A Collection of College Words and Customs
by Benjamin Homer Hall
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He puzzled himself with his crams he had in his pocket, and copied what he did not understand.—Ibid., p. 279.

CRAMBAMBULI. A favorite drink among the students in the German universities, composed of burnt rum and sugar.

Crambambuli, das ist der Titel Des Tranks, der sich bei uns bewaehrt. Drinking song.

To the next! let's have the crambambuli first, however.—Yale Lit. Mag., Vol. XII. p. 117.

CRAM BOOK. A book in which are laid down such topics as constitute an examination, together with the requisite answers to the questions proposed on that occasion.

He in consequence engages a private tutor, and buys all the cram books published for the occasion.—Gradus ad Cantab., p. 128.

CRAMINATION. A farcical word, signifying the same as cramming; the termination tion being suffixed for the sake of mock dignity.

The —— scholarship is awarded to the student in each Senior Class who attends most to cramination on the College course.—Burlesque Catalogue, Yale Coll., 1852-53, p. 28.

CRAM MAN. One who is cramming for an examination.

He has read all the black-lettered divinity in the Bodleian, and says that none of the cram men shall have a chance with him.—Collegian's Guide, p. 274.

CRAMMER. One who prepares another for an examination.

The qualifications of a crammer are given in the following extract from the Collegian's Guide.

"The first point, therefore, in which a crammer differs from other tutors, is in the selection of subjects. While another tutor would teach every part of the books given up, he virtually reduces their quantity, dwelling chiefly on the 'likely parts.'

"The second point in which a crammer excels is in fixing the attention, and reducing subjects to the comprehension of ill-formed and undisciplined minds.

"The third qualification of a crammer is a happy manner and address, to encourage the desponding, to animate the idle, and to make the exertions of the pupil continually increase in such a ratio, that he shall be wound up to concert pitch by the day of entering the schools."—pp. 231, 232.

CRAMMING. A cant term, in the British universities, for the act of preparing a student to pass an examination, by going over the topics with him beforehand, and furnishing him with the requisite answers.—Webster.

The author of the Collegian's Guide, speaking of examinations, says: "First, we must observe that all examinations imply the existence of examiners, and examiners, like other mortal beings, lie open to the frauds of designing men, through the uniformity and sameness of their proceedings. This uniformity inventive men have analyzed and reduced to a system, founding thereon a certain science, and corresponding art, called Cramming."—p. 229.

The power of "cramming"—of filling the mind with knowledge hastily acquired for a particular occasion, and to be forgotten when that occasion is past—is a power not to be despised, and of much use in the world, especially at the bar.—Westminster Rev., Am. ed., Vol. XXXV. p. 237.

I shall never forget the torment I suffered in cramming long lessons in Greek Grammar.—Dickens's Household Words, Vol. I. p. 192.

CRAM PAPER. A paper in which are inserted such questions as are generally asked at an examination. The manner in which these questions are obtained is explained in the following extract. "Every pupil, after his examination, comes to thank him as a matter of course; and as every man, you know, is loquacious enough on such occasions, Tufton gets out of him all the questions he was asked in the schools; and according to these questions, he has moulded his cram papers."—Collegian's Guide, p. 239.

We should be puzzled to find any questions more absurd and unreasonable than those in the cram papers in the college examination.—Westminster Rev., Am. ed., Vol. XXXV. p. 237.

CRIB. Probably a translation; a pony.

Of the "Odes and Epodes of Horace, translated literally and rhythmically" by W. Sewell, of Oxford, the editor of the Literary World remarks: "Useful as a 'crib,' it is also poetical."—Vol. VIII. p. 28.

CROW'S-FOOT. At Harvard College a badge formerly worn on the sleeve, resembling a crow's foot, to denote the class to which a student belongs. In the regulations passed April 29, 1822, for establishing the style of dress among the students at Harvard College, we find the following. A part of the dress shall be "three crow's-feet, made of black silk cord, on the lower part of the sleeve of a Senior, two on that of a Junior, and one on that of a Sophomore." The Freshmen were not allowed to wear the crow's-foot, and the custom is now discontinued, although an unsuccessful attempt was made to revive it a few years ago.

The Freshman scampers off at the first bell for the chapel, where, finding no brother student of a higher class to encourage his punctuality, he crawls back to watch the starting of some one blessed with a crow's-foot, to act as vanguard.—Harv. Reg., p. 377.

The corded crow's-feet, and the collar square, The change and chance of earthly lot must share. Class Poem at Harv. Coll., 1835, p. 18.

What if the creature should arise,— For he was stout and tall,— And swallow down a Sophomore, Coat, crow's-foot, cap, and all. Holmes's Poems, 1850, p. 109.

CUE, KUE, Q. A small portion of bread or beer; a term formerly current in both the English universities, the letter q being the mark in the buttery books to denote such a piece. Q would seem to stand for quadrans, a farthing; but Minsheu says it was only half that sum, and thus particularly explains it: "Because they set down in the battling or butterie bookes in Oxford and Cambridge, the letter q for half a farthing; and in Oxford when they make that cue or q a farthing, they say, cap my q, and make it a farthing, thus, [Symbol: small q with a line over]. But in Cambridge they use this letter, a little f; thus, f, or thus, s, for a farthing." He translates it in Latin calculus panis. Coles has, "A cue [half a farthing] minutum."—Nares's Glossary.

"A cue of bread," says Halliwell, "is the fourth part of a half-penny crust. A cue of beer, one draught."

J. Woods, under-butler of Christ Church, Oxon, said he would never sitt capping of cues.—Urry's MS. add. to Ray.

You are still at Cambridge with size kue.—Orig. of Dr., III. p. 271.

He never drank above size q of Helicon.—Eachard, Contempt of Cl., p. 26.

"Cues and cees," says Nares, "are generally mentioned together, the cee meaning a small measure of beer; but why, is not equally explained." From certain passages in which they are used interchangeably, the terms do not seem to have been well defined.

Hee [the college butler] domineers over freshmen, when they first come to the hatch, and puzzles them with strange language of cues and cees, and some broken Latin, which he has learnt at his bin.—Earle's Micro-cosmographie, (1628,) Char. 17.

The word cue was formerly used at Harvard College. Dr. Holyoke, who graduated in 1746, says, the "breakfast was two sizings of bread and a cue of beer." Judge Wingate, who graduated thirteen years after, says: "We were allowed at dinner a cue of beer, which was a half-pint."

It is amusing to see, term after term, and year after year, the formal votes, passed by this venerable body of seven ruling and teaching elders, regulating the price at which a cue (a half-pint) of cider, or a sizing (ration) of bread, or beef, might be sold to the student by the butler.—Eliot's Sketch of Hist. Harv. Coll., p. 70.

CUP. Among the English Cantabs, "an odious mixture ... compounded of spice and cider."—Westminster Rev., Am. ed., Vol. XXXV. p. 239.

CURL. In the University of Virginia, to make a perfect recitation; to overwhelm a Professor with student learning.

CUT. To be absent from; to neglect. Thus, a person is said to "cut prayers," to "cut lecture," &c. Also, to "cut Greek" or "Latin"; i.e. to be absent from the Greek or Latin recitation. Another use of the word is, when one says, "I cut Dr. B——, or Prof. C——, this morning," meaning that he was absent from their exercises.

Prepare to cut recitations, cut prayers, cut lectures,—ay, to cut even the President himself.—Oration before H.L. of I.O. of O.F. 1848.

Next morn he cuts his maiden prayer, to his last night's text abiding.—Poem before Y.H. of Harv. Coll., 1849.

As soon as we were Seniors, We cut the morning prayers, We showed the Freshmen to the door, And helped them down the stairs. Presentation Day Songs, June 15, 1854.

We speak not of individuals but of majorities, not of him whose ambition is to "cut" prayers and recitations so far as possible. —Williams Quarterly, Vol. II. p. 15.

The two rudimentary lectures which he was at first forced to attend, are now pressed less earnestly upon his notice. In fact, he can almost entirely "cut" them, if he likes, and does cut them accordingly, as a waste of time,—Household Words, Vol. II. p. 160.

To cut dead, in student use, to neglect entirely.

I cut the Algebra and Trigonometry papers dead my first year, and came out seventh.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 51.

This word is much used in the University of Cambridge, England, as appears from the following extract from a letter in the Gentleman's Magazine, written with reference to some of the customs there observed:—"I remarked, also, that they frequently used the words to cut, and to sport, in senses to me totally unintelligible. A man had been cut in chapel, cut at afternoon lectures, cut in his tutor's rooms, cut at a concert, cut at a ball, &c. Soon, however, I was told of men, vice versa, who cut a figure, cut chapel, cut gates, cut lectures, cut hall, cut examinations, cut particular connections; nay, more, I was informed of some who cut their tutors!"—Gent. Mag., 1794, p. 1085.

The instances in which the verb to cut is used in the above extract without Italics, are now very common both in England and America.

To cut Gates. To enter college after ten o'clock,—the hour of shutting them.—Gradus ad Cantab., p. 40.

