A Collection of College Words and Customs
by Benjamin Homer Hall
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At Yale College, a theory of this kind prevails, but it has never yet been carried into practice.

I tell you what, my classmates, My mind it is made up, I'm coming back three years from this, To take that silver cup. I'll bring along the "requisite," A little white-haired lad, With "bib" and fixings all complete, And I shall be his "dad." Presentation Day Songs, June 14, 1854.


SIM. Abbreviated from Simeonite. A nickname given by the rowing men at the University of Cambridge, Eng., to evangelicals, and to all religious men, or even quiet men generally.

While passing for a terribly hard reading man, and a "Sim" of the straitest kind with the "empty bottles,"... I was fast lapsing into a state of literary sensualism.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, pp. 39, 40.

SIR. It was formerly the fashion in the older American colleges to call a Bachelor of Arts, Sir; this was sometimes done at the time when the Seniors were accepted for that degree.

Voted, Sept. 5th, 1763, "that Sir Sewall, B.A., be the Instructor in the Hebrew and other learned languages for three years."—Peirce's Hist. Harv. Univ., p. 234.

December, 1790. Some time in this month, Sir Adams resigned the berth of Butler, and Sir Samuel Shapleigh was chosen in his stead.—MS. Journal, Harv. Coll.

Then succeeded Cliosophic Oration in Latin, by Sir Meigs. Poetical Composition in English, by Sir Barlow.—Woolsey's Hist. Disc., p. 121.

The author resided in Cambridge after he graduated. In common with all who had received the degree of Bachelor of Arts and not that of Master of Arts, he was called "Sir," and known as "Sir Seccomb."

Some of the "Sirs" as well as undergraduates were arraigned before the college government.—Father Abbey's Will, Cambridge, Mass., 1854, p. 7.

SITTING OF THE SOLSTICES. It was customary, in the early days of Harvard College, for the graduates of the year to attend in the recitation-room on Mondays and Tuesdays, for three weeks, during the month of June, subject to the examination of all who chose to visit them. This was called the Sitting of the Solstices, because it happened in midsummer, or at the time of the summer solstice. The time was also known as the Weeks of Visitation.

SIZAR, SISAR, SIZER. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., a student of the third rank, or that next below that of a pensioner, who eats at the public table after the fellows, free of expense. It was formerly customary for every fellow-commoner to have his sizar, to whom he allowed a certain portion of commons, or victuals and drink, weekly, but no money; and for this the sizar was obliged to do him certain services daily.

A lower order of students were called sub-sizars. In reference to this class, we take the following from the Gentleman's Magazine, 1787, p. 1146. "At King's College, they were styled hounds. The situation of a sub-sizar being looked upon in so degrading a light probably occasioned the extinction of the order. But as the sub-sizars had certain assistances in return for their humiliating services, and as the poverty of parents stood in need of such assistances for their sons, some of the sizars undertook the same offices for the same advantages. The master's sizar, therefore, waited upon him for the sake of his commons, etc., as the sub-sizar had done; and the other sizars did the same office to the fellows for the advantage of the remains of their commons. Thus the term sub-sizar became forgotten, and the sizar was supposed to be the same as the servitor. But if a sizar did not choose to accept of these assistances upon such degrading terms, he dined in his own room, and was called a proper sizar. He wore the same gown as the others, and his tutorage, etc. was no higher; but there was nothing servile in his situation."—"Now, indeed, all (or almost all) the colleges in Cambridge have allowed the sizars every advantage of the remains of the fellows' commons, etc., though they have very liberally exempted them from every servile office."

Another writer in the same periodical, 1795, p. 21, says: The sizar "is very much like the scholars at Westminster, Eton, &c., who are on the foundation; and is, in a manner, the half-boarder in private academies. The name was derived from the menial services in which he was occasionally engaged; being in former days compelled to transport the plates, dishes, sizes, and platters, to and from the tables of his superiors."

A writer in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, at the close of the article SIZAR, says of this class: "But though their education is thus obtained at a less expense, they are not now considered as a menial order; for sizars, pensioner-scholars, and even sometimes fellow-commoners, mix together with the utmost cordiality."

"Sizars," says Bristed, "answer to the beneficiaries of American colleges. They receive pecuniary assistance from the college, and dine gratis after the fellows on the remains of their table. These 'remains' are very liberally construed, the sizar always having fresh vegetables, and frequently fresh tarts and puddings."—Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 14.

SIZE. Food and drink from the buttery, aside from the regular dinner at commons.

"A size" says Minsheu, "is a portion of bread or drinke, it is a farthing which schollers in Cambridge have at the buttery; it is noted with the letter S. as in Oxford with the letter Q. for halfe a farthing; and whereas they say in Oxford, to battle in the Buttery Booke, i.e. to set downe on their names what they take in bread, drinke, butter, cheese, &c.; so, in Cambridge, they say, to size, i.e. to set downe their quantum, i.e. how much they take on their name in the Buttery Booke."

In the Poems of the Rev. Dr. Dodd, a size of bread is described as "half a half-penny 'roll.'" Grose, also, in the Provincial Glossary, says "it signifies the half part of a halfpenny loaf, and comes from scindo, I cut."

In the Encyclopaedia Britannica is the following explanation of this term. "A size of anything is the smallest quantity of that thing which can be thus bought" [i.e. by students in addition to their commons in the hall]; "two sizes, or a part of beef, being nearly equal to what a young person will eat of that dish to his dinner, and a size of ale or beer being equal to half an English pint." It would seem, then, that formerly a size was a small plateful of any eatable; the word now means anything had by students at dinner over and above the usual commons.

Of its derivation Webster remarks, "Either contracted from assize, or from the Latin scissus. I take it to be from the former, and from the sense of setting, as we apply the word to the assize of bread."

This word was introduced into the older American colleges from Cambridge, England, and was used for many years, as was also the word sizing, with the same meaning. In 1750, the Corporation of Harvard College voted, "that the quantity of commons be as hath been usual, viz. two sizes of bread in the morning; one pound of meat at dinner, with sufficient sauce [vegetables], and a half-pint of beer; and at night that a part pie be of the same quantity as usual, and also half a pint of beer; and that the supper messes be but of four parts, though the dinner messes be of six."—Quincy's Hist. Harv. Coll., Vol. II. p. 97.

The students of that day, if we may judge from the accounts which we have of their poor commons, would have used far different words, in addressing the Faculty, from King Lear, who, speaking to his daughter Regan, says:—

"'T is not in thee To grudge my pleasures,... ... to scant my sizes."

SIZE. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., to size is to order any sort of victuals from the kitchens which the students may want in their rooms, or in addition to their commons in the hall, and for which they pay the cooks or butchers at the end of each quarter; a word corresponding to BATTEL at Oxford.—Encyc. Brit.

In the Gentleman's Magazine, 1795, p. 21, a writer says: "At dinner, to size is to order for yourself any little luxury that may chance to tempt you in addition to the general fare, for which you are expected to pay the cook at the end of the term."

This word was formerly used in the older American colleges with the meaning given above, as will be seen by the following extracts from the laws of Harvard and Yale.

"When they come into town after commons, they may be allowed to size a meal at the kitchen."—Laws of Harv. Coll., 1798, p. 39.

"At the close of each quarter, the Butler shall make up his bill against each student, in which every article sized or taken up by him at the Buttery shall be particularly charged."—Laws Yale Coll., 1811, p. 31.

"As a college term," says the Gradus ad Cantabrigiam, "it is of very considerable antiquity. In the comedy called 'The Return from Parnassus,' 1606, one of the character says, 'You that are one of the Devil's Fellow-Commoners; one that sizeth the Devil's butteries,' &c. Again, in the same: 'Fidlers, I use to size my music, or go on the score for it.'"

For is often used after the verb size, without changing the meaning of the expression.

The tables of the Undergraduates, arranged according to their respective years, are supplied with abundance of plain joints, and vegetables, and beer and ale ad libitum, besides which, soup, pastry, and cheese can be "sized for," that is, brought in portions to individuals at an extra charge.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 19.

To size upon another. To order extra food, and without permission charge it to another's account.

If any one shall size upon another, he shall be fined a Shilling, and pay the Damage; and every Freshman sent [for victuals] must declare that he who sends him is the only Person to be charged.—Laws Yale Coll., 1774, p. 10.

SIZING. Extra food or drink ordered from the buttery; the act of ordering extra food or drink from the buttery.

Dr. Holyoke, who graduated at Harvard College in 1746, says: "The breakfast was two sizings of bread and a cue of beer." Judge Wingate, who graduated a little later, says: "We were allowed at dinner a cue of beer, which was a half-pint, and a sizing of bread, which I cannot describe to you. It was quite sufficient for one dinner."—Peirce's Hist. Harv. Univ., p. 219.

From more definite accounts it would seem that a sizing of biscuit was one biscuit, and a sizing of cracker, two crackers. A certain amount of food was allowed to each mess, and if any person wanted more than the allowance, it was the custom to tell the waiter to bring a sizing of whatever was wished, provided it was obtained from the commons kitchen; for this payment was made at the close of the term. A sizing of cheese was nearly an ounce, and a sizing of cider varied from a half-pint to a pint and a half.

The Steward shall, at the close of every quarter, immediately fill up the columns of commons and sizings, and shall deliver the bill, &c.—Laws Harv. Coll., 1798, p. 58.

The Butler shall frequently inspect his book of sizings.—Ibid., p. 62.

Whereas young scholars, to the dishonor of God, hinderance of their studies, and damage of their friends' estate, inconsiderately and intemperately are ready to abuse their liberty of sizing besides their commons; therefore the Steward shall in no case permit any students whatever, under the degree of Masters of Arts, or Fellows, to expend or be provided for themselves or any townsmen any extraordinary commons, unless by the allowance of the President, &c., or in case of sickness.—Orders written 28th March, 1650.—Quincy's Hist. Harv. Univ., Vol. I. p. 583.

This term, together with the verb and noun size, which had been in use at Harvard and Yale Colleges since their foundation, has of late been little heard, and with the extinction of commons has, with the others, fallen wholly, and probably for ever, into disuse.

The use of this word and its collaterals is still retained in the University of Cambridge, Eng.

Along the wall you see two tables, which, though less carefully provided than the Fellows', are still served with tolerable decency, and go through a regular second course instead of the "sizings."—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 20.

