A Collection of College Words and Customs
by Benjamin Homer Hall
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At Oxford, "the two proctors were formerly nearly equal in importance to the Vice-Chancellor. Their powers, though diminished, are still considerable, as they administer the police of the University, appoint the Examiners, and have a joint veto on all measures brought before Convocation."—Lit. World, Vol. XII. p. 223.

The class of officers called Proctors was instituted at Harvard College in the year 1805, their duty being "to reside constantly and preserve order within the walls," to preserve order among the students, to see that the laws of the College are enforced, "and to exercise the same inspection and authority in their particular district, and throughout College, which it is the duty of a parietal Tutor to exercise therein."—Quincy's Hist. Harv. Univ., Vol. II. p. 292.

I believe this is the only college in the United States where this class of academical police officers is established.

PROF, PROFF. Abbreviated for Professor.

The Proff thought he knew too much to stay here, and so he went his way, and I saw him no more.—The Dartmouth, Vol. IV. p. 116.

For Proffs and Tutors too, Who steer our big canoe, Prepare their lays. Yale Lit. Mag., Vol. III. p. 144.

PROFESSOR. One that publicly teaches any science or branch of learning; particularly, an officer in a university, college, or other seminary, whose business is to read lectures or instruct students in a particular branch of learning; as a professor of theology or mathematics.—Webster.

PROFESSORIATE. The office or employment of a professor.

It is desirable to restore the professoriate.—Lit. World, Vol. XII. p. 246.

PROFESSOR OF DUST AND ASHES. A title sometimes jocosely given by students to the person who has the care of their rooms.

Was interrupted a moment just now, by the entrance of Mr. C———, the gentleman who makes the beds, sweeps, takes up the ashes, and supports the dignity of the title, "Professor of Dust and Ashes."—Sketches of Williams College, p. 77.

The South College Prof. of Dust and Ashes has a huge bill against the Society.—Yale Tomahawk, Feb. 1851.

PROFICIENT. The degree of Proficient is conferred in the University of Virginia, in a certificate of proficiency, on those who have studied only in certain branches taught in some of the schools connected with that institution.

PRO MERITIS. Latin; literally, for his merits. A phrase customarily used in American collegiate diplomas.

Then, every crime atoned with ease, Pro meritis, received degrees. Trumbull's Progress of Dullness, Part I.

PRO-PROCTOR. In the English universities, an officer appointed to assist the proctors in that part of their duty only which relates to the discipline and behavior of those persons who are in statu pupillari.—Cam. and Oxf. Cals.

More familiarly, these officers are called pro's.

They [the proctors] are assisted in their duties by four pro-proctors, each principal being allowed to nominate his two "pro's."—Oxford Guide, 1847, p. xiii.

The pro's have also a strip of velvet on each side of the gown-front, and wear bands.—Ibid., p. xiii.

PRO-VICE-CHANCELLOR. In the English universities a deputy appointed by the Vice-Chancellor, who exercises his power in case of his illness or necessary absence.

PROVOST. The President of a college.

Dr. Jay, on his arrival in England, found there Dr. Smith, Provost of the College in Philadelphia, soliciting aid for that institution.—Hist. Sketch of Columbia Coll., p. 36.

At Columbia College, in 1811, an officer was appointed, styled Provost, who, in absence of the President, was to supply his place, and who, "besides exercising the like general superintendence with the President," was to conduct the classical studies of the Senior Class. The office of Provost continued until 1816, when the Trustees determined that its powers and duties should devolve upon the President.—Ibid., p. 81.

At Oxford, the chief officer of some of the colleges bears this title. At Cambridge, it is appropriated solely to the President of King's College. "On the choice of a Provost," says the author of a History of the University of Cambridge, 1753, "the Fellows are all shut into the ante-chapel, and out of which they are not permitted to stir on any account, nor none permitted to enter, till they have all agreed on their man; which agreement sometimes takes up several days; and, if I remember right, they were three days and nights confined in choosing the present Provost, and had their beds, close-stools, &c. with them, and their commons, &c. given them in at the windows."—Grad. ad Cantab., p. 85.

PRUDENTIAL COMMITTEE. In Yale College, a committee to whom the discretionary concerns of the College are intrusted. They order such repairs of the College buildings as are necessary, audit the accounts of the Treasurer and Steward, make the annual report of the state of the College, superintend the investment of the College funds, institute suits for the recovery and preservation of the College property, and perform various other duties which are enumerated in the laws of Yale College.