CUT. An omission of a recitation. This phrase is frequently heard: "We had a cut to-day in Greek," i.e. no recitation in Greek. Again, "Prof. D—— gave us a cut," i.e. he had no recitation. A correspondent from Bowdoin College gives, in the following sentence, the manner in which this word is there used:—"Cuts. When a class for any reason become dissatisfied with one of the Faculty, they absent themselves from his recitation, as an expression of their feelings"


D.C.L. An abbreviation for Doctor Civilis Legis, Doctor in Civil Law. At the University of Oxford, England, this degree is conferred four years after receiving the degree of B.C.L. The exercises are three lectures. In the University of Cambridge, England, a D.C.L. must be a B.C.L. of five years' standing, or an M.A. of seven years' standing, and must have kept two acts.

D.D. An abbreviation of Divinitatis Doctor, Doctor in Divinity. At the University of Cambridge, England, this degree is conferred on a B.D. of five, or an M.A. of twelve years' standing. The exercises are one act, two opponencies, a clerum, and an English sermon. At Oxford it is given to a B.D. of four, or a regent M.A. of eleven years' standing. The exercises are three lectures. In American colleges this degree is honorary, and is conferred pro meritis on those who are distinguished as theologians.

DEAD. To be unable to recite; to be ignorant of the lesson; to declare one's self unprepared to recite.

Be ready, in fine, to cut, to drink, to smoke, to dead.—Oration before H.L. of I.O. of O.F., 1848.

I see our whole lodge desperately striving to dead, by doing that hardest of all work, nothing.—Ibid., 1849.

Transitively; to cause one to fail in reciting. Said of a teacher who puzzles a scholar with difficult questions, and thereby causes him to fail.

Have I been screwed, yea, deaded morn and eve, Some dozen moons of this collegiate life, And not yet taught me to philosophize? Harvardiana, Vol. III. p. 255.

DEAD. A complete failure; a declaration that one is not prepared to recite.

One must stand up in the singleness of his ignorance to understand all the mysterious feelings connected with a dead.—Harv. Reg., p. 378.

And fearful of the morrow's screw or dead, Takes book and candle underneath his bed. Class Poem, by B.D. Winslow, at Harv. Coll., 1835, p. 10.

He, unmoved by Freshman's curses, Loves the deads which Freshmen make.—MS. Poem.

But oh! what aching heads had they! What deads they perpetrated the succeeding day.—Ibid.

It was formerly customary in many colleges, and is now in a few, to talk about "taking a dead."

I have a most instinctive dread Of getting up to take a dead, Unworthy degradation!—Harv. Reg., p. 312.

DEAD-SET. The same as a DEAD, which see.

Now's the day and now's the hour; See approach Old Sikes's power; See the front of Logic lower; Screws, dead-sets, and fines.—Rebelliad, p. 52.

Grose has this word in his Slang Dictionary, and defines it "a concerted scheme to defraud a person by gaming." "This phrase," says Bartlett, in his Dictionary of Americanisms, "seems to be taken from the lifeless attitude of a pointer in marking his game."

"The lifeless attitude" seems to be the only point of resemblance between the above definitions, and the appearance of one who is taking a dead set. The word has of late years been displaced by the more general use of the word dead, with the same meaning.

The phrase to be at a dead-set, implying a fixed state or condition which precludes further progress, is in general use.

DEAN. An officer in each college of the universities in England, whose duties consist in the due preservation of the college discipline.

"Old Holingshed," says the Gradus ad Cantabrigiam, "in his Chronicles, describing Cambridge, speaks of 'certain censors, or deanes, appointed to looke to the behaviour and manner of the Students there, whom they punish very severely, if they make any default, according to the quantitye and qualitye of their trespasses.' When flagellation was enforced at the universities, the Deans were the ministers of vengeance."

At the present time, a person applying for admission to a college in the University of Cambridge, Eng., is examined by the Dean and the Head Lecturer. "The Dean is the presiding officer in chapel, and the only one whose presence there is indispensable. He oversees the markers' lists, pulls up the absentees, and receives their excuses. This office is no sinecure in a large college." At Oxford "the discipline of a college is administered by its head, and by an officer usually called Dean, though, in some colleges, known by other names."—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, pp. 12, 16. Literary World, Vol. XII. p. 223.

In the older American colleges, whipping and cuffing were inflicted by a tutor, professor, or president; the latter, however, usually employed an agent for this purpose.


2. In the United States, a registrar of the faculty in some colleges, and especially in medical institutions.—Webster.

A dean may also be appointed by the Faculty of each Professional School, if deemed expedient by the Corporation.—Laws Univ. at Cam., Mass., 1848, p. 8.

3. The head or president of a college.

You rarely find yourself in a shop, or other place of public resort, with a Christ-Church-man, but he takes occasion, if young and frivolous, to talk loudly of the Dean, as an indirect expression of his own connection with this splendid college; the title of Dean being exclusively attached to the headship of Christ Church.—De Quincey's Life and Manners, p. 245.

DEAN OF CONVOCATION. At Trinity College, Hartford, this officer presides in the House of Convocation, and is elected by the same, biennially.—Calendar Trin. Coll., 1850, p. 7.

DEAN'S BOUNTY. In 1730, the Rev. Dr. George Berkeley, then Dean of Derry, in Ireland, came to America, and resided a year or two at Newport, Rhode Island, "where," says Clap, in his History of Yale College, "he purchased a country seat, with about ninety-six acres of land." On his return to London, in 1733, he sent a deed of his farm in Rhode Island to Yale College, in which it was ordered, "that the rents of the farm should be appropriated to the maintenance of the three best scholars in Greek and Latin, who should reside at College at least nine months in a year, in each of the three years between their first and second degrees." President Clap further remarks, that "this premium has been a great incitement to a laudable ambition to excel in the knowledge of the classics." It was commonly known as the Dean's bounty.—Clap's Hist. of Yale Coll., pp. 37, 38.

The Dean afterwards conveyed to it [Yale College], by a deed transmitted to Dr. Johnson, his Rhode Island farm, for the establishment of that Dean's bounty, to which sound classical learning in Connecticut has been much indebted.—Hist. Sketch of Columbia Coll., p. 19.

DEAN SCHOLAR. The person who received the money appropriated by Dean Berkeley was called the Dean scholar.

This premium was formerly called the Dean's bounty, and the person who received it the Dean scholar.—Sketches of Yale Coll., p. 87.

DECENT. Tolerable; pretty good. He is a decent scholar; a decent writer; he is nothing more than decent. "This word," says Mr. Pickering, in his Vocabulary, "has been in common use at some of our colleges, but only in the language of conversation. The adverb decently (and possibly the adjective also) is sometimes used in a similar manner in some parts of Great Britain."

The greater part of the pieces it contains may be said to be very decently written.—Edinb. Rev., Vol. I. p. 426.

DECLAMATION. The word is applied especially to the public speaking and speeches of students in colleges, practised for exercises in oratory.—Webster.

It would appear by the following extract from the old laws of Harvard College, that original declamations were formerly required of the students. "The Undergraduates shall in their course declaim publicly in the hall, in one of the three learned languages; and in no other without leave or direction from the President, and immediately give up their declamations fairly written to the President. And he that neglects this exercise shall be punished by the President or Tutor that calls over the weekly bill, not exceeding five shillings. And such delinquent shall within one week after give in to the President a written declamation subscribed by himself."—Laws 1734, in Peirce's Hist. Harv. Univ., App., p. 129.

2. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., an essay upon a given subject, written in view of a prize, and publicly recited in the chapel of the college to which the writer belongs.

DECLAMATION BOARDS. At Bowdoin College, small establishments in the rear of each building, for urinary purposes.

DEDUCTION. In some of the American colleges, one of the minor punishments for non-conformity with laws and regulations is deducting from the marks which a student receives for recitations and other exercises, and by which his standing in the class is determined.

Soften down the intense feeling with which he relates heroic Rapid's deductions.—Harv. Mag., Vol. I. p. 267.

2. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., an original proposition in geometry.

"How much Euclid did you do? Fifteen?"

"No, fourteen; one of them was a deduction."—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 75.

With a mathematical tutor, the hour of tuition is a sort of familiar examination, working out examples, deductions, &c.—Ibid., pp. 18, 19.

DEGRADATION. In the older American colleges, it was formerly customary to arrange the members of each class in an order determined by the rank of the parent. "Degradation consisted in placing a student on the list, in consequence of some offence, below the level to which his father's condition would assign him; and thus declared that he had disgraced his family."

In the Immediate Government Book, No. IV., of Harvard College, date July 20th, 1776, is the following entry: "Voted, that Trumbal, a Middle Bachelor, who was degraded to the bottom of his class for his misdemeanors when an undergraduate, having presented an humble confession of his faults, with a petition to be restored to his place in the class in the Catalogue now printing, be restored agreeable to his request." The Triennial Catalogue for that year was the first in which the names of the students appeared in an alphabetical order. The class of 1773 was the first in which the change was made.