SIZING PARTY. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., where this term is used, a "sizing party" says the Gradus ad Cantabrigiam, "differs from a supper in this; viz. at a sizing party every one of the guests contributes his part, i.e. orders what he pleases, at his own expense, to his friend's rooms,—'a part of fowl' or duck; a roasted pigeon; 'a part of apple pie.' A sober beaker of brandy, or rum, or hollands and water, concludes the entertainment. In our days, a bowl of bishop, or milk punch, with a chant, generally winds up the carousal."

SKIN. At Yale College, to obtain a knowledge of a lesson by hearing it read by another; also, to borrow another's ideas and present them as one's own; to plagiarize; to become possessed of information in an examination or a recitation by unfair or secret means. "In our examinations," says a correspondent, "many of the fellows cover the palms of their hands with dates, and when called upon for a given date, they read it off directly from their hands. Such persons skin."

The tutor employs the crescent when it is evident that the lesson has been skinned, according to the college vocabulary, in which case he usually puts a minus sign after it, with the mark which he in all probability would have used had not the lesson been skinned.—Yale Banger, Nov. 1846.

Never skin a lesson which it requires any ability to learn.—Yale Lit. Mag., Vol. XV. p. 81.

He has passively admitted what he has skinned from other grammarians.—Yale Banger, Nov. 1846.

Perhaps the youth who so barefacedly skinned the song referred to, fondly fancied, &c.—The Tomahawk, Nov. 1849.

He uttered that remarkable prophecy which Horace has so boldly skinned and called his own.—Burial of Euclid, Nov. 1850.

A Pewter medal is awarded in the Senior Class, for the most remarkable example of skinned Composition.—Burlesque Catalogue, Yale Coll., 1852-53, p. 29.

Classical men were continually tempted to "skin" (copy) the solutions of these examples.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 381.

To skin ahead; at Hamilton College, to read a lesson over in the class immediately before reciting.

SKIN. A lesson learned by hearing it read by another; borrowed ideas; anything plagiarized.

'T was plenty of skin with a good deal of Bohn.[65] Songs, Biennial Jubilee, Yale Coll., 1855.

SKINNING. Learning, or the act of learning, a lesson by hearing it read by another; plagiarizing.

Alas for our beloved orations! acquired by skinning, looking on, and ponies.—Yale Banger, Oct. 1848.

Barefaced copying from books and reviews in their compositions is familiar to our students, as much so as "skinning" their mathematical examples.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 394.

SKUNK. At Princeton College, to fail to pay a debt; used actively; e.g. to skunk a tailor, i.e. not to pay him.

SLANG. To scold, chide, rebuke. The use of this word as a verb is in a measure peculiar to students.

These drones are posted separately as "not worthy to be classed," and privately slanged afterwards by the Master and Seniors.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 74.

"I am afraid of going to T———," you may hear it said; "he don't slang his men enough."—Ibid., p. 148.

His vanity is sure to be speedily checked, and first of all by his private tutor, who "slangs" him for a mistake here or an inelegancy there.—Ibid., p. 388.

SLANGING. Abusing, chiding, blaming.

As he was not backward in slanging,—one of the requisites of a good coach,—he would give it to my unfortunate composition right and left.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 166.

SLEEPING OVER. A phrase equivalent to being absent from prayers.

You may see some who have just arisen from their beds, where they have enjoyed the luxury of "sleeping over."—Harv. Reg., p. 202.

SLOW. An epithet of depreciation, especially among students.

Its equivalent slang is to be found in the phrases, "no great shakes," and "small potatoes."—Bristed.

One very well disposed and very tipsy man who was great upon boats, but very slow at books, endeavored to pacify me.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 82.

The Juniors vainly attempted to show That Sophs and Seniors were somewhat slow In talent and ability. Sophomore Independent, Union College, Nov. 1854.

SLOW-COACH. A dull, stupid fellow.

SLUM. A word once in use at Yale College, of which a graduate of the year 1821 has given the annexed explanation. "That noted dish to which our predecessors, of I know not what date, gave the name of slum, which was our ordinary breakfast, consisting of the remains of yesterday's boiled salt-beef and potatoes, hashed up, and indurated in a frying-pan, was of itself enough to have produced any amount of dyspepsia. There are stomachs, it may be, which can put up with any sort of food, and any mode of cookery; but they are not those of students. I remember an anecdote which President Day gave us (as an instance of hasty generalization), which would not be inappropriate here: 'A young physician, commencing practice, determined to keep an account of each case he had to do with, stating the mode of treatment and the result. His first patient was a blacksmith, sick of a fever. After the crisis of the disease had passed, the man expressed a hankering for pork and cabbage. The doctor humored him in this, and it seemed to do him good; which was duly noted in the record. Next a tailor sent for him, whom he found suffering from the same malady. To him he prescribed pork and cabbage; and the patient died. Whereupon, he wrote it down as a general law in such cases, that pork and cabbage will cure a blacksmith, but will kill a tailor.' Now, though the son of Vulcan found the pork and cabbage harmless, I am sure that slum would have been a match for him."—Scenes and Characters at College, New Haven, 1847, p. 117.

SLUMP. German schlump; Danish and Swedish slump, a hap or chance, an accident; that is, a fall.

At Harvard College, a poor recitation.

SLUMP. At Harvard College, to recite badly; to make a poor recitation.

In fact, he'd rather dead than dig; he'd rather slump than squirt. Poem before the Y.H. of Harv. Coll., 1849.

Slumping is his usual custom, Deading is his road to fame.—MS. Poem.

At recitations, unprepared, he slumps, Then cuts a week, and feigns he has the mumps. MS. Poem, by F.E. Felton.

The usual signification of this word is given by Webster, as follows: "To fall or sink suddenly into water or mud, when walking on a hard surface, as on ice or frozen ground, not strong enough to bear the person." To which he adds: "This legitimate word is in common and respectable use in New England, and its signification is so appropriate, that no other word will supply its place."

From this meaning, the transfer is, by analogy, very easy and natural, and the application very correct, to a poor recitation.

SMALL-COLLEGE. The name by which an inferior college in the English universities is known.

A "Small-College" man was Senior Wrangler.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 61.

SMALL-COLLEGER. A member of a Small-College.

The two Latin prizes and the English poem [were carried off] by a Small-Colleger.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 113.

The idea of a Small-Colleger beating all Trinity was deemed preposterous.—Ibid., p. 127.

SMALLS, or SMALL-GO. At the University of Oxford, an examination in the second year. See LITTLE-GO; PREVIOUS EXAMINATION.

At the Smalls, as the previous Examination is here called, each examiner sends in his Greek and Latin book.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 139.

It follows that the Smalls is a more formidable examination than the Little-Go.—Ibid., p. 139.

SMASH. At the Wesleyan University, a total failure in reciting is called a smash.

SMILE. A small quantity of any spirituous liquor, or enough to give one a pleasant feeling.

Hast ta'en a "smile" at Brigham's. Poem before the Iadma, 1850, p. 7.

SMOKE. In some colleges, one of the means made use of by the Sophomores to trouble the Freshmen is to blow smoke into their rooms until they are compelled to leave, or, in other words, until they are smoked out. When assafoetida is mingled with the tobacco, the sensation which ensues, as the foul effluvium is gently wafted through the keyhole, is anything but pleasing to the olfactory nerves.

Or when, in conclave met, the unpitying wights Smoke the young trembler into "College rights": O spare my tender youth! he, suppliant, cries, In vain, in vain; redoubled clouds arise, While the big tears adown his visage roll, Caused by the smoke, and sorrow of his soul. College Life, by J.C. Richmond, p. 4.

They would lock me in if I left my key outside, smoke me out, duck me, &c.—Sketches of Williams College, p. 74.

I would not have you sacrifice all these advantages for the sake of smoking future Freshmen.—Burial of Euclid, 1850, p. 10.

A correspondent from the University of Vermont gives the following account of a practical joke, which we do not suppose is very often played in all its parts. "They 'train' Freshmen in various ways; the most classic is to take a pumpkin, cut a piece from the top, clean it, put in two pounds of 'fine cut,' put it on the Freshman's table, and then, all standing round with long pipe-stems, blow into it the fire placed in the tobac, and so fill the room with smoke, then put the Freshman to bed, with the pumpkin for a nightcap."

SMOUGE. At Hamilton College, to obtain without leave.

SMUT. Vulgar, obscene conversation. Language which obtains

"Where Bacchus ruleth all that's done, And Venus all that's said."

SMUTTY. Possessing the qualities of obscene conversation. Applied also to the person who uses such conversation.

SNOB. In the English universities, a townsman, as opposed to a student; or a blackguard, as opposed to a gentleman; a loafer generally.—Bristed.

They charged the Snobs against their will, And shouted clear and lustily. Gradus ad Cantab, p. 69.

Used in the same sense at some American colleges.

2. A mean or vulgar person; particularly, one who apes gentility. —Halliwell.

Used both in England and the United States, "and recently," says Webster, "introduced into books as a term of derision."

SNOBBESS. In the English universities, a female snob.

Effeminacies like these, induced, no doubt, by the flattering admiration of the fair snobbesses.—Alma Mater, Vol. II. p. 116.

SNOBBISH. Belonging to or resembling a snob.

SNOBBY. Low; vulgar; resembling or pertaining to a snob.

SNUB. To reprimand; check; rebuke. Used among students, more frequently than by any other class of persons.

SOPH. In the University of Cambridge, England, an abbreviation of SOPHISTER.—Webster.

On this word, Crabb, in his Technological Dictionary, says: "A certain distinction or title which undergraduates in the University at Oxford assume, previous to their examination for a degree. It took its rise in the exercises which students formerly had to go through, but which are now out of use."

Three College Sophs, and three pert Templars came, The same their talents, and their tastes the same. Pope's Dunciad, B. II. v. 389, 390.

2. In the American colleges, an abbreviation of Sophomore.

Sophs wha ha' in Commons fed! Sophs wha ha' in Commons bled! Sophs wha ne'er from Commons fled! Puddings, steaks, or wines! Rebelliad, p. 52.

The Sophs did nothing all the first fortnight but torment the Fresh, as they call us.—Harvardiana, Vol. III. p. 76.

The Sophs were victorious at every point.—Yale Banger, Nov. 10, 1846.

My Chum, a Soph, says he committed himself too soon.—The Dartmouth, Vol. IV. p. 118.