At Middlebury College, similar powers are given to a body bearing the same name.—Laws Mid. Coll., 1839, pp. 4, 5.

PUBLIC. At Harvard College, the punishment next higher in order to a private admonition is called a public admonition, and consists in a deduction of sixty-four marks from the rank of the offender, accompanied by a letter to the parent or guardian. It is often called a public.


PUBLIC DAY. In the University of Virginia, the day on which "the certificates and diplomas are awarded to the successful candidates, the results of the examinations are announced, and addresses are delivered by one or more of the Bachelors and Masters of Arts, and by the Orator appointed by the Society of the Alumni."—Cat. of Univ. of Virginia.

This occurs on the closing day of the session, the 29th of June.

PUBLIC ORATOR. In the English universities, an officer who is the voice of the university on all public occasions, who writes, reads, and records all letters of a public nature, and presents, with an appropriate address, those on whom honorary degrees are conferred. At Cambridge, this it esteemed one of the most honorable offices in the gift of the university.—Cam. and Oxf. Cals.

PUMP. Among German students, to obtain or take on credit; to sponge.

Und hat der Bursch kein Geld im Beutel, So pumpt er die Philister an. Crambambuli Song.

PUNY. A young, inexperienced person; a novice.

Freshmen at Oxford were called punies of the first year.—Halliwell's Dict. Arch. and Prov. Words.

PUT THROUGH. A phrase very general in its application. When a student treats, introduces, or assists another, or masters a hard lesson, he is said to put him or it through. In a discourse by the Rev. Dr. Orville Dewey, on the Law of Progress, referring to these words, he said "he had heard a teacher use the characteristic expression that his pupils should be 'put through' such and such studies. This, he said, is a modern practice. We put children through philosophy,—put them through history,—put them through Euclid. He had no faith in this plan, and wished to see the school teachers set themselves against this forcing process."

2. To examine thoroughly and with despatch.

First Thatcher, then Hadley, then Larned and Prex, Each put our class through in succession. Presentation Day Songs, June 14, 1854.


Q. See CUE.

QUAD. An abbreviation of QUADRANGLE, q.v.

How silently did all come down the staircases into the chapel quad, that evening!—Collegian's Guide, p. 88.

His mother had been in Oxford only the week before, and had been seen crossing the quad in tears.—Ibid., p. 144.

QUADRANGLE. At Oxford and Cambridge, Eng., the rectangular courts in which the colleges are constructed.

Soon as the clouds divide, and dawning day Tints the quadrangle with its earliest ray. The College, in Blackwood's Mag., May, 1849.

QUARTER-DAY. The day when quarterly payments are made. The day that completes three months.

At Harvard and Yale Colleges, quarter-day, when the officers and instructors receive their quarterly salaries, was formerly observed as a holiday. One of the evils which prevailed among the students of the former institution, about the middle of the last century, was the "riotous disorders frequently committed on the quarter-days and evenings," on one of which, in 1764, "the windows of all the Tutors and divers other windows were broken," so that, in consequence, a vote was passed that "the observation of quarter-days, in distinction from other days, be wholly laid aside, and that the undergraduates be obliged to observe the studying hours, and to perform the college exercises, on quarter-day, and the day following, as at other times."—Peirce's Hist. Harv. Univ., p. 216.

QUESTIONIST. In the English universities, a name given to those who are in the last term of their college course, and are soon to be examined for honors or degrees.—Webster.

In the "Orders agreed upon by the Overseers, at a meeting in Harvard College, May 6th, 1650," this word is used in the following sentence: "And, in case any of the Sophisters, Questionists, or Inceptors fail in the premises required at their hands,... they shall be deferred to the following year"; but it does not seem to have gained any prevalence in the College, and is used, it is believed, only in this passage.

QUILLWHEEL. At the Wesleyan University, "when a student," says a correspondent, "'knocks under,' or yields a point, he says he quillwheels, that is, he acknowledges he is wrong."


RAG. This word is used at Union College, and is thus explained by a correspondent: "To rag and ragging, you will find of very extensive application, they being employed primarily as expressive of what is called by the vulgar thieving and stealing, but in a more extended sense as meaning superiority. Thus, if one declaims or composes much better than his classmates, he is said to rag all his competitors."

The common phrase, "to take the rag off," i.e. to excel, seems to be the form from which this word has been abbreviated.

