Wash. U. Dictionary

Michelle Stein

College is a completely new experience, full of new people, responsibilities, and, perhaps unexpectedly, a new vocabulary. When arriving on campus for the first time, it is not unusual for freshmen to encounter words or phrases that they just don’t understand. So when you’re caught wondering if that word is even in the English language, don’t feel too bad – it probably isn’t.

Slowly but surely new students always catch on to the Washington University in St. Louis way of speaking. For example, I had never heard the word “sketchy” before I came to Wash U. Three years later, I am perfectly comfortable with calling a situation “quite sketch.” Some words, like “sketchy,” are not specific to Wash. U. Other phrases like “the clock stick” may give freshmen a bit more trouble. In cases of verbal confusion, refer to this handy guide or upper-classmen to help decode the language of Wash. U.

Fro Yo – The shortened form of frozen yogurt. Specifically, it refers to the frozen yogurt available to students at Bear Mart inside the Wohl Student Center. Don’t be alarmed if your roommate disappears at 12:55 a.m. for a “Fro Yo run” right before they close. In fact, you should try it some time.

**Warning: Beware of the abbreviation, or “abbrevs”. The Wash. U. student body rarely says the full name of anything, be it “Poli Sci” rather than Political Science, or “awk” instead of awkward.

Floorcest – Floorcest is, quite simply, hooking up with, dating, or otherwise ruining the platonic nature of a relationship you have with someone on your floor. Most upperclassmen will tell you that this is a bad idea and you should really trust them because chances are they know from experience. Your R.A.’s, or Residential Advisors-yet another abbreviation-will probably bring this up in one of your first meetings. Dormcest, a less serious offense involving inter-dorm relationships, also creates the potential for plenty of awkward situations.

Sexile – This is the awkward and never envied situation when your roommate locks you out of your dorm room in order to commit floorcest, dormcest, or engage in some other romantic rendezvous. These situations are particularly uncomfortable as you sit outside your room at 3 a.m. and twiddle your thumbs. May I suggest finding “the guy with the air mattress?” (See Who’s Who on Your Freshman Floor)

BD vs. B&D – BD is the abbreviation for one of the most important places on campus: Bear’s Den. At Bear’s Den, students can feed their 2 a.m. mozzarella stick craving, listen to jovial workers sing Beyonce, or just hang out when they’re not ready to call it a night. B&D, on the other hand, is the Wash. U. security. They let you into parties (and kick you out), control W.I.L.D. so it doesn’t get too wild, and make sure nobody’s left in BD at 3 a.m. While they may patrol BD, avoid confusing the two, as they are very different. B&D will not serve you mozzarella sticks, although maybe if you’re lucky they’ll sing for you.

EST- The Emergency Support Team, or EST, is Wash. U.’s all-student emergency team. These are the people you call for help in a medical emergency. They share their phone line with WUPD (Wash. U. Police Department), a number that you will learn easily as “fistful of fives,” since dialing 5-5555 from any campus phone will connect you to them. According to the Wash. U. website, EST handles “sudden onset illness or injury on campus, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the school year.” As such, they are very handy people to have around.

Clock Stick – Formally, this is known as the clock tower. However, it is not much of a tower. Located on the South 40 right outside Ursa’s Fireside, the clock stick nickname was wittily created because the clock is perched atop a mere spindle and therefore, does not quite deserve to be called a tower.

Estro-gym – The South 40 gym located in upstairs Wohl earned the name “The Estro-gym” due to its mainly female clientele. Many males and female athletes prefer to workout at the A.C., or Athletic Center. Despite its nickname, the Estro-gym does have both weight and cardio machines that cater to males. They tend to stand out about as much as a guy in a Women’s Studies course.

The Bunny – Just outside of Mallinckrodt as you head towards the library sits the Bunny, arguably the creepiest statue on campus. Every year students stare in awe as they try to figure out if the inspiration did indeed come from “Donnie Darko.” Because the Bunny is so unique, it often serves as a good meeting place in the middle of main campus.

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