SOPHIC. A contraction of sophomoric.

So then the Sophic army Came on in warlike glee. The Battle of the Ball, 1853.

SOPHIMORE. The old manner of spelling what is now known as SOPHOMORE.

The President may give Leave for the Sophimores to take out some particular Books.—Laws Yale Coll., 1774, p. 23.

His favorite researches, however, are discernible in his observations on a comet, which appeared in the beginning of his Sophimore year.—Holmes's Life of Ezra Stiles, p. 13.

I aver thou hast never been a corporal in the militia, or a sophimore at college.—The Algerine Captive, Walpole, 1797, Vol. I. p. 68.

SOPHISH GOWN. Among certain gownsmen, a gown that bears the marks of much service; "a thing of shreds and patches."—Gradus ad Cantab.

SOPHIST. A name given to the undergraduates at Cambridge, England. —Crabb's Tech. Dict.

SOPHISTER. Greek, [Greek: sophistaes]. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., the title of students who are advanced beyond the first year of their residence. The entire course at the University consists of three years and one term, during which the students have the titles of First-Year Men, or Freshmen; Second-Year Men, or Junior Sophs or Sophisters; Third-Year Men, or Senior Sophs or Sophisters; and, in the last term, Questionists, with reference to the approaching examination. In the older American colleges, the Junior and Senior Classes were originally called Junior Sophisters and Senior Sophisters. The term is also used at Oxford and Dublin. —Webster.

And in case any of the Sophisters fail in the premises required at their hands, &c.—Quincy's Hist. Harv. Univ., Vol. I. p. 518.

SOPHOMORE. One belonging to the second of the four classes in an American college.

Professor Goodrich, in his unabridged edition of Dr. Webster's Dictionary, gives the following interesting account of this word. "This word has generally been considered as an 'American barbarism,' but was probably introduced into our country, at a very early period, from the University of Cambridge, Eng. Among the cant terms at that University, as given in the Gradus ad Cantabrigiam, we find Soph-Mor as 'the next distinctive appellation to Freshman.' It is added, that 'a writer in the Gentlemen's Magazine thinks mor an abbreviation of the Greek [Greek: moria], introduced at a time when the Encomium Moriae, the Praise of Folly, by Erasmus, was so generally used.' The ordinary derivation of the word, from [Greek: sofos] and [Greek: moros] would seem, therefore, to be incorrect. The younger Sophs at Cambridge appear, formerly, to have received the adjunct mor ([Greek: moros]) to their names, either as one which they courted for the reason mentioned above, or as one given them in sport, for the supposed exhibition of inflated feeling in entering on their new honors. The term, thus applied, seems to have passed, at a very early period, from Cambridge in England to Cambridge in America, as 'the next distinctive appellation to Freshman,' and thus to have been attached to the second of the four classes in our American colleges; while it has now almost ceased to be known, even as a cant word, at the parent institution in England whence it came. This derivation of the word is rendered more probable by the fact, that the early spelling was, to a great extent at least, Sophimore, as appears from the manuscripts of President Stiles of Yale College, and the records of Harvard College down to the period of the American Revolution. This would be perfectly natural if Soph or Sophister was considered as the basis of the word, but can hardly be explained if the ordinary derivation had then been regarded as the true one."

Some further remarks on this word may be found in the Gentleman's Magazine, above referred to, 1795, Vol. LXV. p. 818.

SOPHOMORE COMMENCEMENT. At Princeton College, it has long been the custom for the Sophomore Class, near the time of the Commencement at the close of the Senior year, to hold a Commencement in imitation of it, at which burlesque and other exercises, appropriate to the occasion, are performed. The speakers chosen are a Salutatorian, a Poet, an Historian, who reads an account of the doings of the Class up to that period, a Valedictorian, &c., &c. A band of music is always in attendance. After the addresses, the Class partake of a supper, which is usually prolonged to a very late hour. In imitation of the Sophomore Commencement, Burlesque Bills, as they are called, are prepared and published by the Juniors, in which, in a long and formal programme, such subjects and speeches are attributed to the members of the Sophomore Class as are calculated to expose their weak points.

SOPHOMORIC, SOPHOMORICAL. Pertaining to or like a Sophomore.

Better to face the prowling panther's path, Than meet the storm of Sophomoric wrath. Harvardiana, Vol. IV. p. 22.

We trust he will add by his example no significancy to that pithy word, "Sophomoric."—Sketches of Williams Coll., p. 63.

Another meaning, derived, it would appear, from the characteristics of the Sophomore, yet not very creditable to him, is bombastic, inflated in style or manner.—J.C. Calhoun.

Students are looked upon as being necessarily Sophomorical in literary matters.—Williams Quarterly, Vol. II. p. 84.

The Professor told me it was rather Sophomorical.—Sketches of Williams Coll., p. 74.

SOPHRONISCUS. At Yale College, this name is given to Arnold's Greek Prose Composition, from the fact of its repeated occurrence in that work.

Sophroniscum relinquemus; Et Euclidem comburemus, Ejus vi soluti. Pow-wow of Class of '58, Yale Coll.


SPIRT. Among the students at the University of Cambridge, Eng., an extraordinary effort of mind or body for a short time. A boat's crew make a spirt, when they pull fifty yards with all the strength they have left. A reading-man makes a spirt when he crams twelve hours daily the week before examination.—Bristed.

As my ... health was decidedly improving, I now attempted a "spirt," or what was one for me.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 223.

My amateur Mathematical coach, who was now making his last spirt for a Fellowship, used to accompany me.—Ibid., p. 288.

He reads nine hours a day on a "spirt" the fortnight before examination.—Ibid., p. 327.

SPIRTING. Making an extraordinary effort of mind or body for a short time.—Bristed.

Ants, bees, boat-crews spirting at the Willows,... are but faint types of their activity.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 224.

SPLURGE. In many colleges, when one is either dashy, or dressed more than ordinarily, he is said to cut a splurge. A showy recitation is often called by the same name. In his Dictionary of Americanisms, Mr. Bartlett defines it, "a great effort, a demonstration," which is the signification in which this word is generally used.

SPLURGY. Showy; of greater surface than depth. Applied to a lesson which is well rehearsed but little appreciated. Also to literary efforts of a certain nature, to character, persons, &c.

They even pronounce his speeches splurgy.—Yale Tomahawk, May, 1852.

SPOON. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., the last of each class of the honors is humorously denominated The Spoon. Thus, the last Wrangler is called the Golden Spoon; the last Senior Optime, the Silver Spoon; and the last Junior Optime, the Wooden Spoon. The Wooden Spoon, however, is par excellence, "The Spoon."—Gradus ad Cantab.


SPOON, SPOONY, SPOONEY. A man who has been drinking till he becomes disgusting by his very ridiculous behavior, is said to be spoony drunk; and hence it is usual to call a very prating, shallow fellow a rank spoon.—Grose.

Mr. Bartlett, in his Dictionary of Americanisms, says:—"We use the word only in the latter sense. The Hon. Mr. Preston, in his remarks on the Mexican war, thus quotes from Tom Crib's remonstrance against the meanness of a transaction, similar to our cries for more vigorous blows on Mexico when she is prostrate:

"'Look down upon Ben,—see him, dunghill all o'er, Insult the fallen foe that can harm him no more. Out, cowardly spooney! Again and again, By the fist of my father, I blush for thee, Ben.'

"Ay, you will see all the spooneys that ran, like so many dunghill champions, from 54 40, stand by the President for the vigorous prosecution of the war upon the body of a prostrate foe." —N.Y. Tribune, 1847.

Now that year it so happened that the spoon was no spooney.—Alma Mater, Vol. I. p. 218.

Not a few of this party were deluded into a belief, that all studious and quiet men were slow, all men of proper self-respect exclusives, and all men of courtesy and good-breeding spoonies. —Collegian's Guide, p. 118.

Suppose that rustication was the fate of a few others of our acquaintance, whom you cannot call slow, or spoonies either, would it be deemed no disgrace by them?—Ibid., p. 196.

When spoonys on two knees, implore the aid of sorcery, To suit their wicked purposes they quickly put the laws awry. Rejected Addresses, Am. ed., p. 154.

They belong to the class of elderly "spoons," with some few exceptions, and are nettled that the world should not go at their rate of progression.—Boston Daily Times, May 8, 1851.

SPOONY, SPOONEY. Like a spoon; possessing the qualities of a silly or stupid fellow.

I shall escape from this beautiful critter, for I'm gettin' spooney, and shall talk silly presently.—Sam Slick.

Both the adjective and the noun spooney are in constant and frequent use at some of the American colleges, and are generally applied to one who is disliked either for his bad qualities or for his ill-breeding, usually accompanied with the idea of weakness.

He sprees, is caught, rusticates, returns next year, mingles with feminines, and is consequently degraded into the spooney Junior. Yale Lit. Mag., Vol. XV. p. 208.

A "bowl" was the happy conveyance. Perhaps this was chosen because the voyagers were spooney.—Yale Banger, Nov. 1849.

SPOOPS, SPOOPSY. At Harvard College, a weak, silly fellow, or one who is disliked on account of his foolish actions, is called a spoops, or spoopsy. The meaning is nearly the same as that of spoony.

SPOOPSY. Foolish; silly. Applied either to a person or thing.

Seniors always try to be dignified. The term "spoopsey" in its widest signification applies admirably to them.—Yale Tomahawk, May, 1852.

SPORT. To exhibit or bring out in public; as, to sport a new equipage.—Grose.

This word was in great vogue in England in the year 1783 and 1784; but is now sacred to men of fashion, both in England and America.

With regard to the word sport, they [the Cantabrigians] sported knowing, and they sported ignorant,—they sported an AEgrotat, and they sported a new coat,—they sported an Exeat, they sported a Dormiat, &c.—Gent. Mag., 1794, p. 1085.

I'm going to serve my country, And sport a pretty wife. Presentation Day Songs, June 14, 1854, Yale Coll.

To sport oak, or a door, is to fasten a door for safety or convenience.

If you call on a man and his door is sported, signifying that he is out or busy, it is customary to pop your card through the little slit made for that purpose.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 336.

Some few constantly turn the keys of their churlish doors, and others, from time to time, "sport oak."—Harv. Mag., Vol. I. p. 268.