RAKE. At Williams and at Bowdoin Colleges, used in the phrase "to rake an X," i.e. to recite perfectly, ten being the number of marks given for the best recitation.

RAM. A practical joke.

—— in season to be just too late A successful ram to perpetrate. Sophomore Independent, Union Coll., Nov. 1854.

RAM ON THE CLERGY. At Middlebury College, a synonyme of the slang noun, "sell."

RANTERS. At Bethany College, in Virginia, there is "a band," says a correspondent, "calling themselves 'Ranters,' formed for the purpose of perpetrating all kinds of rascality and mischievousness, both on their fellow-students and the neighboring people. The band is commanded by one selected from the party, called the Grand Ranter, whose orders are to be obeyed under penalty of expulsion of the person offending. Among the tricks commonly indulged in are those of robbing hen and turkey roosts, and feasting upon the fruits of their labor, of stealing from the neighbors their horses, to enjoy the pleasure of a midnight ride, and to facilitate their nocturnal perambulations. If detected, and any complaint is made, or if the Faculty are informed of their movements, they seek revenge by shaving the tails and manes of the favorite horses belonging to the person informing, or by some similar trick."

RAZOR. A writer in the Yale Literary Magazine defines this word in the following sentence: "Many of the members of this time-honored institution, from whom we ought to expect better things, not only do their own shaving, but actually make their own razors. But I must explain for the benefit of the uninitiated. A pun, in the elegant college dialect, is called a razor, while an attempt at a pun is styled a sick razor. The sick ones are by far the most numerous; however, once in a while you meet with one in quite respectable health."—Vol. XIII. p. 283.

The meeting will be opened with razors by the Society's jester. —Yale Tomahawk, Nov. 1849.

Behold how Duncia leads her chosen sons, All armed with squibs, stale jokes, dull razors, puns. The Gallinipper, Dec. 1849.

READ. To be studious; to practise much reading; e.g. at Oxford, to read for a first class; at Cambridge, to read for an honor. In America it is common to speak of "reading law, medicine," &c.

We seven stayed at Christmas up to read; We seven took one tutor. Tennyson, Prologue to Princess.

In England the vacations are the very times when you read most. Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 78.

This system takes for granted that the students have "read," as it is termed, with a private practitioner of medicine.—Cat. Univ. of Virginia, 1851, p. 25.

READER. In the University of Oxford, one who reads lectures on scientific subjects.—Lyell.

2. At the English universities, a hard student, nearly equivalent to READING MAN.

Most of the Cantabs are late readers, so that, supposing one of them to begin at seven, he will not leave off before half past eleven.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 21.

READERSHIP. In the University of Oxford, the office of a reader or lecturer on scientific subjects.—Lyell.

READING. In the academic sense, studying.

One would hardly suspect them to be students at all, did not the number of glasses hint that those who carried them had impaired their sight by late reading.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 5.

READING MAN. In the English universities, a reading man is a hard student, or one who is entirely devoted to his collegiate studies.—Webster.

The distinction between "reading men" and "non-reading men" began to manifest itself.—Alma Mater, Vol. I. p. 169.

We might wonder, perhaps, if in England the "[Greek: oi polloi]" should be "reading men," but with us we should wonder were they not.—Williams Quarterly, Vol. II. p. 15.

READING PARTY. In England, a number of students who in vacation time, and at a distance from the university, pursue their studies together under the direction of a coach, or private tutor.

Of this method of studying, Bristed remarks: "It is not impossible to read on a reading-party; there is only a great chance against your being able to do so. As a very general rule, a man works best in his accustomed place of business, where he has not only his ordinary appliances and helps, but his familiar associations about him. The time lost in settling down and making one's self comfortable and ready for work in a new place is not inconsiderable, and is all clear loss. Moreover, the very idea of a reading-party involves a combination of two things incompatible, —amusement and relaxation beyond the proper and necessary quantity of daily exercise, and hard work at books.

"Reading-parties do not confine themselves to England or the island of Great Britain. Sometimes they have been known to go as far as Dresden. Sometimes a party is of considerable size; when a crack Tutor goes on one, which is not often, he takes his whole team with him, and not unfrequently a Classical and Mathematical Bachelor join their pupils."—Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, pp. 199-201.

READ UP. Students often speak of reading up, i.e. preparing themselves to write on a subject, by reading the works of authors who have treated of it.

