is informal and 2nd Hall which is formal and is served by staff.
Hilary: 2nd (Spring) term.
JCR: The undergraduate student body and the name of its common room (Junior Common Room).
Lodge: This is at the entrance to the college and is your point of contact 24/7. There is always a porter around, willing to help you with any problems or questions you may have/ just have a nice chat with. This is also where you can top up your college and laundry card, pick up parcels too big to fit in your pidge and borrow a DVD.
i.The Provost’s Lodgings: where they live.
May Day: On May 1st at 6:00am, the Magdalen Choir sing from atop Magdalen Tower. While the singing itself is usually somewhat of an anticlimax, the atmosphere after is scintillating, with Morris dancers, and various other dance groups and musicians. Put it in your diary.
Matriculation: Mix a few thousand freshers, lots of subfusc and a little Latin in the Sheldonian and you get this – your formal initiation into the University. The tourists LOVE it.
MCR: The postgraduate student body and the name of its common room (Middle Common Room).
Michaelmas: 1st (Winter) term.
Mods: Moderations – name of first-year exams in some undergraduate courses. Getting a 1st generally results in receiving an academic scholarship (such students are identified by their longer gowns).
OUSU: Oxford University Student Union – the body that officially represents all students in Oxford. Not to be confused with the Union11.
Penal Collection: An examination set by the College: failure to do as well as required may result in severe penalties. Thankfully applicable predominantly only to undergraduates!
Pidge (also known as the pigeon holes): Set of named boxes where students’; mail is left, in Staircase 15.
Pigeon Post: All colleges & university departments are part of a university postal network. This is free if you post fewer than 3 items at once. There are two collections per day.
Prelims: Preliminary Examinations – name of first-year exams in some undergraduate courses.
Provost: Worcester’s Head of House (College).
Punt: A flat boat propelled by a pole. Lots of fun in the summer, although it is not rare for people to return having fallen in the river due to poor punting technique or too much Pimms.
Rustication: Serious punishment: a rusticated student is suspended and has to leave Oxford until given permission to resume studying.
SCR: Group which includes members of the Governing Body and others who teach but are not Fellows, e.g., Research Fellows, Lecturers. There are also other members, such as distinguished old members of the College.
Scholar: What undergraduates become if they get a distinction/1st in their first year exams or if they perform well for a long period of time. Scholars get a gown with sleeves, and usually a cash reward.
Schools: Ominous building on the High Street where students sit exams or go to lectures (also home to the University Freshers’ Fair).
Scouts: These are the kind cleaning staff who empty our bins, hoover our floors and just generally make sure we don’t suffocate in our own student squalor.
Subfusc: Clothes one has to wear for matriculation, examinations, graduation, etc.
Summer Eights: The greatest rowing event of the year; this is a big inter-collegiate rowing regatta in 5th week of Trinity term, where college rivalries reach a max, and Pimms is only drunk in pints.
Torpids: Another inter-collegiate rowing regatta in 5th week of Hilary Term.
Tute: A shorter word for tutorial. One syllable is so much less effort than four.
Tutorial: Weekly meeting (usually lasting an hour) for undergraduates with their tutor on their own or with one or two other people doing the same subject. Usually the weeks work will be discussed in the tutorial and lecture material may or may not be covered.
Trinity: 3rd (Summer) term.
Union: Oxford Union – good speakers, debates & cheap bar. Not to be confused with OUSU. This is a private club and paid membership is required.
Union Hack: Union ‘politician’ who will pester and pester you for your vote. Best plan of action? Claim you’re not a member and they’ll move on.
Woostarite: The name generally given to a student from Worcester.