SPORTING-DOOR. At the English universities, the name given to the outer door of a student's room, which can be sported or fastened to prevent intrusion.

Their impregnable sporting-doors, that defy alike the hostile dun and the too friendly "fast man."—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 3.

SPREAD. A feast of a more humble description than a GAUDY. Used at Cambridge, England.

This puts him in high spirits again, and he gives a large spread, and gets drunk on the strength of it.—Gradus ad Cantab., p. 129.

He sits down with all of them, about forty or fifty, to a most glorious spread, ordered from the college cook, to be served up in the most swell style possible.—Ibid., p. 129.

SPROUT. Any branch of education is in student phrase a sprout. This peculiar use of the word is said to have originated at Yale.

SPRUNG. The positive, of which tight is the comparative, and drunk the superlative.

"One swallow makes not spring," the poet sung, But many swallows make the fast man sprung. MS. Poem, by F.E. Felton.


SPY. In some of the American colleges, it is a prevailing opinion among the students, that certain members of the different classes are encouraged by the Faculty to report what they have seen or ascertained in the conduct of their classmates, contrary to the laws of the college. Many are stigmatized as spies very unjustly, and seldom with any sufficient reason.

SQUIRT. At Harvard College, a showy recitation is denominated a squirt; the ease and quickness with which the words flow from the mouth being analogous to the ease and quickness which attend the sudden ejection of a stream of water from a pipe. Such a recitation being generally perfect, the word squirt is very often used to convey that idea. Perhaps there is not, in the whole vocabulary of college cant terms, one more expressive than this, or that so easily conveys its meaning merely by its sound. It is mostly used colloquially.

2. A foppish young fellow; a whipper-snapper.—Bartlett.

If they won't keep company with squirts and dandies, who's going to make a monkey of himself?—Maj. Jones's Courtship, p. 160.

SQUIRT. To make a showy recitation.

He'd rather slump than squirt. Poem before Y.H., p. 9.

Webster has this word with the meaning, "to throw out words, to let fly," and marks it as out of use.

SQUIRTINESS. The quality of being showy.

SQUIRTISH. Showy; dandified.

It's my opinion that these slicked up squirtish kind a fellars ain't particular hard baked, and they always goes in for aristocracy notions.—Robb, Squatter Life, p. 73.

SQUIRTY. Showy; fond of display; gaudy.

Applied to an oration which is full of bombast and grandiloquence; to a foppish fellow; to an apartment gayly adorned, &c.

And should they "scrape" in prayers, because they are long And rather "squirty" at times. Childe Harvard, p. 58.

STAMMBOOK. German. A remembrance-book; an album. Among the German students stammbooks were kept formerly, as commonly as autograph-books now are among American students.

But do procure me the favor of thy Rapunzel writing something in my Stammbook.—Howitt's Student Life of Germany, Am. ed., p. 242.

STANDING. Academical age, or rank.

Of what standing are you? I am a Senior Soph.—Gradus ad Cantab.

Her mother told me all about your love, And asked me of your prospects and your standing. Collegian, 1830, p. 267.

To stand for an honor; i.e. to offer one's self as a candidate for an honor.

STAR. In triennial catalogues a star designates those who have died. This sign was first used with this signification by Mather, in his Magnalia, in a list prepared by him of the graduates of Harvard College, with a fanciful allusion, it is supposed, to the abode of those thus marked.

Our tale shall be told by a silent star, On the page of some future Triennial. Poem before Class of 1849, Harv. Coll., p. 4.

We had only to look still further back to find the stars clustering more closely, indicating the rapid flight of the spirits of short-lived tenants of earth to another sphere.—Memories of Youth and Manhood, Vol. II. p. 66.

STAR. To mark a star opposite the name of a person, signifying that he is dead.

Six of the sixteen Presidents of our University have been inaugurated in this place; and the oldest living graduate, the Hon. Paine Wingate of Stratham, New Hampshire, who stands on the Catalogue a lonely survivor amidst the starred names of the dead, took his degree within these walls.—A Sermon on leaving the Old Meeting-house in Cambridge, by Rev. William Newell, Dec. 1, 1833, p. 22.

Among those fathers were the venerable remnants of classes that are starred to the last two or three, or it may be to the last one.—Scenes and Characters in College, p. 6.

STATEMENT OF FACTS. At Yale College, a name given to a public meeting called for the purpose of setting forth the respective merits of the two great societies in that institution, viz. "Linonia" and "The Brothers in Unity." There are six orators, three from Linonia and three from the Brothers,—a Senior, a Junior, and the President of each society. The Freshmen are invited by handsomely printed cards to attend the meeting, and they also have the best seats reserved for them, and are treated with the most intense politeness. As now conducted, the Statement of Facts is any thing rather than what is implied by the name. It is simply an opportunity for the display of speaking talent, in which wit and sarcasm are considered of far greater importance than truth. The Freshmen are rarely swayed to either side. In nine cases out of ten they have already chosen their society, and attend the statement merely from a love of novelty and fun. The custom grew up about the year 1830, after the practice of dividing the students alphabetically between the two societies had fallen into disuse. Like all similar customs, the Statement of Facts has reached its present college importance by gradual growth. At first the societies met in a small room of the College, and the statements did really consist of the facts in the case. Now the exercises take place in a public hall, and form a kind of intellectual tournament, where each society, in the presence of a large audience, strives to get the advantage of the other.

From a newspaper account of the observance of this literary festival during the present year, the annexed extract is taken.

"For some years, students, as they have entered College, have been permitted to choose the society with which they would connect themselves, instead of being alphabetically allotted to one of the two. This method has made the two societies earnest rivals, and the accession of each class to College creates an earnest struggle to see which shall secure the greater number of members. The electioneering campaign, as it is termed, begins when the students come to be examined for admission to College, that is, about the time of the Commencement, and continues through a week or two of the first term of the next year. Each society, of course, puts forth the most determined efforts to conquer. It selects the most prominent and popular men of the Senior Class as President, and arrangements are so made that a Freshman no sooner enters town than he finds himself unexpectedly surrounded by hosts of friends, willing to do anything for him, and especially instruct him in his duty with reference to the selection of societies. For the benefit of those who do not yield to this private electioneering, this Statement of Facts is made. It amounts, however, to little more than a 'good time,' as there are very few who wait to be influenced by 'facts' they know will be so distorted. The advocates of each society feel bound, of course, to present its affairs in the most favorable aspect. Disputants are selected, generally with regard to their ability as speakers, one from the Junior and one from the Senior Class. The Presidents of each society also take part."—N.Y. Daily Times, Sept. 22, 1855.

As an illustration of the eloquence and ability which is often displayed on these occasions, the following passages have been selected from the address of John M. Holmes of Chicago, Ill., the Junior orator in behalf of the Brothers in Unity at the Statement of Facts held September 20th, 1855.

"Time forbids me to speak at length of the illustrious alumni of the Brothers; of Professor Thatcher, the favorite of college,—of Professor Silliman, the Nestor of American literati,—of the revered head of this institution, President Woolsey, first President of the Brothers in 1820,—of Professor Andrews, the author of the best dictionary of the Latin language,—of such divines as Dwight and Murdock,—of Bacon and Bushnell, the pride of New England,—or of the great names of Clayton, Badger, Calhoun, Ellsworth, and John Davis,—all of whom were nurtured and disciplined in the halls of the Brothers, and there received the Achillean baptism that made their lives invulnerable. But perhaps I err in claiming such men as the peculium of the Brothers,—they are the common heritage of the human race.

'Such names as theirs are pilgrim shrines, Shrines to no code nor creed confined, The Delphian vales, the Palestines, The Meccas of the mind.'

"But there are other names which to overlook would be worse than negligence,—it would be ingratitude unworthy of a son of Yale.

"At the head of that glorious host stands the venerable form of Joel Barlow, who, in addition to his various civil and literary distinctions, was the father of American poetry. There too is the intellectual brow of Webster, not indeed the great defender of the Constitution, but that other Webster, who spent his life in the perpetuation of that language in which the Constitution is embalmed, and whose memory will be coeval with that language to the latest syllable of recorded time. Beside Webster on the historic canvas appears the form of the only Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States that ever graduated at this College,—Chief Justice Baldwin, of the class of 1797. Next to him is his classmate, a patriarchal old man who still lives to bless the associations of his youth,—who has consecrated the noblest talents to the noblest earthly purposes,—the pioneer of Western education,—the apostle of Temperance,—the life-long teacher of immortality,—and who is the father of an illustrious family whose genius has magnetized all Christendom. His classmate is Lyman Beecher. But a year ago in the neighboring city of Hartford there was a monument erected to another Brother in Unity,—the philanthropist who first introduced into this country the system of instructing deaf mutes. More than a thousand unfortunates bowed around his grave. And although there was no audible voice of eulogy or thankfulness, yet there were many tears. And grateful thoughts went up to heaven in silent benediction for him who had unchained their faculties, and given them the priceless treasures of intellectual and social communion. Thomas H. Gallaudet was a Brother in Unity.

"And he who has been truly called the most learned of poets and the most poetical of learned men,—whose ascent to the heaven of song has been like the pathway of his own broad sweeping eagle,—J.G. Percival,—is a Brother in Unity. And what shall I say of Morse? Of Morse, the wonder-worker, the world-girdler, the space-destroyer, the author of the noblest invention whose glory was ever concentrated in a single man, who has realized the fabulous prerogative of Olympian Jove, and by the instantaneous intercommunication of thought has accomplished the work of ages in binding together the whole civilized world into one great Brotherhood in Unity?

"Gentlemen, these are the men who wait to welcome you to the blessings of our society. There they stand, like the majestic statues that line the entrance to an eternal pyramid. And when I look upon one statue, and another, and another, and contemplate the colossal greatness of their proportions, as Canova gazed with rapture upon the sun-god of the Vatican, I envy not the man whose heart expands not with the sense of a new nobility, and whose eye kindles not with the heart's enthusiasm, as he thinks that he too is numbered among that glorious company,—that he too is sprung from that royal ancestry. And who asks for a richer heritage, or a more enduring epitaph, than that he too is a Brother in Unity?"

S.T.B. Sanctae Theologiae Baccalaureus, Bachelor in Theology.

See B.D.

S.T.D. Sanctae Theologiae Doctor. Doctor in Theology.

See D.D.

STEWARD. In colleges, an officer who provides food for the students, and superintends the kitchen.—Webster.