REBELLION TREE. At Harvard College, a large elm-tree, which stands to the east of the south entry of Hollis Hall, has long been known by this name. It is supposed to have been planted at the request of Dr. Thaddeus M. Harris. His son, Dr. Thaddeus W. Harris, the present Librarian of the College, says that his father has often told him, that when he held the office of Librarian, in the year 1792, a number of trees were set out in the College yard, and that one was planted opposite his room, No. 7 Hollis Hall, under which he buried a pewter plate, taken from the commons hall. On this plate was inscribed his name, the day of the month, the year, &c. From its situation and appearance, the Rebellion Tree would seem to be the one thus described; but it did not receive its name until the year 1807, when the famous rebellion occurred among the students, and perhaps not until within a few years antecedent to the year 1819. At that time, however, this name seems to have been the one by which it was commonly known, from the reference which is made to it in the Rebelliad, a poem written to commemorate the deeds of the rebellion of that year.

And roared as loud as he could yell, "Come on, my lads, let us rebel!"

* * * * *

With one accord they all agree To dance around Rebellion Tree. Rebelliad, p. 46.

But they, rebellious rascals! flee For shelter to Rebellion Tree. Ibid., p. 60.

Stands a tree in front of Hollis, Dear to Harvard over all; But than —— desert us, Rather let Rebellion fall. MS. Poem.

Other scenes are sometimes enacted under its branches, as the following verses show:—

When the old year was drawing towards its close, And in its place the gladsome new one rose, Then members of each class, with spirits free, Went forth to greet her round Rebellion Tree. Round that old tree, sacred to students' rights, And witness, too, of many wondrous sights, In solemn circle all the students passed; They danced with spirit, until, tired, at last A pause they make, and some a song propose. Then "Auld Lang Syne" from many voices rose. Now, as the lamp of the old year dies out, They greet the new one with exulting shout; They groan for ——, and each class they cheer, And thus they usher in the fair new year. Poem before H.L. of I.O. of O.F., p. 19, 1849.

RECENTES. Latin for the English FRESHMEN. Consult Clap's History of Yale College, 1766, p. 124.

RECITATION. In American colleges and schools, the rehearsal of a lesson by pupils before their instructor.—Webster.

RECITATION-ROOM. The room where lessons are rehearsed by pupils before their instructor.

In the older American colleges, the rooms of the Tutors were formerly the recitation-rooms of the classes. At Harvard College, the benches on which the students sat when reciting were, when not in use, kept in piles, outside of the Tutors' rooms. When the hour of recitation arrived, they would carry them into the room, and again return them to their places when the exercise was finished. One of the favorite amusements of the students was to burn these benches; the spot selected for the bonfire being usually the green in front of the old meeting-house, or the common.

RECITE. Transitively, to rehearse, as a lesson to an instructor.

2. Intransitively, to rehearse a lesson. The class will recite at eleven o'clock.—Webster.

This word is used in both forms in American seminaries.

RECORD OF MERIT. At Middlebury College "a class-book is kept by each instructor, in which the character of each student's recitation is noted by numbers, and all absences from college exercises are minuted. Demerit for absences and other irregularities is also marked in like manner, and made the basis of discipline. At the close of each term, the average of these marks is recorded, and, when desired, communicated to parents and guardians." This book is called the record of merit.—Cat. Middlebury Coll., 1850-51, p. 17.

RECTOR. The chief elective officer of some universities, as in France and Scotland. The same title was formerly given to the president of a college in New England, but it is not now in use.—Webster.

The title of Rector was given to the chief officer of Yale College at the time of its foundation, and was continued until the year 1745, when, by "An Act for the more full and complete establishment of Yale College in New Haven," it was changed, among other alterations, to that of President.—Clap's Annals of Yale College, p. 47.

The chief officer of Harvard College at the time of its foundation was styled Master or Professor. Mr. Dunster was chosen the first President, in 1640, and those who succeeded him bore this title until the year 1686, when Mr. Joseph Dudley, having received the commission of President of the Colony, changed for the sake of distinction the title of President of the College to that of Rector. A few years after, the title of President was resumed. —Peirce's Hist. of Harv. Univ., p. 63.

REDEAT. Latin; literally, he may return. "It is the custom in some colleges," says the Gradus ad Cantabrigiam, "on coming into residence, to wait on the Dean, and sign your name in a book, kept for that purpose, which is called signing your Redeat."—p. 92.