"The punishment of degradation," says President Woolsey, in his Historical Discourse before the Graduates of Yale College, "laid aside not very long before the beginning of the Revolutionary war, was still more characteristic of the times. It was a method of acting upon the aristocratic feelings of family; and we at this day can hardly conceive to what extent the social distinctions were then acknowledged and cherished. In the manuscript laws of the infant College, we find the following regulation, which was borrowed from an early ordinance of Harvard under President Dunster. 'Every student shall be called by his surname, except he be the son of a nobleman, or a knight's eldest son.' I know not whether such a 'rara avis in terris' ever received the honors of the College; but a kind of colonial, untitled aristocracy grew up, composed of the families of chief magistrates, and of other civilians and ministers. In the second year of college life, precedency according to the aristocratic scale was determined, and the arrangement of names on the class roll was in accordance. This appears on our Triennial Catalogue until 1768, when the minds of men began to be imbued with the notion of equality. Thus, for instance, Gurdon Saltonstall, son of the Governor of that name, and descendant of Sir Richard, the first emigrant of the family, heads the class of 1725, and names of the same stock begin the lists of 1752 and 1756. It must have been a pretty delicate matter to decide precedence in a multitude of cases, as in that of the sons of members of the Council or of ministers, to which class many of the scholars belonged. The story used to circulate, as I dare say many of the older graduates remember, that a shoemaker's son, being questioned as to the quality of his father, replied, that he was upon the bench, which gave him, of course, a high place."—pp. 48, 49.

See under PLACE.

DEGRADE. At the English universities to go back a year.

"'Degrading,' or going back a year," says Bristed, "is not allowed except in case of illness (proved by a doctor's certificate). A man degrading for any other reason cannot go out afterwards in honors."—Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 98.

I could choose the year below without formally degrading.—Ibid., p. 157.

DEGREE. A mark of distinction conferred on students, as a testimony of their proficiency in arts and sciences; giving them a kind of rank, and entitling them to certain privileges. This is usually evidenced by a diploma. Degrees are conferred pro meritis on the alumni of a college; or they are honorary tokens of respect, conferred on strangers of distinguished reputation. The first degree is that of Bachelor of Arts; the second, that of Master of Arts. Honorary degrees are those of Doctor of Divinity, Doctor of Laws, &c. Physicians, also, receive the degree of Doctor of Medicine.—Webster.

DEGREE EXAMINATION. At the English universities, the final university examination, which must be passed before the B.A. degree is conferred.

The Classical Tripos is generally spoken of as the Tripos, the Mathematical one as the Degree Examination.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 170.

DELTA. A piece of land in Cambridge, which belongs to Harvard College, where the students kick football, and play at cricket, and other games. The shape of the land is that of the Greek Delta, whence its name.

What was unmeetest of all, timid strangers as we were, it was expected on the first Monday eventide after our arrival, that we should assemble on a neighboring green, the Delta, since devoted to the purposes of a gymnasium, there to engage in a furious contest with those enemies, the Sophs, at kicking football and shins.—A Tour through College, 1823-1827, p. 13.

Where are the royal cricket-matches of old, the great games of football, when the obtaining of victory was a point of honor, and crowds assembled on the Delta to witness the all-absorbing contest?—Harvardiana, Vol. I. p. 107.

I must have another pair of pantaloons soon, for I have burst the knees of two, in kicking football on the Delta.—Ibid., Vol. III. p. 77.

The Delta can tell of the deeds we've done, The fierce-fought fields we've lost and won, The shins we've cracked, And noses we've whacked, The eyes we've blacked, and all in fun. Class Poem, 1849, Harv. Coll.

A plat at Bowdoin College, of this shape, and used for similar purposes, is known by the same name.

DEMI, DEMY. The name of a scholar at Magdalene College, Oxford, where there are thirty demies or half-fellows, as it were, who, like scholars in other colleges, succeed to fellowships.—Johnson.

DEN. One of the buildings formerly attached to Harvard College, which was taken down in the year 1846, was for more than a half-century known by the name of the Den. It was occupied by students during the greater part of that period, although it was originally built for private use. In later years, from its appearance, both externally and internally, it fully merited its cognomen; but this is supposed to have originated from the following incident, which occurred within its walls about the year 1770, the time when it was built. The north portion of the house was occupied by Mr. Wiswal (to whom it belonged) and his family. His wife, who was then ill, and, as it afterwards proved, fatally, was attended by a woman who did not bear a very good character, to whom Mr. Wiswal seemed to be more attentive than was consistent with the character of a true and loving husband. About six weeks after Mrs. Wiswal's death, Mr. Wiswal espoused the nurse, which, circumstance gave great offence to the good people of Cambridge, and was the cause of much scandal among the gossips. One Sunday, not long after this second marriage, Mr. Wiswal having gone to church, his wife, who did not accompany him, began an examination of her predecessor's wardrobe and possessions, with the intention, as was supposed, of appropriating to herself whatever had been left by the former Mrs. Wiswal to her children. On his return from church, Mr. Wiswal, missing his wife, after searching for some time, found her at last in the kitchen, convulsively clutching the dresser, her eyes staring wildly, she herself being unable to speak. In this state of insensibility she remained until her decease, which occurred shortly after. Although it was evident that she had been seized with convulsions, and that these were the cause of her death, the old women were careful to promulgate, and their daughters to transmit the story, that the Devil had appeared to her in propria persona, and shaken her in pieces, as a punishment for her crimes. The building was purchased by Harvard College in the year 1774.

In the Federal Orrery, March 26, 1795, is an article dated Wiswal-Den, Cambridge, which title it also bore, from the name of its former occupant.

In his address spoken at the Harvard Alumni Festival, July 22, 1852, Hon. Edward Everett, with reference to this mysterious building as it appeared in the year 1807, said:—

"A little further to the north, and just at the corner of Church Street (which was not then opened), stood what was dignified in the annual College Catalogue—(which was printed on one side of a sheet of paper, and was a novelty)—as 'the College House.' The cellar is still visible. By the students, this edifice was disrespectfully called 'Wiswal's Den,' or, for brevity, 'the Den.' I lived in it in my Freshman year. Whence the name of 'Wiswal's Den' I hardly dare say: there was something worse than 'old fogy' about it. There was a dismal tradition that, at some former period, it had been the scene of a murder. A brutal husband had dragged his wife by the hair up and down the stairs, and then killed her. On the anniversary of the murder,—and what day that was no one knew,—there were sights and sounds,—flitting garments daggled in blood, plaintive screams,—stridor ferri tractaeque catenae,—enough to appall the stoutest Sophomore. But for myself, I can truly say, that I got through my Freshman year without having seen the ghost of Mr. Wiswal or his lamented lady. I was not, however, sorry when the twelvemonth was up, and I was transferred to that light, airy, well-ventilated room, No. 20 Hollis; being the inner room, ground floor, north entry of that ancient and respectable edifice."—To-Day, Boston, Saturday, July 31, 1852, p. 66.

Many years ago there emigrated to this University, from the wilds of New Hampshire, an odd genius, by the name of Jedediah Croak, who took up his abode as a student in the old Den.—Harvard Register, 1827-28, A Legend of the Den, pp. 82-86.

DEPOSITION. During the first half of the seventeenth century, in the majority of the German universities, Catholic as well as Protestant, the matriculation of a student was preceded by a ceremony called the deposition. See Howitt's Student Life in Germany, Am. ed., pp. 119-121.

DESCENDAS. Latin; literally, you may descend. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., when a student who has been appointed to declaim in chapel fails in eloquence, memory, or taste, his harangue is usually cut short "by a testy descendas."—Grad. ad Cantab.

DETERMINING. In the University of Oxford, a Bachelor is entitled to his degree of M.A. twelve terms after the regular time for taking his first degree, having previously gone through the ceremony of determining, which exercise consists in reading two dissertations in Latin prose, or one in prose and a copy of Latin verses. As this takes place in Lent, it is commonly called determining in Lent.—Oxf. Guide.

DETUR. Latin; literally, let it be given.

In 1657, the Hon. Edward Hopkins, dying, left, among other donations to Harvard College, one "to be applied to the purchase of books for presents to meritorious undergraduates." The distribution of these books is made, at the commencement of each academic year, to students of the Sophomore Class who have made meritorious progress in their studies during their Freshman year; also, as far as the state of the funds admits, to those members of the Junior Class who entered as Sophomores, and have made meritorious progress in their studies during the Sophomore year, and to such Juniors as, having failed to receive a detur at the commencement of the Sophomore year, have, during that year, made decided improvement in scholarship.—Laws of Univ. at Cam., Mass., 1848, p. 18.

"From the first word in the short Latin label," Peirce says, "which is signed by the President, and attached to the inside of the cover, a book presented from this fund is familiarly called a Detur."—Hist. Harv. Univ., p. 103.

Now for my books; first Bunyan's Pilgrim, (As he with thankful pleasure will grin,) Tho' dogleaved, torn, in bad type set in, 'T will do quite well for classmate B——, And thus with complaisance to treat her, 'T will answer for another Detur. The Will of Charles Prentiss.

Be not, then, painfully anxious about the Greek particles, and sit not up all night lest you should miss prayers, only that you may have a "Detur," and be chosen into the Phi Beta Kappa among the first eight. Get a "Detur" by all means, and the square medal with its cabalistic signs, the sooner the better; but do not "stoop and lie in wait" for them.—A Letter to a Young Man who has just entered College, 1849, p. 36.