In American colleges, the labors of the steward are at present more extended, and not so servile, as set forth in the above definition. To him is usually assigned the duty of making out the term-bills and receiving the money thereon; of superintending the college edifices with respect to repairs, &c.; of engaging proper servants in the employ of the college; and of performing such other services as are declared by the faculty of the college to be within his province.

STICK. In college phrase, to stick, or to get stuck, is to be unable to proceed, either in a recitation, declamation, or any other exercise. An instructor is said to stick a student, when he asks a question which the student is unable to answer.

But he has not yet discovered, probably, that he ... that "sticks" in Greek, and cannot tell, by demonstration of his own, whether the three angles of a triangle are equal to two, or four, ... can nevertheless drawl out the word Fresh, &c.—Scenes and Characters in College, p. 30.

S.T.P. Sanctae Theologiae Professor. Professor in Theology.

A degree of similar import to S.T.D., and D.D.

STUDENT. A person engaged in study; one who is devoted to learning, either in a seminary or in private; a scholar; as, the students of an academy, of a college or university; a medical student; a law student.

2. A man devoted to books; a bookish man; as, a hard student; a close student.—Webster.

3. At Oxford, this word is used to designate one who stands upon the foundation of the college to which he belongs, and is an aspirant for academic emoluments.—De Quincey.

4. In German universities, by student is understood "one who has by matriculation acquired the rights of academical citizenship."—Howitt's Student Life of Germany, Am. ed., p. 27.

STUDY. A building or an apartment devoted to study or to literary employment.—Webster.

In some of the older American colleges, it was formerly the custom to partition off, in each chamber, two small rooms, where the occupants, who were always two in number, could carry on their literary pursuits. These rooms were called, from this circumstance, studies. Speaking of the first college edifice which was erected at New Haven, Mr. Clap, in his History of Yale College, says: "It made a handsome appearance, and contained near fifty studies in convenient chambers"; and again he speaks of Connecticut Hall as containing thirty-two chambers and sixty-four studies. In the oldest buildings, some of these studies remain at the present day.

The study rents, until December last, were discontinued with Mr. Dunster.—Quincy's Hist. Harv. Univ., Vol. I. p. 463.

Every Graduate and Undergraduate shall find his proportion of furniture, &c., during the whole time of his having a study assigned him.—Laws Harv. Coll., 1798, p. 35.

To him that occupies my study, I give, &c.—Will of Charles Prentiss.

STUMP. At Princeton College, to fail in reciting; to say, "Not prepared," when called on to recite. A stump, a bad recitation; used in the phrase, "to make a stump."

SUB-FRESH. A person previous to entering the Freshman Class is called a sub-fresh, or one below a Freshman.

Praying his guardian powers To assist a poor "Sub-Fresh" at the dread examination. Poem before the Iadma Soc. of Harv. Coll., 1850, p. 14.

Our "Sub-Fresh" has that feeling. Ibid., p. 16.

Everybody happy, except Sub-Fresh, and they trying hardest to appear so.—Yale Lit. Mag., Vol. XX. p. 103.

The timid Sub-Fresh had determined to construct stout barricades, with no lack of ammunition.—Ibid., p. 103.

Sometimes written Sub.

Information wanted of the "Sub" who didn't think it an honor to be electioneered.—N.B., Yale Coll., June 14, 1851.


SUBJECT. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., a particular author, or part of an author, set for examination; or a particular branch of Mathematics, such as Optics, Hydrostatics, &c.—Bristed.

To get up a subject, is to make one's self thoroughly master of it.—Bristed.

SUB-RECTOR. A rector's deputy or substitute.—Walton, Webster.

SUB-SIZAR. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., formerly an order of students lower than the sizars.

Masters of all sorts, and all ages, Keepers, subcizers, lackeys, pages. Poems of Bp. Corbet, p. 22.

There he sits and sees How lackeys and subsizers press And scramble for degrees. Ibid., p. 88.

See under SIZAR.

SUCK. At Middlebury College, to cheat at recitation or examination by using ponies, interliners, or helps of any kind.

SUPPLICAT. Latin; literally, he supplicates. In the English universities, a petition; particularly a written application with a certificate that the requisite conditions have been complied with.—Webster.

A Supplicat, says the Gradus ad Cantabrigiam, is "an entreaty to be admitted to the degree of B.A.; containing a certificate that the Questionist has kept his full number of terms, or explaining any deficiency. This document is presented to the caput by the father of his college."

SURPLICE DAY. An occasion or day on which the surplice is worn by the members of a university.

"On all Sundays and Saint-days, and the evenings preceding, every member of the University, except noblemen, attends chapel in his surplice."—Grad. ad Cantab., pp. 106, 107.

SUSPEND. In colleges, to separate a student from his class, and place him under private instruction.

And those whose crimes are very great, Let us suspend or rusticate.—Rebelliad, p. 24.

SUSPENSION. In universities and colleges, the punishment of a student for some offence, usually negligence, by separating him from his class, and compelling him to pursue those branches of study in which he is deficient under private instruction, provided for the purpose.

SUSPENSION-PAPER. The paper in which the act of suspension from college is declared.

Come, take these three suspension-papers; They'll teach you how to cut such capers. Rebelliad, p. 32.

SUSPENSION TO THE ROOM. In Princeton College, one of the punishments for certain offences subjects a student to confinement to his chamber and exclusion from his class, and requires him to recite to a teacher privately for a certain time. This is technically called suspension to the room.

SWEEP, SWEEPER. The name given at Yale and other colleges to the person whose occupation it is to sweep the students' rooms, make their beds, &c.

Then how welcome the entrance of the sweep, and how cutely we fling jokes at each other through the dust!—Yale Lit. Mag., Vol. XIV. p. 223.

Knocking down the sweep, in clearing the stairs, we described a circle to our room.—The Yale Banger, Nov. 10, 1846.

A Freshman by the faithful sweep Was found half buried in soft sleep. Ibid., Nov. 10, 1846.

With fingers dirty and black, From lower to upper room, A College Sweep went dustily round, Plying his yellow broom. Songs of Yale, 1853, p. 12.

In the Yale Literary Magazine, Vol. III. p. 144, is "A tribute to certain Members of the Faculty, whose names are omitted in the Catalogue," in which appropriate praise is awarded to these useful servants.

The Steward ... engages sweepers for the College.—Laws Harv. Coll., 1816, p. 48.

One of the sweepers finding a parcel of wood,... the defendant, in the absence of the owner of the wood, authorizes the sweeper to carry it away.—Scenes and Characters in College, p. 98.

SWELL BLOCK. In the University of Virginia, a sobriquet applied to dandies and vain pretenders.

SWING. At several American colleges, the word swing is used for coming out with a secret society badge; 1st, of the society, to swing out the new men; and, 2d, of the men, intransitively, to swing, or to swing out, i.e. to appear with the badge of a secret society. Generally, to swing out signifies to appear in something new.

The new members have "swung out," and all again is harmony.—Sophomore Independent, Union College, Nov. 1854.

SYNDIC. Latin, syndicus; Greek, [Greek: sundikos; sun], with, and [Greek: dikae], justice.

An officer of government, invested with different powers in different countries. Almost all the companies in Paris, the University, &c., have their syndics. The University of Cambridge has its syndics, who are chosen from the Senate to transact special business, as the regulation of fees, forming of laws, inspecting the library, buildings, printing, &c.—Webster. Cam. Cal.

SYNDICATE. A council or body of syndics.

The state of instruction in and encouragement to the study of Theology were thus set forth in the report of a syndicate appointed to consider the subject in 1842.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 293.


TADS. At Centre College, Ky., there is "a society," says a correspondent, "composed of the very best fellows of the College, calling themselves Tads, who are generally associated together, for the object of electing, by the additional votes of their members, any of their friends who are brought forward as candidates for any honor or appointment in the literary societies to which they belong."

TAKE UP. To call on a student to rehearse a lesson.

Professor took him up on Greek; He tried to talk, but couldn't speak. MS Poem.

TAKE UP ONE'S CONNECTIONS. In students' phrase, to leave college. Used in American institutions.

TARDES. At the older American colleges, when charges were made and excuses rendered in Latin, the student who had come late to any religious service was addressed by the proper officer with the word Tardes, a kind of barbarous second person singular of some unknown verb, signifying, probably, "You are or were late."

Much absence, tardes and egresses, The college-evil on him seizes. Trumbull's Progress of Dullness, Part I.

TARDY. In colleges, late in attendance on a public exercise.—Webster.

TAVERN. At Harvard College, the rooms No. 24 Massachusetts Hall, and No. 8 Hollis Hall, were occupied from the year 1789 to 1793 by Mr. Charles Angier. His table was always supplied with wine, brandy, crackers, etc., of which his friends were at liberty to partake at any time. From this circumstance his rooms were called the Tavern for nearly twenty years after his graduation.

In connection with this incident, it may not be uninteresting to state, that the cellars of the two buildings above mentioned were divided each into thirty-two compartments, corresponding with the number of rooms. In these the students and tutors stored their liquors, sometimes in no inconsiderable quantities. Frequent entries are met with in the records of the Faculty, in which the students are charged with pilfering wine, brandy, or eatables from the tutors' bins.

TAXOR. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., an officer appointed to regulate the assize of bread, the true gauge of weights, etc.—Cam. Cal.

TEAM. In the English universities, the pupils of a private tutor or COACH.—Bristed.

No man who has not taken a good degree expects or pretends to take good men into his team.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 69.

It frequently, indeed usually happens, that a "coach" of reputation declines taking men into his team before they have made time in public.—Ibid., p. 85.

TEAR. At Princeton College, a perfect tear is a very extra recitation, superior to a rowl.

TEMPLE. At Bowdoin College, a privy is thus designated.

TEN-STRIKE. At Hamilton College, a perfect recitation, ten being the mark given for a perfect recitation.

TEN-YEAR MEN. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., these are allowed to take the degree of Bachelor in Divinity without having been B.A. or M.A., by the statute of 9th Queen Elizabeth, which permits persons, who are admitted at any college when twenty-four years of age and upwards, to take the degree of B.D. after their names have remained on the boards ten years or more. After the first eight years, they must reside in the University the greater part of three several terms, and perform the exercises which are required by the statutes.—Cam. Cal.