REFECTORY. At Oxford, Eng., the place where the members of each college or hall dine. This word was originally applied to an apartment in convents and monasteries, where a moderate repast was taken.—Brande.

In Oxford there are nineteen colleges and five halls, containing dwelling-rooms for the students, and a distinct refectory or dining-hall, library, and chapel to each college and hall.—Oxf. Guide, 1847, p. xvi.

At Princeton College, this name is given to the hall where the students eat together in common.—Abbreviated REFEC.

REGENT. In the English universities, the regents, or regentes, are members of the university who have certain peculiar duties of instruction or government. At Cambridge, all resident Masters of Arts of less than four years' standing and all Doctors of less than two, are Regents. At Oxford, the period of regency is shorter. At both universities, those of a more advanced standing, who keep their names on the college books, are called non-regents. At Cambridge, the regents compose the upper house, and the non-regents the lower house of the Senate, or governing body. At Oxford, the regents compose the Congregation, which confers degrees, and does the ordinary business of the University. The regents and non-regents, collectively, compose the Convocation, which is the governing body in the last resort.—Webster.


2. In the State of New York, the member of a corporate body which is invested with the superintendence of all the colleges, academies, and schools in the State. This board consists of twenty-one members, who are called the Regents of the University of the State of New York. They are appointed and removable by the legislature. They have power to grant acts of incorporation for colleges, to visit and inspect all colleges, academies, and schools, and to make regulations for governing the same.—Statutes of New York.

3. At Harvard College, an officer chosen from the Faculty, whose duties are under the immediate direction of the President. All weekly lists of absences, monitor's bills, petitions to the Faculty for excuse of absences from the regular exercises and for making up lessons, all petitions for elective studies, the returns of the scale of merit, and returns of delinquencies and deductions by the tutors and proctors, are left with the Regent, or deposited in his office. The Regent also informs those who petition for excuses, and for elective studies, of the decision of the Faculty in regard to their petitions. Formerly, the Regent assisted in making out the quarter or term bills, of which he kept a record, and when students were punished by fining, he was obliged to keep an account of the fines, and the offences for which they were imposed. Some of his duties were performed by a Freshman, who was appointed by the Faculty.—Laws Harv. Coll., 1814, and Regulations, 1850.

The creation of the office of Regent at Harvard College is noticed by Professor Sidney Willard. In the year 1800 "an officer was appointed to occupy a room in one of the halls to supply the place of a Tutor, for preserving order in the rooms in his entry, and to perform the duties that had been discharged by the Butler, so far as it regarded the keeping of certain records. He was allowed the service of a Freshman, and the offices of Butler and of Butler's Freshman were abolished. The title of this new officer was Regent."—Memories of Youth and Manhood, Vol. II. p. 107.


REGISTER. In Union College, an officer whose duties are similar to those enumerated under REGISTRAR. He also acts, without charge, as fiscal guardian for all students who deposit funds in his hands.

REGISTRAR, REGISTRARY. In the English universities, an officer who has the keeping of all the public records.—Encyc.

At Harvard College, the Corporation appoint one of the Faculty to the office of Registrar. He keeps a record of the votes and orders passed by the latter body, gives certified copies of the same when requisite, and performs other like duties.—Laws Univ. at Cam., Mass., 1848.

REGIUS PROFESSOR. A name given in the British universities to the incumbents of those professorships which have been founded by royal bounty.

REGULATORS. At Hamilton College, "a Junior Class affair," writes a correspondent, "consisting of fifteen or twenty members, whose object is to regulate college laws and customs according to their own way. They are known only by their deeds. Who the members are, no one out of the band knows. Their time for action is in the night."

RELEGATION. In German universities, the relegation is the punishment next in severity to the consilium abeundi. Howitt explains the term in these words: "It has two degrees. First, the simple relegation. This consists in expulsion [out of the district of the court of justice within which the university is situated], for a period of from two to three years; after which the offender may indeed return, but can no more be received as an academical burger. Secondly, the sharper relegation, which adds to the simple relegation an announcement of the fact to the magistracy of the place of abode of the offender; and, according to the discretion of the court, a confinement in an ordinary prison, previous to the banishment, is added; and also the sharper relegation can be extended to more than four years, the ordinary term,—yes, even to perpetual expulsion."—Student Life of Germany, Am. ed., p. 33.

RELIG. At Princeton College, an abbreviated name for a professor of religion.