Or yet,—though 't were incredible, —say hast obtained a detur! Poem before Iadma, 1850.

DIG. To study hard; to spend much time in studying.

Another, in his study chair, Digs up Greek roots with learned care,— Unpalatable eating.—Harv. Reg., 1827-28, p. 247.

Here the sunken eye and sallow countenance bespoke the man who dug sixteen hours "per diem."—Ibid., p. 303.

Some have gone to lounge away an hour in the libraries,—some to ditto in the grove,—some to dig upon the afternoon lesson.—Amherst Indicator, Vol. I. p. 77.

DIG. A diligent student; one who learns his lessons by hard and long-continued exertion.

A clever soul is one, I say, Who wears a laughing face all day, Who never misses declamation, Nor cuts a stupid recitation, And yet is no elaborate dig, Nor for rank systems cares a fig. Harvardiana, Vol. III. p. 283.

I could see, in the long vista of the past, the many honest digs who had in this room consumed the midnight oil.—Collegian, p. 231.

And, truly, the picture of a college "dig" taking a walk—no, I say not so, for he never "takes a walk," but "walking for exercise"—justifies the contemptuous estimate.—A Letter to a Young Man who has just entered College, 1849, p. 14.

He is just the character to enjoy the treadmill, which perhaps might be a useful appendage to a college, not as a punishment, but as a recreation for "digs."—Ibid., p. 14.

Resolves that he will be, in spite of toil or of fatigue, That humbug of all humbugs, the staid, inveterate "dig." Poem before Iadma of Harv. Coll., 1850.

There goes the dig, just look! How like a parson he eyes his book! The Jobsiad, in Lit. World, Oct. 11, 1851.

The fact that I am thus getting the character of a man of no talent, and a mere "dig," does, I confess, weigh down my spirits.—Amherst Indicator, Vol. I. p. 224.

By this 't is that we get ahead of the Dig, 'T is not we that prevail, but the wine that we swig. Ibid., Vol. II. p. 252.

DIGGING. The act of studying hard; diligent application.

I find my eyes in doleful case, By digging until midnight.—Harv. Reg., p. 312.

I've had an easy time in College, and enjoyed well the "otium cum dignitate,"—the learned leisure of a scholar's life,—always despised digging, you know.—Ibid., p. 194.

How often after his day of digging, when he comes to lay his weary head to rest, he finds the cruel sheets giving him no admittance.—Ibid., p. 377.

Hopes to hit the mark By digging nightly into matters dark. Class Poem, Harv. Coll., 1835.

He "makes up" for past "digging." Iadma Poem, Harv. Coll., 1850.

DIGNITY. At Bowdoin College, "Dignity," says a correspondent, "is the name applied to the regular holidays, varying from one half-day per week, during the Freshman year, up to four in the Senior."

DIKED. At the University of Virginia, one who is dressed with more than ordinary elegance is said to be diked out. Probably corrupted from the word decked, or the nearly obsolete dighted.

DIPLOMA. Greek, [Greek: diploma], from [Greek: diploo], to double or fold. Anciently, a letter or other composition written on paper or parchment, and folded; afterward, any letter, literary monument, or public document. A letter or writing conferring some power, authority, privilege, or honor. Diplomas are given to graduates of colleges on their receiving the usual degrees; to clergymen who are licensed to exercise the ministerial functions; to physicians who are licensed to practise their profession; and to agents who are authorized to transact business for their principals. A diploma, then, is a writing or instrument, usually under seal, and signed by the proper person or officer, conferring merely honor, as in the case of graduates, or authority, as in the case of physicians, agents, &c.—Webster.

DISCIPLINE. The punishments which are at present generally adopted in American colleges are warning, admonition, the letter home, suspension, rustication, and expulsion. Formerly they were more numerous, and their execution was attended with great solemnity. "The discipline of the College," says President Quincy, in his History of Harvard University, "was enforced and sanctioned by daily visits of the tutors to the chambers of the students, fines, admonitions, confession in the hall, publicly asking pardon, degradation to the bottom of the class, striking the name from the College list, and expulsion, according to the nature and aggravation of the offence."—Vol. I. p. 442.

Of Yale College, President Woolsey in his Historical Discourse says: "The old system of discipline may be described in general as consisting of a series of minor punishments for various petty offences, while the more extreme measure of separating a student from College seems not to have been usually adopted until long forbearance had been found fruitless, even in cases which would now be visited in all American colleges with speedy dismission. The chief of these punishments named in the laws are imposition of school exercises,—of which we find little notice after the first foundation of the College, but which we believe yet exists in the colleges of England;[20] deprivation of the privilege of sending Freshmen upon errands, or extension of the period during which this servitude should be required beyond the end of the Freshman year; fines either specified, of which there are a very great number in the earlier laws, or arbitrarily imposed by the officers; admonition and degradation. For the offence of mischievously ringing the bell, which was very common whilst the bell was in an exposed situation over an entry of a college building, students were sometimes required to act as the butler's waiters in ringing the bell for a certain time."—pp. 46, 47.


DISCOMMUNE. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., to prohibit an undergraduate from dealing with any tradesman or inhabitant of the town who has violated the University privileges or regulations. The right to exercise this power is vested in the Vice-Chancellor.

Any tradesman who allows a student to run in debt with him to an amount exceeding $25, without informing his college tutor, or to incur any debt for wine or spirituous liquors without giving notice of it to the same functionary during the current quarter, or who shall take any promissory note from a student without his tutor's knowledge, is liable to be discommuned.—Lit. World, Vol. XII. p. 283.

In the following extracts, this word appears under a different orthography.

There is always a great demand for the rooms in college. Those at lodging-houses are not so good, while the rules are equally strict, the owners being solemnly bound to report all their lodgers who stay out at night, under pain of being "discommonsed," a species of college excommunication.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 81.

Any tradesman bringing a suit against an Undergraduate shall be "discommonsed"; i.e. all the Undergraduates are forbidden to deal with him.—Ibid., p. 83.

This word is allied to the law term "discommon," to deprive of the privileges of a place.

DISMISS. To separate from college, for an indefinite or limited time.

DISMISSION. In college government, dismission is the separation of a student from a college, for an indefinite or for a limited time, at the discretion of the Faculty. It is required of the dismissed student, on applying for readmittance to his own or any other class, to furnish satisfactory testimonials of good conduct during his separation, and to appear, on examination, to be well qualified for such readmission.—College Laws.

In England, a student, although precluded from returning to the university whence he has been dismissed, is not hindered from taking a degree at some other university.

DISPENSATION. In universities and colleges, the granting of a license, or the license itself, to do what is forbidden by law, or to omit something which is commanded. Also, an exemption from attending a college exercise.

The business of the first of these houses, or the oligarchal portion of the constitution [the House of Congregation], is chiefly to grant degrees, and pass graces and dispensations.—Oxford Guide, Ed. 1847, p. xi.

All the students who are under twenty-one years of age may be excused from attending the private Hebrew lectures of the Professor, upon their producing to the President a certificate from their parents or guardians, desiring a dispensation.—Laws Harv. Coll., 1798, p. 12.

DISPERSE. A favorite word with tutors and proctors; used when speaking to a number of students unlawfully collected. This technical use of the word is burlesqued in the following passages.

Minerva conveys the Freshman to his room, where his cries make such a disturbance, that a proctor enters and commands the blue-eyed goddess "to disperse." This order she reluctantly obeys.—Harvardiana, Vol. IV. p. 23.

And often grouping on the chains, he hums his own sweet verse, Till Tutor ——, coming up, commands him to disperse. Poem before Y.H. Harv. Coll., 1849.

DISPUTATION. An exercise in colleges, in which parties reason in opposition to each other, on some question proposed.—Webster.

Disputations were formerly, in American colleges, a part of the exercises on Commencement and Exhibition days.

DISPUTE. To contend in argument; to reason or argue in opposition. —Webster.

The two Senior classes shall dispute once or twice a week before the President, a Professor, or the Tutor.—Laws Yale Coll., 1837, p. 15.

DIVINITY. A member of a theological school is often familiarly called a Divinity, abbreviated for a Divinity student.

One of the young Divinities passed Straight through the College yard. Childe Harvard, p. 40.

DIVISION. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., each of the three terms is divided into two parts. Division is the time when this partition is made.

After "division" in the Michaelmas and Lent terms, a student, who can assign a good plea for absence to the college authorities, may go down and take holiday for the rest of the time.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 63.

DOCTOR. One who has passed all the degrees of a faculty, and is empowered to practise and teach it; as, a doctor in divinity, in physic, in law; or, according to modern usage, a person who has received the highest degree in a faculty. The degree of doctor is conferred by universities and colleges, as an honorary mark of literary distinction. It is also conferred on physicians as a professional degree.—Webster.

DOCTORATE. The degree of a doctor.—Webster.

The first diploma for a doctorate in divinity given in America was presented under the seal of Harvard College to Mr. Increase Mather, the President of that institution, in the year 1692.—Peirce's Hist. Harv. Univ., App., p. 68.