TERM. In universities and colleges, the time during which instruction is regularly given to students, who are obliged by the statutes and laws of the institution to attend to the recitations, lectures, and other exercises.—Webster.

In the University of Cambridge, Eng., there are three terms during each year, which are fixed by invariable rules. October or Michaelmas term begins on the 10th of October, and ends on the 16th of December. Lent or January term begins on the 13th of January, and ends on the Friday before Palm Sunday. Easter or Midsummer term, begins on the eleventh day (the Wednesday sennight) after Easter-day, and ends on the Friday after Commencement day. Commencement is always on the first Tuesday in July.

At Oxford University, there are four terms in the year. Michaelmas term begins on the 10th of October, and ends on the 17th of December. Hilary term begins on the 14th of January, and ends the day before Palm Sunday. But if the Saturday before Palm Sunday should be a festival, the term does not end till the Monday following. Easter term begins on the tenth day after Easter Sunday, and ends on the day before Whitsunday. Trinity term begins on the Wednesday after Whitsunday, and ends the Saturday after the Act, which is always on the first Tuesday in July.

At the Dublin University, the terms in each year are four in number. Hilary term begins on the Monday after Epiphany, and ends the day before Palm Sunday. Easter term begins on the eighth day after Easter Sunday, and ends on Whitsun-eve. Trinity term begins on Trinity Monday, and ends on the 8th of July. Michaelmas term begins on the 1st of October (or on the 2d, if the 1st should be Sunday), and ends on December 16th.

TERRAE FILIUS. Latin; son of earth.

Formerly, one appointed to write a satirical Latin poem at the public Acts in the University of Oxford; not unlike the prevaricator at Cambridge, Eng.—Webster.

Full accounts of the compositions written on these occasions may be found in a work in two volumes, entitled "Terrae-Filius; or the Secret History of the University of Oxford," printed in the year 1726.


TESTAMUR. Latin; literally, we testify. In the English universities, a certificate of proficiency, without which a person is not able to take his degree. So called from the first word in the formula.

There is not one out of twenty of my pupils who can look forward with unmixed pleasure to a testamur.—Collegian's Guide, p. 254.

Every testamur must be signed by three out of the four examiners, at least.—Ibid., p. 282.

THEATRE. At Oxford, a building in which are held the annual commemoration of benefactors, the recitation of prize compositions, and the occasional ceremony of conferring degrees on distinguished personages.—Oxford Guide.

THEME. In college phrase, a short dissertation composed by a student.

It is the practice at Cambridge [Mass.] for the Professor of Rhetoric and the English Language, commencing in the first or second quarter of the student's Sophomore year, to give the class a text; generally some brief moral quotation from some of the ancient or modern poets, from which the students write a short essay, usually denominated a theme.—Works of R.T. Paine, p. xxi.

Far be it from me to enter into competition with students who have been practising the sublime art of theme and forensic writing for two years.—Harvardiana, Vol. III. p. 316.

But on the sleepy day of themes, May doze away a dozen reams. Ibid., p. 283.

Nimrod holds his "first theme" in one hand, and is leaning his head on the other.—Ibid., p. 253.

THEME-BEARER. At Harvard College, until within a few years, a student was chosen once in a term by his classmates to perform the duties of theme-bearer. He received the subjects for themes and forensics from the Professors of Rhetoric and of Moral Philosophy, and posted them up in convenient places, usually in the entries of the buildings and on, the bulletin-boards. He also distributed the corrected themes, at first giving them to the students after evening prayers, and, when this had been forbidden by the President, carrying them to their rooms. For these services he received seventy-five cents per term from each member of the class.

THEME-PAPER. In American colleges, a kind of paper on which students write their themes or composition. It is of the size of an ordinary letter-sheet, contains eighteen or nineteen lines placed at wide intervals, and is ruled in red ink with a margin a little less than an inch in width.

Shoe-strings, lucifers, omnibus-tickets, theme-paper, postage-stamps, and the nutriment of pipes.—Harv. Mag., Vol. I. p. 266.

THEOLOGUE. A cant name among collegians for a student in theology.

The hardened hearts of Freshmen and Theologues burned with righteous indignation.—Yale Tomahawk, May, 1852.

The Theologs are not so wicked as the Medics.—Burlesque Catalogue, Yale Coll., 1852-53, p. 30.

THESES-COLLECTOR. One who collects or prepares theses. The following extract from the laws of Harvard College will explain further what is meant by this term. "The President, Professors, and Tutors, annually, some time in the third term, shall select from the Junior Class a number of Theses-Collectors, to prepare theses for the next year; from which selection they shall appoint so many divisions as shall be equal to the number of branches they may assign. And each one shall, in the particular branch assigned him, collect so many theses as the government may judge expedient; and all the theses, thus collected, shall be delivered to the President, by the Saturday immediately succeeding the end of the Spring vacation in the Senior year, at furthest, from which the President, Professors, and Tutors shall select such as they shall judge proper to be published. But if the theses delivered to the President, in any particular branch, should not afford a sufficient number suitable for publication, a further number shall be required. The name of the student who collected any set or number of theses shall be annexed to the theses collected by him, in every publication. Should any one neglect to collect the theses required of him, he shall be liable to lose his degree."—1814, p. 35.

The Theses-Collectors were formerly chosen by the class, as the following extract from a MS. Journal will show.

"March 27th, 1792. My Class assembled in the chapel to choose theses-collectors, a valedictory orator, and poet. Jackson was chosen to deliver the Latin oration, and Cutler to deliver the poem. Ellis was almost unanimously chosen a collector of the grammatical theses. Prince was chosen metaphysical theses-collector, with considerable opposition. Lowell was chosen mathematical theses-collector, though not unanimously. Chamberlain was chosen physical theses-collector."

THESIS. A position or proposition which a person advances and offers to maintain, or which is actually maintained by argument; a theme; a subject; particularly, a subject or proposition for a school or university exercise, or the exercise itself.—Webster.

In the older American colleges, the theses held a prominent place in the exercises of Commencement. At Harvard College the earliest theses extant bear the date of the year 1687. They were Theses Technological, Logical, Grammatical, Rhetorical, Mathematical, and Physical. The last theses were presented in the year 1820. The earliest theses extant belonging to Yale College are of 1714, and the last were printed in 1797.

THIRDING. In England, "a custom practised at the universities, where two thirds of the original price is allowed by upholsterers to the students for household goods returned them within the year."—Grose's Dict.

On this subject De Quincey says: "The Oxford rule is, that, if you take the rooms (which is at your own option), in that case you third the furniture and the embellishments; i.e. you succeed to the total cost diminished by one third. You pay, therefore, two guineas out of each three to your immediate predecessor."—Life and Manners, p. 250.

THIRD-YEAR MEN. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., the title of Third-Year Men, or Senior Sophs or Sophisters, is given to students during the third year of their residence at the University.


TICK. A recitation made by one who does not know of what he is talking.

Ticks, screws, and deads were all put under contribution.—A Tour through College, Boston, 1832, p. 25.

TICKER. One who recites without knowing what he is talking about; one entirely independent of any book-knowledge.

If any "Ticker" dare to look A stealthy moment on his book. Harvardiana, Vol. III. p. 123.

TICKING. The act of reciting without knowing anything about the lesson.

And what with ticking, screwing, and deading, am candidate for a piece of parchment to-morrow.—Harv. Reg., p. 194.

TIGHT. A common slang term among students; the comparative, of which drunk is the superlative.

Some twenty of as jolly chaps as e'er got jolly tight. Poem before Y.H., 1849.

Hast spent the livelong night In smoking Esculapios,—in getting jolly tight? Poem before Iadma, 1850.

He clenched his fist as fain for fight, Sank back, and gently murmured "tight." MS. Poem, W.F. Allen, 1848.

While fathers, are bursting with rage and spite, And old ladies vow that the students are tight. Yale Gallinipper, Nov. 1848.

Speaking of the word "drunk," the Burlington Sentinel remarks: "The last synonyme that we have observed is 'tight,' a term, it strikes us, rather inappropriate, since a 'tight' man, in the cant use of the word, is almost always a 'loose character.' We give a list of a few of the various words and phrases which have been in use, at one time or another, to signify some stage of inebriation: Over the bay, half seas over, hot, high, corned, cut, cocked, shaved, disguised, jammed, damaged, sleepy, tired, discouraged, snuffy, whipped, how come ye so, breezy, smoked, top-heavy, fuddled, groggy, tipsy, smashed, swipy, slewed, cronk, salted down, how fare ye, on the lee lurch, all sails set, three sheets in the wind, well under way, battered, blowing, snubbed, sawed, boosy, bruised, screwed, soaked, comfortable, stimulated, jug-steamed, tangle-legged, fogmatic, blue-eyed, a passenger in the Cape Ann stage, striped, faint, shot in the neck, bamboozled, weak-jointed, got a brick in his hat, got a turkey on his back."

Dr. Franklin, in speaking of the intemperate drinker, says, he will never, or seldom, allow that he is drunk; he may be "boosy, cosey, foxed, merry, mellow, fuddled, groatable, confoundedly cut, may see two moons, be among the Philistines, in a very good humor, have been in the sun, is a little feverish, pretty well entered, &c., but never drunk."

A highly entertaining list of the phrases which the Germans employ "to clothe in a tolerable garb of decorum that dreamy condition into which Bacchus frequently throws his votaries," is given in Howitt's Student Life of Germany, Am. ed., pp. 296, 297.


2. At Williams College, this word is sometimes used as an exclamation; e.g. "O tight!"

TIGHT FIT. At the University of Vermont, a good joke is denominated by the students a tight fit, and the jokee is said to be "hard up."

TILE. A hat. Evidently suggested by the meaning of the word, a covering for the roof of buildings.

Then, taking it from off his head, began to brush his "tile." Poem before the Iadma, 1850.

TOADY. A fawning, obsequious parasite; a toad-eater. In college cant, one who seeks or gains favor with an instructor or popularity with his classmates by mean and sycophantic actions.

TOADY. To flatter any one for gain.—Halliwell.

TOM. The great bell of Christ Church, Oxford, which formerly belonged to Osney Abbey.