RENOWN. German, renommiren, to hector, to bully. Among the students in German universities, to renown is, in English popular phrase, "to cut a swell."—Howitt.

The spare hours of the forenoon and afternoon are spent in fencing, in renowning,—that is, in doing things-which make people stare at them, and in providing duels for the morrow.—Russell's Tour in Germany, Edinburgh ed., 1825, Vol. II. pp. 156, 157.

We cannot be deaf to the testimony of respectable eyewitnesses, who, in proof of these defects, tell us ... of "renowning," or wild irregularities, in which "the spare hours" of the day are spent.—D.A. White's Address before Soc. of the Alumni of Harv. Univ., Aug. 27, 1844, p. 24.

REPLICATOR. "The first discussions of the Society, called Forensic, were in writing, and conducted by only two members, styled the Respondent and the Opponent. Subsequently, a third was added, called a Replicator, who reviewed the arguments of the other two, and decided upon their comparative merits."—Semi-centennial Anniversary of the Philomathean Society, Union Coll., p. 9.

REPORT. A word much in use among the students of universities and colleges, in the common sense of to inform against, but usually spoken in reference to the Faculty.

Thanks to the friendly proctor who spared to report me. Harvardiana, Vol. III. p. 79.

If I hear again Of such fell outrage to the college laws, Of such loud tumult after eight o'clock, Thou'lt be reported to the Faculty.—Ibid., p. 257.

RESIDENCE. At the English universities, to be "in residence" is to occupy rooms as a member of a college, either in the college itself, or in the town where the college is situated.

Trinity ... usually numbers four hundred undergraduates in residence.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 11.

At Oxford, an examination, not always a very easy one, must be passed before the student can be admitted to residence.—Westminster Rev., Am. ed., Vol. XXXV. p. 232.

RESIDENT GRADUATE. In the United States, graduates who are desirous of pursuing their studies in a place where a college is situated, without joining any of its departments, can do so in the capacity of residents or resident graduates. They are allowed to attend the public lectures given in the institution, and enjoy the use of its library. Like other students, they give bonds for the payment of college dues.—Coll. Laws.

RESPONDENT. In the schools, one who maintains a thesis in reply, and whose province is to refute objections, or overthrow arguments.—Watts.

This word, with its companion, affirmant, was formerly used in American colleges, and was applied to those who engaged in the syllogistic discussions then incident to Commencement.

But the main exercises were disputations upon questions, wherein the respondents first made their theses.—Mather's Magnalia, B. IV. p. 128.

The syllogistic disputes were held between an affirmant and respondent, who stood in the side galleries of the church opposite to one another, and shot the weapons of their logic over the heads of the audience.—Pres. Woolsey's Hist. Disc., Yale Coll., p. 65.

In the public exercises at Commencement, I was somewhat remarked as a respondent.—Life and Works of John Adams, Vol. II. p. 3.

RESPONSION. In the University of Oxford, an examination about the middle of the college course, also called the Little-go.—Lyell.


RETRO. Latin; literally, back. Among the students of the University of Cambridge, Eng., used to designate a behind-hand account. "A cook's bill of extraordinaries not settled by the Tutor."—Grad. ad Cantab.

REVIEW. A second or repeated examination of a lesson, or the lesson itself thus re-examined.

He cannot get the "advance," forgets "the review." Childe Harvard, p. 13.

RIDER. The meaning of this word, used at Cambridge, Eng., is given in the annexed sentence. "His ambition is generally limited to doing 'riders,' which are a sort of scholia, or easy deductions from the book-work propositions, like a link between them and problems; indeed, the rider being, as its name imports, attached to a question, the question is not fully answered until the rider is answered also."—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 222.

ROLL A WHEEL. At the University of Vermont, in student parlance, to devise a scheme or lay a plot for an election or a college spree, is to roll a wheel. E.g. "John was always rolling a big wheel," i.e. incessantly concocting some plot.

ROOM. To occupy an apartment; to lodge; an academic use of the word.—Webster.

Inquire of any student at our colleges where Mr. B. lodges, and you will be told he rooms in such a building, such a story, or up so many flights of stairs, No. —, to the right or left.

The Rowes, years ago, used to room in Dartmouth Hall.—The Dartmouth, Vol. IV. p. 117.

Rooming in college, it is convenient that they should have the more immediate oversight of the deportment of the students.—Scenes and Characters in College, p. 133.

