Before you even arrive at Worcester there are a barrage of terms and words that might as well belong to a different language: bop, Michaelmas, OUSU. Luckily, we’re here to help you navigate those tricky Oxford-isms so you can become fluent.
Worcester’s favourite curry house. Whilst Arzoo perhaps doesn’t dish out the tastiest currys in the whole of England, they do allow you to bring your own alcohol in and generally be quite rowdy.
An extravagant night of unlimited food and drink, performers, dodgems, ferris wheels, and whatever else is imagined by that particular committee! Most colleges hold balls. Worcester is lucky enough to be one of the three colleges in Oxford to host the traditional Oxford Commemoration Ball. It was last held in Trinity 2014 to celebrate Worcester’s tercentenary; the next one will be in 2017.
College bills for accommodation, heating, buttery & fixed charges.
You become a blue by competing for Oxford in a sporting match against Cambridge. Some sports gain full blues, others only half blues.
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. You’ll need your Bod Card for paying for food in hall and for accessing libraries, computing services and some college and 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!
A College party usually held in the bar and organised by the JCR Entz Team. There are usually 3 bops a term, each with its own theme. Past themes have included: ‘Out of this world’, ‘Oxford pubs’ and ‘Back to School’.
This is Worcester’s closest and probably most popular kebaby. With the same people working every night these Woosta Special providers become more like friends as the year goes on! Technically now called Munchies.
A favourite with many of the students brunch takes place only on Sundays when breakfast and lunch collide to make a meal solely dedicated to all things fried! Bacon, eggs, mushrooms, sausages, you name it, they’ve got it.
How you “score” in an inter-collegiate rowing race, by catching up with the boat in front and hitting it. Oh yes.
Worcester’s own drama society.
The flower worn on your subfusc on the day of an exam. White signifies your first exam; pink are intermediate exams, and red for the final exam. People with red carnations may be covered in filthy stuff from trashings.
The stone arches that you walk under as you enter college.
Inter-collegiate competitions in just about anything; football, cricket, drama, waterpolo, etc.
College exams for undergraduates. These are usually given to them at the end of 0th week in each term (not usually in their first term).
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”).
Where sports teams from one college will go on a mass ‘date’ with another, for example Worcester’s rugby lads crewdate St. Hilda’s netball team. Usually beginning with a curry at Arzoo and ending in the sweaty mists of Park End, anything can happen in the middle.
Short for entertainment. Our lovely entz team are responsible for organising lots of fun events all year round.
A physical activity undertaken only by rowers, forced by their coaches, this is essentially a session on the rowing machine where the rower will try and beat their previous ‘time’ for 2k, 6k, etc.
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.
The main exams at the end of an undergraduate course, patrolled by police to try and avoid trashings.
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. Confusingly however Sunday is counted as the first day of each week.
Second sitting of dinner. Definitely make the most of these as you get better food and a more ‘Oxford’ atmosphere with latin grace and a big stick thing being banged at the beginning. Unfortunately you do have to dress up, wear a gown and pay a bit extra.
A new student.
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.
Branos’ evil arch nemesis. Found on Broad Street.
2nd (Spring) term.
The lodgings of the Provost.
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.
The postgraduate student body. And the name of their common room (Middle Common Room).
1st (Winter) term.
Moderations – name of first-year exams in some undergraduate courses.
Oxford University Student Union – the body that officially represents all students in Oxford. Not to be confused with the Union.
Actually called ‘Lava and Ignite’ although never by students, this is one of Oxford’s biggest nightclubs. A favourite for crew dates, and those with a craving for cheesey music, it has become a favourite for many worcesterites with the R’n’B room constantly dominated by our college. Good fun, but certainly not classy. Leave your dignity at home.
An examination set by the College: failure to do as well as required may result in severe penalties.
Pidge (also known as the pigeon holes)
Set of named boxes where students’ mail is left, in Staircase 15.
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.
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, borrow a DVD and find more paper to put in the JCR printer.
Preliminary Examinations – name of first-year exams in some undergraduate courses.
Worcester’s Head of House (College).
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. Hire the Worcester punts out in the lodge!
This is when a student has suspended their studies. They are said to have ‘rusticated’.
Inevitable when a group of rowers get together – comparisons of erg times, how hench they are, and how many bumps they got in their last race… Non-rowers beware, you will hate this!
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.
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.
Ominous building on the High Street where students sit exams or go to lectures. It is also home to the University Freshers’ Fair.
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.
Clothes one has to wear for matriculation, examinations, graduation, etc.
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, rowing chat becomes permissible and pimms is only drunk in pints.
Another inter-collegiate rowing regatta in 5th week of Hilary Term.
A shorter word for tutorial. One syllable is so much less effort than four.
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.
Wikipedia’s definition: “Trashing is used to describe the practice of students of the University of Oxford when contemporaries complete their exams. This involves throwing items such as confetti, champagne, flour, eggs, shaving foam, “silly string”, raw meat and octopus at said students. This is a relatively recently adopted tradition originating in the ’90s, which has caused complaints from the public”. Although trashing is not approved by Oxford Officials and has attracted the attention of the police, to the extent that the Examination School exits are guarded on days of finals, many still defy the authorities.
3rd (Summer) term.
Oxford Union – good speakers, debates & cheap bar. Not to be confused with OUSU.
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.
Served only at Branos, this cheeky number is the perfect combination of chicken and chips which hits the (greasy) spot after a night out. Mmmm.