"This bell," says the Oxford Guide, "was recast in 1680, its weight being about 17,000 pounds; more than double the weight of the great bell in St. Paul's, London. This bell has always been represented as one of the finest in England, but even at the risk of dispelling an illusion under which most Oxford men have labored, and which every member of Christ Church has indulged in from 1680 to the present time, touching the fancied superiority of mighty Tom, it must be confessed that it is neither an accurate nor a musical bell. The note, as we are assured by the learned in these matters, ought to be B flat, but is not so. On the contrary, the bell is imperfect and inharmonious, and requires, in the opinion of those best informed, and of most experience, to be recast. It is, however, still a great curiosity, and may be seen by applying to the porter at Tom-Gate lodge."—Ed. 1847, p. 5, note a.

TO THE n(-th.), TO THE n + 1(-th.) Among English Cantabs these algebraic expressions are used as intensives to denote the most energetic way of doing anything.—Bristed.

TOWNEY. The name by which a student in an American college is accustomed to designate any young man residing in the town in which the college is situated, who is not a collegian.

And Towneys left when she showed fight. Pow-wow of Class of '58, Yale Coll.

TRANSLATION. The act of turning one language into another.

At the University of Cambridge, Eng., this word is applied more particularly to the turning of Greek or Latin into English.

In composition and cram I was yet untried, and the translations in lecture-room were not difficult to acquit one's self on respectably.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 34.

TRANSMITTENDUM, pl. TRANSMITTENDA or TRANSMITTENDUMS. Anything transmitted, or handed down from one to another.

Students, on withdrawing from college, often leave in the room which they last occupied, pictures, looking-glasses, chairs, &c., there to remain, and to be handed down to the latest posterity. Articles thus left are called transmittenda.

The Great Mathematical Slate was a transmittendum to the best mathematical scholar in each class.—MS. note in Cat. Med. Fac. Soc., 1833, p. 16.

TRENCHER-CAP. A-name, sometimes given to the square head-covering worn by students in the English universities. Used figuratively to denote collegiate power.

The trencher-cap has claimed a right to take its part in the movements which make or mar the destinies of nations, by the side of plumed casque and priestly tiara.—The English Universities and their Reforms, in Blackwood's Mag., Feb. 1849.

TRIANGLE. At Union College, a urinal, so called from its shape.

TRIENNIAL, or TRIENNIAL CATALOGUE. In American colleges, a catalogue issued once in three years. This catalogue contains the names of the officers and students, arranged according to the years in which they were connected with the college, an account of the high public offices which they have filled, degrees which they have received, time of death, &c.[66]

The Triennial Catalogue becomes increasingly a mournful record—it should be monitory, as well as mournful—to survivors, looking at the stars thickening on it, from one date to another.—Scenes and Characters in College, p. 198.

Our tale shall be told by a silent star, On the page of some future Triennial. Class Poem, Harv. Coll., 1849, p. 4.

TRIMESTER. Latin trimestris; tres, three, and mensis, month. In the German universities, a term or period of three months.—Webster.

TRINITARIAN. The popular name of a member of Trinity College in the University of Cambridge, Eng.

TRIPOS, pl. TRIPOSES. At Cambridge, Eng., any university examination for honors, of questionists or men who have just taken their B.A. The university scholarship examinations are not called triposes.—Bristed.

The Classical Tripos is generally spoken of as the Tripos, the Mathematical one as the Degree Examination.—Ibid., p. 170.

2. A tripos paper.

3. One who prepares a tripos paper.—Webster.

TRIPOS PAPER. At the University of Cambridge, England, a printed list of the successful candidates for mathematical honors, accompanied by a piece in Latin verse. There are two of these, designed to commemorate the two Tripos days. The first contains the names of the Wranglers and Senior Optimes, and the second the names of the Junior Optimes. The word tripos is supposed to refer to the three-legged stool formerly used at the examinations for these honors, though some derive it from the three brackets formerly printed on the back of the paper.

Classical Tripos Examination. The final university examination for classical honors, optional to all who have taken the mathematical honors.—C.A. Bristed, in Webster's Dict.

The Tripos Paper is more fully described in the annexed extract. "The names of the Bachelors who were highest in the list (Wranglers and Senior Optimes, Baccalaurei quibus sua reservatur senioritas Comitiis prioribus, and Junior Optimes, Comitiis posterioribus) were written on slips of paper; and on the back of these papers, probably with a view of making them less fugitive and more entertaining, was given a copy of Latin verses. These verses were written by one of the new Bachelors, and the exuberant spirits and enlarged freedom arising from the termination of the Undergraduate restrictions often gave to these effusions a character of buffoonery and satire. The writer was termed Terrae Filius, or Tripos, probably from some circumstance in the mode of his making his appearance and delivering his verses; and took considerable liberties. On some occasions, we find that these went so far as to incur the censure of the authorities. Even now, the Tripos verses often aim at satire and humor. [It is customary to have one serious and one humorous copy of verses.] The writer does not now appear in person, but the Tripos Paper, the list of honors with its verses, still comes forth at its due season, and the list itself has now taken the name of the Tripos. This being the case with the list of mathematical honors, the same name has been extended to the list of classical honors, though unaccompanied by its classical verses."—Whewell on Cambridge Education, Preface to Part II., quoted in Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 25.

TRUMP. A jolly blade; a merry fellow; one who occupies among his companions a position similar to that which trumps hold to the other cards in the pack. Not confined in its use to collegians, but much in vogue among them.

But soon he treads this classic ground, Where knowledge dwells and trumps abound. MS. Poem.

TRUSTEE. A person to whom property is legally committed in trust, to be applied either for the benefit of specified individuals, or for public uses.—Webster.

In many American colleges the general government is vested in a board of trustees, appointed differently in different colleges.


TUFT-HUNTER. A cant term, in the English universities, for a hanger-on to noblemen and persons of quality. So called from the tuft in the cap of the latter.—Halliwell.

There are few such thorough tuft-hunters as your genuine Oxford Don.—Blackwood's Mag., Eng. ed., Vol. LVI. p. 572.

TUITION. In universities, colleges, schools, &c., the money paid for instruction. In American colleges, the tuition is from thirty to seventy dollars a year.

TUTE. Abbreviation for Tutor.

TUTOR. Latin; from tueor, to defend; French, tuteur.

In English universities and colleges, an officer or member of some hall, who has the charge of hearing the lessons of the students, and otherwise giving them instruction in the sciences and various branches of learning.

In the American colleges, tutors are graduates selected by the trustees, for the instruction of undergraduates of the first three years. They are usually officers of the institution, who have a share, with the president and professors, in the government of the students.—Webster.

TUTORAGE. In the English universities, the guardianship exerted by a tutor; the care of a pupil.

The next item which I shall notice is that which in college bills is expressed by the word Tutorage.—De Quincey's Life and Manners, p. 251.

TUTOR, CLASS. At some of the colleges in the United States, each of the four classes is assigned to the care of a particular tutor, who acts as the ordinary medium of communication between the members of the class and the Faculty, and who may be consulted by the students concerning their studies, or on any other subject interesting to them in their relations to the college.

At Harvard College, in addition to these offices, the Class Tutors grant leave of absence from church and from town for Sunday, including Saturday night, on the presentation of a satisfactory reason, and administer all warnings and private admonitions ordered by the Faculty for misconduct or neglect of duty.—Orders and Regulations of the Faculty of Harv. Coll., July, 1853, pp. 1, 2.

Of this regulation as it obtained at Harvard during the latter part of the last century, Professor Sidney Willard says: "Each of the Tutors had one class, of which he was charged with a certain oversight, and of which he was called the particular Tutor. The several Tutors in Latin successively sustained this relation to my class. Warnings of various kinds, private admonitions for negligence or minor offences, and, in general, intercommunication between his class and the Immediate Government, were the duties belonging to this relation."—Memories of Youth and Manhood, Vol. I. p. 266, note.

TUTOR, COLLEGE. At the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, an officer connected with a college, whose duties are described in the annexed extracts.

With reference to Oxford, De Quincey remarks: "Each college takes upon itself the regular instruction of its separate inmates,—of these and of no others; and for this office it appoints, after careful selection, trial, and probation, the best qualified amongst those of its senior members who choose to undertake a trust of such heavy responsibility. These officers are called Tutors; and they are connected by duties and by accountability, not with the University at all, but with their own private colleges. The public tutors appointed in each college [are] on the scale of one to each dozen or score of students."—Life and Manners, Boston, 1851, p. 252.

Bristed, writing of Cambridge, says: "When, therefore, a boy, or, as we should call him, a young man, leaves his school, public or private, at the age of eighteen or nineteen, and 'goes up' to the University, he necessarily goes up to some particular college, and the first academical authority he makes acquaintance with in the regular order of things is the College Tutor. This gentleman has usually taken high honors either in classics or mathematics, and one of his duties is naturally to lecture. But this by no means constitutes the whole, or forms the most important part, of his functions. He is the medium of all the students' pecuniary relations with the College. He sends in their accounts every term, and receives the money through his banker; nay, more, he takes in the bills of their tradesmen, and settles them also. Further, he has the disposal of the college rooms, and assigns them to their respective occupants. When I speak of the College Tutor, it must not be supposed that one man is equal to all this work in a large college,—Trinity, for instance, which usually numbers four hundred Undergraduates in residence. A large college has usually two Tutors,—Trinity has three,—and the students are equally divided among them,—on their sides, the phrase is,—without distinction of year, or, as we should call it, of class. The jurisdiction of the rooms is divided in like manner. The Tutor is supposed to stand in loco parentis; but having sometimes more than a hundred young men under him, he cannot discharge his duties in this respect very thoroughly, nor is it generally expected that he should."—Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, pp. 10, 11.

TUTORIAL. Belonging to or exercised by a tutor or instructor.

Even while he is engaged in his "tutorial" duties, &c.—Am. Lit. Mag., Vol. IV. p. 409.

TUTORIC. Pertaining to a tutor.

A collection of two was not then considered a sure prognostic of rebellion, and spied out vigilantly by tutoric eyes.—Harvardiana, Vol. III. p. 314.

TUTORIFIC. The same as tutoric.

While thus in doubt they hesitating stand, Approaches near the Tutorific band. Yale Tomahawk, May, 1852.

"Old Yale," of thee we sing, thou art our theme, Of thee with all thy Tutorific host.—Ibid.

TUTORING FRESHMEN. Of the various means used by Sophomores to trouble Freshmen, that of tutoring them, as described in the following extract from the Sketches of Yale College, is not at all peculiar to that institution, except in so far as the name is concerned.