DODGE. A trick; an artifice or stratagem for the purpose of deception. Used often with come; as, "to come a dodge over him."

No artful dodge to leave my school could I just then prepare. Poem before Iadma, Harv. Coll., 1850.

Agreed; but I have another dodge as good as yours.—Collegian's Guide, p. 240.

We may well admire the cleverness displayed by this would-be Chatterton, in his attempt to sell the unwary with an Ossian dodge.—Lit. World, Vol. XII. p. 191.

DOMINUS. A title bestowed on Bachelors of Arts, in England. Dominus Nokes; Dominus Stiles.—Gradus ad Cantab.

DON. In the English universities, a short generic term for a Fellow or any college authority.

He had already told a lie to the Dons, by protesting against the justice of his sentence.—Collegian's Guide, p. 169.

Never to order in any wine from an Oxford merchant, at least not till I am a Don.—The Etonian, Vol. II. p. 288.

Nor hint how Dons, their untasked hours to pass, Like Cato, warm their virtues with the glass.[21] The College, in Blackwood's Mag., May, 1849.

DONKEY. At Washington College, Penn., students of a religious character are vulgarly called donkeys.


DORMIAT. Latin; literally, let him sleep. To take out a dormiat, i.e. a license to sleep. The licensed person is excused from attending early prayers in the Chapel, from a plea of being indisposed. Used in the English universities.—Gradus ad Cantab.

DOUBLE FIRST. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., a student who attains high honors in both the classical and the mathematical tripos.

The Calendar does not show an average of two "Double Firsts" annually for the last ten years out of one hundred and thirty-eight graduates in Honors.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 91.

The reported saying of a distinguished judge,... "that the standard of a Double First was getting to be something beyond human ability," seems hardly an exaggeration.—Ibid., p. 224.

DOUBLE MAN. In the English universities, a student who is a proficient in both classics and mathematics.

"Double men," as proficients in both classics and mathematics are termed, are very rare.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 91.

It not unfrequently happens that he now drops the intention of being a "double man," and concentrates himself upon mathematics. —Ibid., p. 104.

To one danger mathematicians are more exposed than either classical or double men,—disgust and satiety arising from exclusive devotion to their unattractive studies.—Ibid., p. 225.

DOUBLE MARKS. It was formerly the custom in Harvard College with the Professors in Rhetoric, when they had examined and corrected the themes of the students, to draw a straight line on the back of each one of them, under the name of the writer. Under the names of those whose themes were of more than ordinary correctness or elegance, two lines were drawn, which were called double marks.

They would take particular pains for securing the double mark of the English Professor to their poetical compositions.—Monthly Anthology, Boston, 1804, Vol. I. p. 104.

Many, if not the greater part of Paine's themes, were written in verse; and his vanity was gratified, and his emulation roused, by the honor of constant double marks.—Works of R.T. Paine, Biography, p. xxii., Ed. 1812.


DOUBLE SECOND. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., one who obtains a high place in the second rank, in both mathematical and classical honors.

A good double second will make, by his college scholarship, two fifths or three fifths of his expenses during two thirds of the time he passes at the University.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 427.

DOUGH-BALL. At the Anderson Collegiate Institute, Indiana, a name given by the town's people to a student.

DRESS. A uniformity in dress has never been so prevalent in American colleges as in the English and other universities. About the middle of the last century, however, the habit among the students of Harvard College of wearing gold lace attracted the attention of the Overseers, and a law was passed "requiring that on no occasion any of the scholars wear any gold or silver lace, or any gold or silver brocades, in the College or town of Cambridge," and "that no one wear any silk night-gowns." "In 1786," says Quincy, "in order to lessen the expense of dress, a uniform was prescribed, the color and form of which were minutely set forth, with a distinction of the classes by means of frogs on the cuffs and button-holes; silk was prohibited, and home manufactures were recommended." This system of uniform is fully described in the laws of 1790, and is as follows:—

"All the Undergraduates shall be clothed in coats of blue-gray, and with waistcoats and breeches of the same color, or of a black, a nankeen, or an olive color. The coats of the Freshmen shall have plain button-holes. The cuffs shall be without buttons. The coats of the Sophomores shall have plain button-holes like those of the Freshmen, but the cuffs shall have buttons. The coats of the Juniors shall have cheap frogs to the button-holes, except the button-holes of the cuffs. The coats of the Seniors shall have frogs to the button-holes of the cuffs. The buttons upon the coats of all the classes shall be as near the color of the coats as they can be procured, or of a black color. And no student shall appear within the limits of the College, or town of Cambridge, in any other dress than in the uniform belonging to his respective class, unless he shall have on a night-gown or such an outside garment as may be necessary over a coat, except only that the Seniors and Juniors are permitted to wear black gowns, and it is recommended that they appear in them on all public occasions. Nor shall any part of their garments be of silk; nor shall they wear gold or silver lace, cord, or edging upon their hats, waistcoats, or any other parts of their clothing. And whosoever shall violate these regulations shall be fined a sum not exceeding ten shillings for each offence."—Laws of Harv. Coll., 1790, pp. 36, 37.

It is to this dress that the poet alludes in these lines:—

"In blue-gray coat, with buttons on the cuffs, First Modern Pride your ear with fustian stuffs; 'Welcome, blest age, by holy seers foretold, By ancient bards proclaimed the age of gold,'" &c.[22]

But it was by the would-be reformers of that day alone that such sentiments were held, and it was only by the severity of the punishment attending non-conformity with these regulations that they were ever enforced. In 1796, "the sumptuary law relative to dress had fallen into neglect," and in the next year "it was found so obnoxious and difficult to enforce," says Quincy, "that a law was passed abrogating the whole system of distinction by 'frogs on the cuffs and button-holes,' and the law respecting dress was limited to prescribing a blue-gray or dark-blue coat, with permission to wear a black gown, and a prohibition of wearing gold or silver lace, cord, or edging."—Quincy's Hist. Harv. Univ., Vol. II. p. 277.

A writer in the New England Magazine, in an article relating to the customs of Harvard College at the close of the last century, gives the following description of the uniform ordered by the Corporation to be worn by the students:—

"Each head supported a three-cornered cocket hat. Yes, gentle reader, no man or boy was considered in full dress, in those days, unless his pericranium was thus surmounted, with the forward peak directly over the right eye. Had a clergyman, especially, appeared with a hat of any other form, it would have been deemed as great a heresy as Unitarianism is at the present day. Whether or not the three-cornered hat was considered as an emblem of Trinitarianism, I am not able to determine. Our hair was worn in a queue, bound with black ribbon, and reached to the small of the back, in the shape of the tail of that motherly animal which furnishes ungrateful bipeds of the human race with milk, butter, and cheese. Where nature had not bestowed a sufficiency of this ornamental appendage, the living and the dead contributed of their superfluity to supply the deficiency. Our ear-locks,—horresco referens!—my ears tingle and my countenance is distorted at the recollection of the tortures inflicted on them by the heated curling-tongs and crimping-irons.

"The bosoms of our shirts were ruffled with lawn or cambric, and 'Our fingers' ends were seen to peep From ruffles, full five inches deep.' Our coats were double-breasted, and of a black or priest-gray color. The directions were not so particular respecting our waistcoats, breeches,—I beg pardon,—small clothes, and stockings. Our shoes ran to a point at the distance of two or three inches from the extremity of the foot, and turned upward, like the curve of a skate. Our dress was ornamented with shining stock, knee, and shoe buckles, the last embracing at least one half of the foot of ordinary dimensions. If any wore boots, they were made to set as closely to the leg as its skin; for a handsome calf and ankle were esteemed as great beauties as any portion of the frame, or point in the physiognomy."—Vol. III. pp. 238, 239.

In his late work, entitled, "Memories of Youth and Manhood," Professor Sidney Willard has given an entertaining description of the style of dress which was in vogue at Harvard College near the close of the last century, in the following words:—

"Except on special occasions, which required more than ordinary attention to dress, the students, when I was an undergraduate, were generally very careless in this particular. They were obliged by the College laws to wear coats of blue-gray; but as a substitute in warm weather, they were allowed to wear gowns, except on public occasions; and on these occasions they were permitted to wear black gowns. Seldom, however, did any one avail himself of this permission. In summer long gowns of calico or gingham were the covering that distinguished the collegian, not only about the College grounds, but in all parts of the village. Still worse, when the season no longer tolerated this thin outer garment, many adopted one much in the same shape, made of colorless woollen stuff called lambskin. These were worn by many without any under-coat in temperate weather, and in some cases for a length of time in which they had become sadly soiled. In other respects there was nothing peculiar in the common dress of the young men and boys of College to distinguish it from that of others of the same age. Breeches were generally worn, buttoned at the knees, and tied or buckled a little below; not so convenient a garment for a person dressing in haste as trousers or pantaloons. Often did I see a fellow-student hurrying to the Chapel to escape tardiness at morning prayers, with this garment unbuttoned at the knees, the ribbons dangling over his legs, the hose refusing to keep their elevation, and the calico or woollen gown wrapped about him, ill concealing his dishabille.