Seven years ago, I roomed in this room where we are now.—Yale Lit. Mag., Vol. XII. p. 114.

When Christmas came again I came back to this room, but the man who roomed here was frightened and ran away.—Ibid., Vol. XII. p. 114.

Rent for these apartments is exacted from Sophomores, about sixty rooming out of college.—Burlesque Catalogue, Yale Coll., 1852-53, p. 26.

ROOT. A word first used in the sense given below by Dr. Paley. "He [Paley] held, indeed, all those little arts of underhand address, by which patronage and preferment are so frequently pursued, in supreme contempt. He was not of a nature to root; for that was his own expressive term, afterwards much used in the University to denote the sort of practice alluded to. He one day humorously proposed, at some social meeting, that a certain contemporary Fellow of his College [Christ's College, Cambridge, Eng.], at that time distinguished for his elegant and engaging manners, and who has since attained no small eminence in the Church of England, should be appointed Professor of Rooting."—Memoirs of Paley.

2. To study hard; to DIG, q.v.

Ill-favored men, eager for his old boots and diseased raiment, torment him while rooting at his Greek.—Harv. Mag., Vol. I. p. 267.

ROT. Twaddle, platitude. In use among the students at the University of Cambridge, Eng.—Bristed.

ROWES. The name of a party which formerly existed at Dartmouth College. They are thus described in The Dartmouth, Vol. IV. p. 117: "The Rowes are very liberal in their notions. The Rowes don't pretend to say anything worse of a fellow than to call him a Blue, and vice versa."


ROWING. The making of loud and noisy disturbance; acting like a rowdy.

Flushed with the juice of the grape, all prime and ready for rowing. When from the ground I raised the fragments of ponderous brickbat. Harvardiana, Vol. III. p. 98.

The Fellow-Commoners generally being more disposed to rowing than reading.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d. p. 34.

ROWING-MAN. One who is more inclined to fast living than hard study. Among English students used in contradistinction to READING-MAN, q.v.

When they go out to sup, as a reading-man does perhaps once a term, and a rowing-man twice a week, they eat very moderately, though their potations are sometimes of the deepest.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 21.

ROWL, ROWEL. At Princeton, Union, and Hamilton Colleges, this word is used to signify a good recitation. Used in the phrase, "to make a rowl." From the second of these colleges, a correspondent writes: "Also of the word rowl; if a public speaker presents a telling appeal or passage, he would make a perfect rowl, in the language of all students at least."

ROWL. To recite well. A correspondent from Princeton College defines this word, "to perform any exercise well, recitation, speech, or composition; to succeed in any branch or pursuit."

RUSH. At Yale College, a perfect recitation is denominated a rush.

I got my lesson perfectly, and what is more, made a perfect rush.—Yale Lit. Mag., Vol. XIII. p. 134.

Every rush and fizzle made Every body frigid laid. Ibid., Vol. XX. p. 186.

This mark [that of a hammer with a note, "hit the nail on the head"] signifies that the student makes a capital hit; in other words, a decided rush.—Yale Banger, Nov. 10, 1846.

In dreams his many rushes heard. Ibid., Oct. 22, 1847.

This word is much used among students with the common meaning; thus, they speak of "a rush into prayers," "a rush into the recitation-room," &c. A correspondent from Dartmouth College says: "Rushing the Freshmen is putting them out of the chapel." Another from Williams writes: "Such a man is making a rush, and to this we often add—for the Valedictory."

The gay regatta where the Oneida led, The glorious rushes, Seniors at the head. Class Poem, Harv. Coll., 1849.

One of the Trinity men ... was making a tremendous rush for a Fellowship.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 158.

RUSH. To recite well; to make a perfect recitation.

It was purchased by the man,—who 'really did not look' at the lesson on which he 'rushed.'—Yale Lit. Mag., Vol. XIV. p. 411.

Then for the students mark flunks, even though the young men may be rushing.—Yale Banger, Oct., 1848.

So they pulled off their coats, and rolled up their sleeves, And rushed in Bien. Examination. Presentation Day Songs, Yale Coll., June 14, 1854.

RUSTICATE. To send a student for a time from a college or university, to reside in the country, by way of punishment for some offence.

See a more complete definition under RUSTICATION.

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

The "scope" of what I have to state Is to suspend and rusticate.—Ibid., p. 28.

The same meaning is thus paraphrastically conveyed:—

By my official power, I swear, That you shall smell the country air.—Rebelliad, p. 45.