"The ancient customs of subordination among the classes, though long since abrogated, still preserve a part of their power over the students, not only of this, but of almost every similar institution. The recently exalted Sophomore, the dignified Junior, and the venerable Senior, look back with equal humor at the 'greenness' of their first year. The former of these classes, however, is chiefly notorious in the annals of Freshman capers. To them is allotted the duty of fumigating the room of the new-comer, and preparing him, by a due induction into the mysteries of Yale, for the duties of his new situation. Of these performances, the most systematic is commonly styled Tutoring, from the character assumed by the officiating Sophomore. Seated solemnly in his chair of state, arrayed in a pompous gown, with specs and powdered hair, he awaits the approach of the awe-struck subject, who has been duly warned to attend his pleasure, and fitly instructed to make a low reverence and stand speechless until addressed by his illustrious superior. A becoming impression has also been conveyed of the dignity, talents, and profound learning and influence into the congregated presence of which he is summoned. Everything, in short, which can increase his sufficiently reverent emotions, or produce a readier or more humble obedience, is carefully set forth, till he is prepared to approach the door with no little degree of that terror with which the superstitious inquirer enters the mystic circle of the magician. A shaded light gleams dimly out into the room, and pours its fuller radiance upon a ponderous volume of Hebrew; a huge pile of folios rests on the table, and the eye of the fearful Freshman half ventures to discover that they are tomes of the dead languages.

"But first he has, in obedience to his careful monitor, bowed lowly before the dignified presence; and, hardly raising his eyes, he stands abashed at his awful situation, waiting the supreme pleasure of the supposed officer. A benignant smile lights up the tutor's grave countenance; he enters strangely enough into familiar talk with the recently admitted collegiate; in pathetic terms he describes the temptations of this great city, the thousand dangers to which he will be exposed, the vortex of ruin into which, if he walks unwarily, he will be surely plunged. He fires the youthful ambition with glowing descriptions of the honors that await the successful, and opens to his eager view the dazzling prospect of college fame. Nor does he fail to please the youthful aspirant with assurances of the kindly notice of the Faculty; he informs him of the satisfactory examination he has passed, and the gratification of the President at his uncommon proficiency; and having thus filled the buoyant imagination of his dupe with the most glowing college air-castles, dismisses him from his august presence, after having given him especial permission to call on any important occasion hereafter."—pp. 159-162.

TUTOR, PRIVATE. At the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, an instructor, whose position and studies are set forth in the following extracts.

"Besides the public tutors appointed in each college," says De Quincey, writing of Oxford, "there are also tutors strictly private, who attend any students in search of special and extraordinary aid, on terms settled privately by themselves. Of these persons, or their existence, the college takes no cognizance." "These are the working agents in the Oxford system." "The Tutors of Oxford correspond to the Professors of other universities."—Life and Manners, Boston, 1851, pp. 252, 253.

Referring to Cambridge, Bristed remarks: "The private tutor at an English university corresponds, as has been already observed, in many respects, to the professor at a German. The German professor is not necessarily attached to any specific chair; he receives no fixed stipend, and has not public lecture-rooms; he teaches at his own house, and the number of his pupils depends on his reputation. The Cambridge private tutor is also a graduate, who takes pupils at his rooms in numbers proportionate to his reputation and ability. And although while the German professor is regularly licensed as such by his university, and the existence of the private tutor as such is not even officially recognized by his, still this difference is more apparent than real; for the English university has virtually licensed the tutor to instruct in a particular branch by the standing she has given him in her examinations." "Students come up to the University with all degrees of preparation.... To make up for former deficiences, and to direct study so that it may not be wasted, are two desiderata which probably led to the introduction of private tutors, once a partial, now a general appliance."—Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, pp. 146-148.

TUTORSHIP. The office of a tutor.—Hooker.

In the following passage, this word is used as a titulary compellation, like the word lordship.

One morning, as the story goes, Before his tutorship arose.—Rebelliad, p. 73.

TUTORS' PASTURE. In 1645, John Bulkley, the "first Master of Arts in Harvard College," by a deed, gave to Mr. Dunster, the President of that institution, two acres of land in Cambridge, during his life. The deed then proceeds: "If at any time he shall leave the Presidency, or shall decease, I then desire the College to appropriate the same to itself for ever, as a small gift from an alumnus, bearing towards it the greatest good-will." "After President Dunster's resignation," says Quincy, "the Corporation gave the income of Bulkley's donation to the tutors, who received it for many years, and hence the enclosure obtained the name of 'Tutors' Pasture,' or 'Fellows' Orchard.'" In the Donation Book of the College, the deed is introduced as "Extractum Doni Pomarii Sociorum per Johannem Bulkleium."—Quincy's Hist. Harv. Univ., Vol. I. pp. 269, 270.

For further remarks on this subject, see Peirce's "History of Harvard University," pp. 15, 81, 113, also Chap. XIII., and "Memorial of John S. Popkin, D.D.," pp. 390, 391.

TWITCH A TWELVE. At Middlebury College, to make a perfect recitation; twelve being the maximum mark for scholarship.



UNDERGRADUATE. A student, or member of a university or college, who has not taken his first degree.—Webster.

UNDERGRADUATE. Noting or pertaining to a student of a college who has not taken his first degree.

The undergraduate students shall be divided into four distinct classes.—Laws Yale Coll., 1837, p. 11.

With these the undergraduate course is not intended to interfere.—Yale Coll. Cat., 1850-51, p. 33.

UNDERGRADUATESHIP. The state of being an undergraduate.—Life of Paley.

UNIVERSITY. An assemblage of colleges established in any place, with professors for instructing students in the sciences and other branches of learning, and where degrees are conferred. A university is properly a universal school, in which are taught all branches of learning, or the four faculties of theology, medicine, law, and the sciences and arts.—Cyclopaedia.

2. At some American colleges, a name given to a university student. The regulation in reference to this class at Union College is as follows:—"Students, not regular members of college, are allowed, as university students, to prosecute any branches for which they are qualified, provided they attend three recitations daily, and conform in all other respects to the laws of College. On leaving College, they receive certificates of character and scholarship."—Union Coll. Cat., 1850.

The eyes of several Freshmen and Universities shone with a watery lustre.—The Parthenon, Vol. I. p. 20.

UP. To be up in a subject, is to be informed in regard to it. Posted expresses a similar idea. The use of this word, although common among collegians, is by no means confined to them.

In our past history, short as it is, we would hardly expect them to be well up.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 28.

He is well up in metaphysics.—Ibid., p. 53.



VACATION. The intermission of the regular studies and exercises of a college or other seminary, when the students have a recess.—Webster.

In the University of Cambridge, Eng., there are three vacations during each year. Christmas vacation begins on the 16th of December, and ends on the 13th of January. Easter vacation begins on the Friday before Palm Sunday, and ends on the eleventh day after Easter-day. The Long vacation begins on the Friday succeeding the first Tuesday in July, and ends on the 10th of October. At the University of Oxford there are four vacations in each year. At Dublin University there are also four vacations, which correspond nearly with the vacations of Oxford.


VALEDICTION. A farewell; a bidding farewell. Used sometimes with the meaning of valedictory or valedictory oration.

Two publick Orations, by the Candidates: the one to give a specimen of their Knowledge, &c., and the other to give a grateful and pathetick Valediction to all the Officers and Members of the Society.—Clap's Hist. Yale Coll., p. 87.

VALEDICTORIAN. The student of a college who pronounces the valedictory oration at the annual Commencement.—Webster.

VALEDICTORY. In American colleges, a farewell oration or address spoken at Commencement, by a member of the class which receive the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and take their leave of college and of each other.

VARMINT. At Cambridge, England, and also among the whip gentry, this word signifies natty, spruce, dashing; e.g. he is quite varmint; he sports a varmint hat, coat, &c.

A varmint man spurns a scholarship, would consider it a degradation to be a fellow.—Gradus ad Cantab., p. 122.

The handsome man, my friend and pupil, was naturally enough a bit of a swell, or varmint man.—Alma Mater, Vol. II. p. 118.

VERGER. At the University of Oxford, an officer who walks first in processions, and carries a silver rod.

VICE-CHANCELLOR. An officer in a university, in England, a distinguished member, who is annually elected to manage the affairs in the absence of the Chancellor. He must be the head of a college, and during his continuance in office he acts as a magistrate for the university, town, and county.—Cam. Cal.

At Oxford, the Vice-Chancellor holds a court, in which suits may be brought against any member of the University. He never walks out, without being preceded by a Yeoman-Bedel with his silver staff. At Cambridge, the Mayor and Bailiffs of the town are obliged, at their election, to take certain oaths before the Vice-Chancellor. The Vice-Chancellor has the sole right of licensing wine and ale-houses in Cambridge, and of discommuning any tradesman or inhabitant who has violated the University privileges or regulations. In both universities, the Vice-Chancellor is nominated by the Heads of Houses, from among themselves.

VICE-MASTER. An officer of a college in the English universities who performs the duties of the Master in his absence.

VISITATION. The act of a superior or superintending officer, who visits a corporation, college, church, or other house, to examine into the manner in which it is conducted, and see that its laws and regulations are duly observed and executed.—Cyc.

In July, 1766, a law was formally enacted, "that twice in the year, viz. at the semiannual visitation of the committee of the Overseers, some of the scholars, at the direction of the President and Tutors, shall publicly exhibit specimens of their proficiency," &c.—Quincy's Hist. Harv. Univ., Vol. II. p. 132.

VIVA VOCE. Latin; literally, with the living voice. In the English universities, that part of an examination which is carried on orally.

The examination involves a little viva voce, and it was said, that, if a man did his viva voce well, none of his papers were looked at but the Paley.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 92.

In Combination Room, where once I sat at viva voce, wretched, ignorant, the wine goes round, and wit, and pleasant talk.—Household Words, Am. ed., Vol. XI. p. 521.


WALLING. At the University of Oxford, the punishment of walling, as it is popularly denominated, consists in confining a student to the walls of his college for a certain period.

WARDEN. The master or president of a college.—England.

WARNING. In many colleges, when it is ascertained that a student is not living in accordance with the laws of the institution, he is usually informed of the fact by a warning, as it is called, from one of the faculty, which consists merely of friendly caution and advice, thus giving him an opportunity, by correcting his faults, to escape punishment.

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