"Not all at once did pantaloons gain the supremacy as the nether garment. About the beginning of the present century they grew rapidly in favor with the young; but men past middle age were more slow to adopt the change. Then, last, the aged very gradually were converted to the fashion by the plea of convenience and comfort; so that about the close of the first quarter of the present century it became almost universal. In another particular, more than half a century ago, the sons adopted a custom of their wiser fathers. The young men had for several years worn shoes and boots shaped in the toe part to a point, called peaked toes, while the aged adhered to the shape similar to the present fashion; so that the shoemaker, in a doubtful case, would ask his customer whether he would have square-toed or peaked-toed. The distinction between young and old in this fashion was so general, that sometimes a graceless youth, who had been crossed by his father or guardian in some of his unreasonable humors, would speak of him with the title of Old Square-toes.

"Boots with yellow tops inverted, and coming up to the knee-band, were commonly worn by men somewhat advanced in years; but the younger portion more generally wore half-boots, as they were called, made of elastic leather, cordovan. These, when worn, left a space of two or three inches between the top of the boot and the knee-band. The great beauty of this fashion, as it was deemed by many, consisted in restoring the boots, which were stretched by drawing them on, to shape, and bringing them as nearly as possible into contact with the legs; and he who prided himself most on the form of his lower limbs would work the hardest in pressure on the leather from the ankle upward in order to do this most effectually."—Vol. I. pp. 318-320.

In 1822 was passed the "Law of Harvard University, regulating the dress of the students." The established uniform was as follows. "The coat of black-mixed, single-breasted, with a rolling cape, square at the end, and with pocket flaps; waist reaching to the natural waist, with lapels of the same length; skirts reaching to the bend of the knee; three crow's-feet, made of black-silk cord, on the lower part of the sleeve of a Senior, two on that of a Junior, and one on that of a Sophomore. The waistcoat of black-mixed or of black; or when of cotton or linen fabric, of white, single-breasted, with a standing collar. The pantaloons of black-mixed or of black bombazette, or when of cotton or linen fabric, of white. The surtout or great coat of black-mixed, with not more than two capes. The buttons of the above dress must be flat, covered with the same cloth as that of the garments, not more than eight nor less than six on the front of the coat, and four behind. A surtout or outside garment is not to be substituted for the coat. But the students are permitted to wear black gowns, in which they may appear on all public occasions. Night-gowns, of cotton or linen or silk fabric, made in the usual form, or in that of a frock coat, may be worn, except on the Sabbath, on exhibition and other occasions when an undress would be improper. The neckcloths must be plain black or plain white."

No student, while in the State of Massachusetts, was allowed, either in vacation or term time, to wear any different dress or ornament from those above named, except in case of mourning, when he could wear the customary badges. Although dismission was the punishment for persisting in the violation of these regulations, they do not appear to have been very well observed, and gradually, like the other laws of an earlier date on this subject, fell into disuse. The night-gowns or dressing-gowns continued to be worn at prayers and in public until within a few years. The black-mixed, otherwise called OXFORD MIXED cloth, is explained under the latter title.

The only law which now obtains at Harvard College on the subject of dress is this: "On Sabbath, Exhibition, Examination, and Commencement days, and on all other public occasions, each student, in public, shall wear a black coat, with buttons of the same color, and a black hat or cap."—Orders and Regulations of the Faculty of Harv. Coll., July, 1853, p. 5.

At one period in the history of Yale College, a passion for expensive dress having become manifest among the students, the Faculty endeavored to curb it by a direct appeal to the different classes. The result was the establishment of the Lycurgan Society, whose object was the encouragement of plainness in apparel. The benefits which might have resulted from this organization were contravened by the rashness of some of its members. The shape which this rashness assumed is described in a work entitled "Scenes and Characters in College," written by a Yale graduate of the class of 1821.

"Some members were seized with the notion of a distinctive dress. It was strongly objected to; but the measure was carried by a stroke of policy. The dress proposed was somewhat like that of the Quakers, but less respectable,—a rustic cousin to it, or rather a caricature; namely, a close coatee, with stand-up collar, and very short skirts,—skirtees, they might be called,—the color gray; pantaloons and vest the same;—making the wearer a monotonous gray man throughout, invisible at twilight. The proposers of this metamorphosis, to make it go, selected an individual of small and agreeable figure, and procuring a suit of fine material, and a good fit, placed him on a platform as a specimen. On him it appeared very well, as a belted blouse does on a graceful child; and all the more so, as he was a favorite with the class, and lent to it the additional effect of agreeable association. But it is bad logic to derive a general conclusion from a single fact: it did not follow that the dress would be universally becoming because it was so on him. However, majorities govern; the dress was voted. The tailors were glad to hear of it, expecting a fine run of business.

"But when a tall son of Anak appeared in the little bodice of a coat, stuck upon the hips; and still worse, when some very clumsy forms assumed the dress, and one in particular, that I remember, who was equally huge in person and coarse in manners, whose taste, or economy, or both,—the one as probably as the other,—had led him to the choice of an ugly pepper-and-salt, instead of the true Oxford mix, or whatever the standard gray was called, and whose tailor, or tailoress, probably a tailoress, had contrived to aggravate his natural disproportions by the most awkward fit imaginable,—then indeed you might have said that 'some of nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.' They looked like David's messengers, maltreated and sent back by Hanun.[23]

"The consequence was, the dress was unpopular; very few adopted it; and the society itself went quietly into oblivion. Nevertheless it had done some good; it had had a visible effect in checking extravagance; and had accomplished all it would have done, I imagine, had it continued longer.

"There was a time, some three or four years previous to this, when a rakish fashion began to be introduced of wearing white-topped boots. It was a mere conceit of the wearers, such a fashion not existing beyond College,—except as it appeared in here and there an antiquated gentleman, a venerable remnant of the olden time, in whom the boots were matched with buckles at the knee, and a powdered queue. A practical satire quickly put an end to it. Some humorists proposed to the waiters about College to furnish them with such boots on condition of their wearing them. The offer was accepted; a lot of them was ordered at a boot-and-shoe shop, and, all at once, sweepers, sawyers, and the rest, appeared in white-topped boots. I will not repeat the profaneness of a Southerner when he first observed a pair of them upon a tall and gawky shoe-black striding across the yard. He cursed the 'negro,' and the boots; and, pulling off his own, flung them from him. After this the servants had the fashion to themselves, and could buy the article at any discount."—pp. 127-129.

At Union College, soon after its foundation, there was enacted a law, "forbidding any student to appear at chapel without the College badge,—a piece of blue ribbon, tied in the button-hole of the coat."—Account of the First Semi-Centennial Anniversary of the Philomathean Society, Union College, 1847.

Such laws as the above have often been passed in American colleges, but have generally fallen into disuse in a very few years, owing to the predominancy of the feeling of democratic equality, the tendency of which is to narrow, in as great a degree as possible, the intervals between different ages and conditions.


DUDLEIAN LECTURE. An anniversary sermon which is preached at Harvard College before the students; supported by the yearly interest of one hundred pounds sterling, the gift of Paul Dudley, from whom the lecture derives its name. The following topics were chosen by him as subjects for this lecture. First, for "the proving, explaining, and proper use and improvement of the principles of Natural Religion." Second, "for the confirmation, illustration, and improvement of the great articles of the Christian Religion." Third, "for the detecting, convicting, and exposing the idolatry, errors, and superstitions of the Romish Church." Fourth, "for maintaining, explaining, and proving the validity of the ordination of ministers or pastors of the churches, and so their administration of the sacraments or ordinances of religion, as the same hath been practised in New England from the first beginning of it, and so continued to this day."

"The instrument proceeds to declare," says Quincy, "that he does not intend to invalidate Episcopal ordination, or that practised in Scotland, at Geneva, and among the Dissenters in England and in this country, all which 'I esteem very safe, Scriptural, and valid.' He directed these subjects to be discussed in rotation, one every year, and appointed the President of the College, the Professor of Divinity, the pastor of the First Church in Cambridge, the Senior Tutor of the College, and the pastor of the First Church in Roxbury, trustees of these lectures, which commenced in 1755, and have since been annually continued without intermission."—Quincy's Hist. Harv. Univ., Vol. II. pp. 139, 140.

DULCE DECUS. Latin; literally, sweet honor. At Williams College a name given by a certain class of students to the game of whist; the reason for which is evident. Whether Maecenas would have considered it an honor to have had the compliment of Horace, "O et praesidium et dulce decus meum," transferred as a title for a game at cards, we leave for others to decide.

DUMMER JUNGE,—literally, stupid youth,—among German students "is the highest and most cutting insult, since it implies a denial of sound, manly understanding and strength of capacity to him to whom it is applied."—Howitt's Student Life of Germany, Am. ed., p. 127.

DUN. An importunate creditor who urges for payment. A character not wholly unknown to collegians.

Thanks heaven, flings by his cap and gown, and shuns A place made odious by remorseless duns. The College, in Blackwood's Mag., May, 1849.


EGRESSES. At the older American colleges, when charges were made and excuses rendered in Latin, the student who had left before the conclusion of any of the religious services was accused of the misdemeanor by the proper officer, who made use of the word egresses, a kind of barbarous second person singular of some imaginary verb, signifying, it is supposed, "you went out."

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

EIGHT. On the scale of merit, at Harvard College, eight is the highest mark which a student can receive for a recitation. Students speak of "getting an eight," which is equivalent to saying, that they have made a perfect recitation.

But since the Fates will not grant all eights, Save to some disgusting fellow Who'll fish and dig, I care not a fig, We'll be hard boys and mellow. MS. Poem, W.F. Allen.

Numberless the eights he showers Full on my devoted head.—MS. Ibid.

At the same college, when there were three exhibitions in the year, it was customary for the first eight scholars in the Junior Class to have "parts" at the first exhibition, the second eight at the second exhibition, and the third eight at the third exhibition. Eight Seniors performed with them at each of these three exhibitions, but they were taken promiscuously from the first twenty-four in their class. Although there are now but two exhibitions in the year, twelve performing from each of the two upper classes, yet the students still retain the old phraseology, and you will often hear the question, "Is he in the first or second eight?"

The bell for morning prayers had long been sounding! She says, "What makes you look so very pale?"— "I've had a dream."—"Spring to 't, or you'll be late!"— "Don't care! 'T was worth a part among the Second Eight." Childe Harvard, p. 121.

ELECTIONEERING. In many colleges in the United States, where there are rival societies, it is customary, on the admission of a student to college, for the partisans of the different societies to wait upon him, and endeavor to secure him as a member. An account of this Society Electioneering, as it is called, is given in Sketches of Yale College, at page 162.

Society electioneering has mostly gone by.—Williams Quarterly, Vol. II. p. 285.

ELEGANT EXTRACTS. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., a cant title applied to some fifteen or twenty men who have just succeeded in passing their final examination, and who are bracketed together, at the foot of the Polloi list.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 250.

EMERITUS, pl. EMERITI. Latin; literally, obtained by service. One who has been honorably discharged from public service, as, in colleges and universities, a Professor Emeritus.

EMIGRANT. In the English universities, one who migrates, or removes from one college to another.

At Christ's, for three years successively,... the first man was an emigrant from John's.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 100.


EMPTY BOTTLE. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., the sobriquet of a fellow-commoner.

Indeed they [fellow-commoners] are popularly denominated "empty bottles," the first word of the appellation being an adjective, though were it taken as a verb there would be no untruth in it.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 34.

ENCENIA, pl. Greek [Greek: enkainia], a feast of dedication. Festivals anciently kept on the days on which cities were built or churches consecrated; and, in later times, ceremonies renewed at certain periods, as at Oxford, at the celebration of founders and benefactors.—Hook.

END WOMAN. At Bowdoin College, "end women," says a correspondent, "are the venerable females who officiate as chambermaids in the different entries." They are so called from the entries being placed at the ends of the buildings.

ENGAGEMENT. At Yale College, the student, on entering, signs an engagement, as it is called, in the words following: "I, A.B., on condition of being admitted as a member of Yale College, promise, on my faith and honor, to observe all the laws and regulations of this College; particularly that I will faithfully avoid using profane language, gaming, and all indecent, disorderly behavior, and disrespectful conduct to the Faculty, and all combinations to resist their authority; as witness my hand. A.B." —Yale Coll. Cat., 1837, p. 10.

Nearly the same formula is used at Williams College.

ENGINE. At Harvard College, for many years before and succeeding the year 1800, a fire-engine was owned by the government, and was under the management of the students. In a MS. Journal, under date of Oct. 29, 1792, is this note: "This day I turned out to exercise the engine. P.M." The company were accustomed to attend all the fires in the neighboring towns, and were noted for their skill and efficiency. But they often mingled enjoyment with their labor, nor were they always as scrupulous as they might have been in the means used to advance it. In 1810, the engine having been newly repaired, they agreed to try its power on an old house, which was to be fired at a given time. By some mistake, the alarm was given before the house was fairly burning. Many of the town's people endeavored to save it, but the company, dragging the engine into a pond near by, threw the dirty water on them in such quantities that they were glad to desist from their laudable endeavors.

It was about this time that the Engine Society was organized, before which so many pleasant poems and orations were annually delivered. Of these, that most noted is the "Rebelliad," which was spoken in the year 1819, and was first published in the year 1842. Of it the editor has well remarked: "It still remains the text-book of the jocose, and is still regarded by all, even the melancholy, as a most happy production of humorous taste." Its author was Dr. Augustus Pierce, who died at Tyngsborough, May 20, 1849.

The favorite beverage at fires was rum and molasses, commonly called black-strap, which is referred to in the following lines, commemorative of the engine company in its palmier days.

"But oh! let black-strap's sable god deplore Those engine-heroes so renowned of yore! Gone is that spirit, which, in ancient time, Inspired more deeds than ever shone in rhyme! Ye, who remember the superb array, The deafening cry, the engine's 'maddening play,' The broken windows, and the floating floor, Wherewith those masters of hydraulic lore Were wont to make us tremble as we gazed, Can tell how many a false alarm was raised, How many a room by their o'erflowings drenched, And how few fires by their assistance quenched?" Harvard Register, p. 235.

The habit of attending fires in Boston, as it had a tendency to draw the attention of the students from their college duties, was in part the cause of the dissolution of the company. Their presence was always welcomed in the neighboring city, and although they often left their engine behind them on returning to Cambridge, it was usually sent out to them soon after. The company would often parade through the streets of Cambridge in masquerade dresses, headed by a chaplain, presenting a most ludicrous appearance. In passing through the College yard, it was the custom to throw water into any window that chanced to be open. Their fellow-students, knowing when they were to appear, usually kept their windows closed; but the officers were not always so fortunate. About the year 1822, having discharged water into the room of the College regent, thereby damaging a very valuable library of books, the government disbanded the company, and shortly after sold the engine to the then town of Cambridge, on condition that it should never be taken out of the place. A few years ago it was again sold to some young men of West Cambridge, in whose hands it still remains. One of the brakes of the engine, a relic of its former glory, was lately discovered in the cellar of one of the College buildings, and that perchance has by this time been used to kindle the element which it once assisted to extinguish.

ESQUIRE BEDELL. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., three Esquire Bedells are appointed, whose office is to attend the Vice-Chancellor, whom they precede with their silver maces upon all public occasions.—Cam. Guide.

At the University of Oxford, the Esquire Bedells are three in number. They walk before the Vice-Chancellor in processions, and carry golden staves as the insignia of their office.—Guide to Oxford.


EVANGELICAL. In student phrase, a religious, orthodox man, one who is sound in the doctrines of the Gospel, or one who is reading theology, is called an Evangelical.

He was a King's College, London, man, an Evangelical.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 265.

It has been said by some of the Evangelicals, that nothing can be done to improve the state of morality in the Universities so long as the present Church system continues.—Ibid., p. 348.

EXAMINATION. An inquiry into the acquisitions of the students, in colleges and seminaries of learning, by questioning them in literature and the sciences, and by hearing their recitals.—Webster.

In all colleges candidates for entrance are required to be able to pass an examination in certain branches of study before they can be admitted. The students are generally examined, in most colleges, at the close of each term.

In the revised laws of Harvard College, printed in the year 1790, was one for the purpose of introducing examinations, the first part of which is as follows: "To animate the students in the pursuit of literary merit and fame, and to excite in their breasts a noble spirit of emulation, there shall be annually a public examination, in the presence of a joint committee of the Corporation and Overseers, and such other gentlemen as may be inclined to attend it." It then proceeds to enumerate the times and text-books for each class, and closes by stating, that, "should any student neglect or refuse to attend such examination, he shall be liable to be fined a sum not exceeding twenty shillings, or to be admonished or suspended." Great discontent was immediately evinced by the students at this regulation, and as it was not with this understanding that they entered college, they considered it as an ex post facto law, and therefore not binding upon them. With these views, in the year 1791, the Senior and Junior Classes petitioned for exemption from the examination, but their application was rejected by the Overseers. When this was declared, some of the students determined to stop the exercises for that year, if possible. For this purpose they obtained six hundred grains of tartar emetic, and early on the morning of April 12th, the day on which the examination was to begin, emptied it into the great cooking boilers in the kitchen. At breakfast, 150 or more students and officers being present, the coffee was brought on, made with the water from the boilers. Its effects were soon visible. One after another left the hall, some in a slow, others in a hurried manner, but all plainly showing that their situation was by no means a pleasant one. Out of the whole number there assembled, only four or five escaped without being made unwell. Those who put the drug in the coffee had drank the most, in order to escape detection, and were consequently the most severely affected. Unluckily, one of them was seen putting something into the boilers, and the names of the others were soon after discovered. Their punishment is stated in the following memoranda from a manuscript journal.

"Exhibition, 1791. April 20th. This morning Trapier was rusticated and Sullivan suspended to Groton for nine months, for mingling tartar emetic with our commons on ye morning of April 12th."

"May 21st. Ely was suspended to Amherst for five months, for assisting Sullivan and Trapier in mingling tartar emetic with our commons."

Another student, who threw a stone into the examination-room, which struck the chair in which Governor Hancock sat, was more severely punished. The circumstance is mentioned in the manuscript referred to above as follows:—

"April 14th, 1791. Henry W. Jones of H—— was expelled from College upon evidence of a little boy that he sent a stone into ye Philosopher's room while a committee of ye Corporation and Overseers, and all ye Immediate Government, were engaged in examination of ye Freshman Class."

Although the examination was delayed for a day or two on account of these occurrences, it was again renewed and carried on during that year, although many attempts were made to stop it. For several years after, whenever these periods occurred, disturbances came with them, and it was not until the year 1797 that the differences between the officers and the students were satisfactorily adjusted, and examinations established on a sure basis.

EXAMINE. To inquire into the improvements or qualifications of students, by interrogatories, proposing problems, or by hearing their recitals; as, to examine the classes in college; to examine the candidates for a degree, or for a license to preach or to practise in a profession.—Webster.

EXAMINEE. One who is examined; one who undergoes at examination.

What loads of cold beef and lobster vanish before the examinees. —Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 72.

EXAMINER. One who examines. In colleges and seminaries of learning, the person who interrogates the students, proposes questions for them to answer, and problems to solve.

Coming forward with assumed carelessness, he threw towards us the formal reply of his examiners.—Harvardiana, Vol. III. p. 9.

EXEAT. Latin; literally, let him depart. Leave of absence given to a student in the English universities.—Webster.

The students who wish to go home apply for an "Exeat," which is a paper signed by the Tutor, Master, and Dean.—Alma Mater, Vol. I. p. 162.

[At King's College], exeats, or permission to go down during term, were never granted but in cases of life and death.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 140.

EXERCISE. A task or lesson; that which is appointed for one to perform. In colleges, all the literary duties are called exercises.

It may be inquired, whether a great part of the exercises be not at best but serious follies.—Cotton Mather's Suggestions, in Quincy's Hist. Harv. Univ., Vol. I. p. 558.

In the English universities, certain exercises, as acts, opponencies, &c., are required to be performed for particular degrees.

EXHIBIT. To take part in an exhibition; to speak in public at an exhibition or commencement.

No student who shall receive any appointment to exhibit before the class, the College, or the public, shall give any treat or entertainment to his class, or any part thereof, for or on account of those appointments.—Laws Yale Coll., 1837, p. 29.

If any student shall fail to perform the exercise assigned him, or shall exhibit anything not allowed by the Faculty, he may be sent home.—Ibid., 1837, p. 16.

2. To provide for poor students by an exhibition. (See EXHIBITION, second meaning.) An instance of this use is given in the Gradus ad Cantabrigiam, where one Antony Wood says of Bishop Longland, "He was a special friend to the University, in maintaining its privileges and in exhibiting to the wants of certain scholars." In Mr. Peirce's History of Harvard University occurs this passage, in an account of the will of the Hon. William Stoughton: "He bequeathed a pasture in Dorchester, containing twenty-three acres and four acres of marsh, 'the income of both to be exhibited, in the first place, to a scholar of the town of Dorchester, and if there be none such, to one of the town of Milton, and in want of such, then to any other well deserving that shall be most needy.'" —p. 77.

EXHIBITION. In colleges, a public literary and oratorical display. The exercises at exhibitions are original compositions, prose translations from the English into Greek and Latin, and from other languages into the English, metrical versions, dialogues, &c.

At Harvard College, in the year 1760, it was voted, "that twice in a year, in the spring and fall, each class should recite to their Tutors, in the presence of the President, Professors, and Tutors, in the several books in which they are reciting to their respective Tutors, and that publicly in the College Hall or Chapel." The next year, the Overseers being informed "that the students are not required to translate English into Latin nor Latin into English," their committee "thought it would be convenient that specimens of such translations and other performances in classical and polite literature should be from time to time laid before" their board. A vote passed the Board of Overseers recommending to the Corporation a conformity to these suggestions; but it was not until the year 1766 that a law was formally enacted in both boards, "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, by pronouncing orations and delivering dialogues, either in English or in one of the learned languages, or hearing a forensic disputation, or such other exercises as the President and Tutors shall direct."—Quincy's Hist. Harv. Univ., Vol. II. pp. 128-132.

A few years after this, two more exhibitions were added, and were so arranged as to fall one in each quarter of the College year. The last year in which there were four exhibitions was 1789. After this time there were three exhibitions during the year until 1849, when one was omitted, since which time the original plan has been adopted.

In the journal of a member of the class which graduated at Harvard College in the year 1793, under the date of December 23d, 1789, Exhibition, is the following memorandum: "Music was intermingled with elocution, which (we read) has charms to soothe even a savage breast." Again, on a similar occasion, April 13th, 1790, an account of the exercises of the day closes with this note: "Tender music being interspersed to enliven the audience." Vocal music was sometimes introduced. In the same Journal, date October 1st, 1790, Exhibition, the writer says: "The performances were enlivened with an excellent piece of music, sung by Harvard Singing Club, accompanied with a band of music." From this time to the present day, music, either vocal or instrumental, has formed a very entertaining part of the Exhibition performances.[24]

The exercises for exhibitions are assigned by the Faculty to meritorious students, usually of the two higher classes. The exhibitions are held under the direction of the President, and a refusal to perform the part assigned is regarded as a high offence.—Laws of Univ. at Cam., Mass., 1848, p. 19. Laws Yale Coll., 1837, p. 16.

2. Allowance of meat and drink; pension; benefaction settled for the maintenance of scholars in the English Universities, not depending on the foundation.—Encyc.

What maintenance he from his friends receives, Like exhibition thou shalt have from me. Two Gent. Verona, Act. I. Sc. 3.

This word was formerly used in American colleges.

I order and appoint ... ten pounds a year for one exhibition, to assist one pious young man.—Quincy's Hist. Harv. Univ., Vol. I. p. 530.

As to the extending the time of his exhibitions, we agree to it. —Ibid., Vol. I. p. 532.

In the yearly "Statement of the Treasurer" of Harvard College, the word is still retained.

"A school exhibition," says a writer in the Literary World, with reference to England, "is a stipend given to the head boys of a school, conditional on their proceeding to some particular college in one of the universities."—Vol. XII. p. 285.

EXHIBITIONER. One who has a pension or allowance, granted for the encouragement of learning; one who enjoys an exhibition. Used principally in the English universities.

2. One who performs a part at an exhibition in American colleges is sometimes called an exhibitioner.

EXPEL. In college government, to command to leave; to dissolve the connection of a student; to interdict him from further connection. —Webster.

EXPULSION. In college government, expulsion is the highest censure, and is a final separation from the college or university. —Coll. Laws.

In the Diary of Mr. Leverett, who was President of Harvard College from 1707 to 1724, is an account of the manner in which the punishment of expulsion was then inflicted. It is as follows:—"In the College Hall the President, after morning prayers, the Fellows, Masters of Art, and the several classes of Undergraduates being present, after a full opening of the crimes of the delinquents, a pathetic admonition of them, and solemn obtestation and caution to the scholars, pronounced the sentence of expulsion, ordered their names to be rent off the tables, and them to depart the Hall."—Quincy's Hist. Harv. Univ., Vol. I. p. 442.

In England, "an expelled man," says Bristed, "is shut out from the learned professions, as well as from all Colleges at either University."—Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 131.


FACILITIES. The means by which the performance of anything is rendered easy.—Webster.

Among students, a general name for what are technically called ponies or translations.

All such subsidiary helps in learning lessons, he classed ... under the opprobrious name of "facilities," and never scrupled to seize them as contraband goods.—Memorial of John S. Popkin, D.D., p. lxxvii.

FACULTY. In colleges, the masters and professors of the several sciences.—Johnson.

In America, the faculty of a college or university consists of the president, professors, and tutors.—Webster.

The duties of the faculty are very extended. They have the general control and direction of the studies pursued in the college. They have cognizance of all offences committed by undergraduates, and it is their special duty to enforce the observance of all the laws and regulations for maintaining discipline, and promoting good order, virtue, piety, and good learning in the institution with which they are connected. The faculty hold meetings to communicate and compare their opinions and information, respecting the conduct and character of the students and the state of the college; to decide upon the petitions or requests which may be offered them by the members of college, and to consider and suggest such measures as may tend to the advancement of learning, and the improvement of the college. This assembly is called a Faculty-meeting, a word very often in the mouths of students.—Coll. Laws.

2. One of the members or departments of a university.

"In the origin of the University of Paris," says Brande, "the seven liberal arts (grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music) seem to have been the subjects of academic instruction. These constituted what was afterwards designated the Faculty of Arts. Three other faculties—those of divinity, law, and medicine—were subsequently added. In all these four, lectures were given, and degrees conferred by the University. The four Faculties were transplanted to Oxford and Cambridge, where they are still retained; although, in point of fact, the faculty of arts is the only one in which substantial instruction is communicated in the academical course."—Brande's Dict., Art. FACULTY.

In some American colleges, these four departments are established, and sometimes a fifth, the Scientific, is added.

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