RUSTICATION. In universities and colleges, the punishment of a student for some offence, by compelling him to leave the institution, and reside for a time in the country, where he is obliged to pursue with a private instructor the studies with which his class are engaged during his term of separation, and in which he is obliged to pass a satisfactory examination before he can be reinstated in his class.

It seems plain from his own verses to Diodati, that Milton had incurred rustication,—a temporary dismission into the country, with, perhaps, the loss of a term.—Johnson.

Take then this friendly exhortation. The next offence is Rustication. MS. Poem, by John Q. Adams.

RUST-RINGING. At Hamilton College, "the Freshmen," writes a correspondent, "are supposed to lose some of their verdancy at the end of the last term of that year, and the 'ringing off their rust' consists in ringing the chapel bell—commencing at midnight —until the rope wears out. During the ringing, the upper classes are diverted by the display of numerous fire-works, and enlivened by most beautifully discordant sounds, called 'music,' made to issue from tin kettle-drums, horse-fiddles, trumpets, horns, &c., &c."


SACK. To expel. Used at Hamilton College.

SAIL. At Bowdoin College, a sail is a perfect recitation. To sail is to recite perfectly.

SAINT. A name among students for one who pretends to particular sanctity of manners.

Or if he had been a hard-reading man from choice,—or a stupid man,—or a "saint,"—no one would have troubled themselves about him.—Blackwood's Mag., Eng. ed., Vol. LX. p. 148.

SALTING THE FRESHMEN. In reference to this custom, which belongs to Dartmouth College, a correspondent from that institution writes: "There is an annual trick of 'salting the Freshmen,' which is putting salt and water on their seats, so that their clothes are injured when they sit down." The idea of preservation, cleanliness, and health is no doubt intended to be conveyed by the use of the wholesome articles salt and water.

SALUTATORIAN. The student of a college who pronounces the salutatory oration at the annual Commencement.—Webster.

SALUTATORY. An epithet applied to the oration which introduces the exercises of the Commencements in American colleges.—Webster.

The oration is often called, simply, The Salutatory.

And we ask our friends "out in the world," whenever they meet an educated man of the class of '49, not to ask if he had the Valedictory or Salutatory, but if he takes the Indicator.—Amherst Indicator, Vol. II. p. 96.

SATIS. Latin; literally, enough. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., the lowest honor in the schools. The manner in which this word is used is explained in the Gradus ad Cantabrigiam, as follows: "Satis disputasti; which is at much as to say, in the colloquial style, 'Bad enough.' Satis et bene disputasti, 'Pretty fair,—tolerable.' Satis et optime disputasti, 'Go thy ways, thou flower and quintessence of Wranglers.' Such are the compliments to be expected from the Moderator, after the act is kept."—p. 95.

S.B. An abbreviation for Scientiae Baccalaureus, Bachelor in Science. At Harvard College, this degree is conferred on those who have pursued a prescribed course of study for at least one year in the Scientific School, and at the end of that period passed a satisfactory examination. The different degrees of excellence are expressed in the diploma by the words, cum laude, cum magna laude, cum summa laude.

SCARLET DAY. In the Church of England, certain festival days are styled scarlet days. On these occasions, the doctors in the three learned professions appear in their scarlet robes, and the noblemen residing in the universities wear their full dresses.—Grad. ad Cantab.

SCHEME. The printed papers which are given to the students at Yale College at the Biennial Examination, and which contain the questions that are to be answered, are denominated schemes. They are also called, simply, papers.

See the down-cast air, and the blank despair, That sits on each Soph'more feature, As his bleared eyes gleam o'er that horrid scheme! Songs of Yale, 1853, p. 22.

Olmsted served an apprenticeship setting up types, For the schemes of Bien. Examination. Presentation Day Songs, June 14, 1854.

Here's health to the tutors who gave us good schemes, Vive la compagnie! Songs, Biennial Jubilee, 1855.

SCHOLAR. Any member of a college, academy, or school.

2. An undergraduate in English universities, who belongs to the foundation of a college, and receives support in part from its revenues.—Webster.

SCHOLAR OF THE HOUSE. At Yale College, those are called Scholars of the House who, by superiority in scholarship, become entitled to receive the income arising from certain foundations established for the purpose of promoting learning and literature. In some cases the recipient is required to remain at New Haven for a specified time, and pursue a course of studies under the direction of the Faculty of the College.—Sketches of Yale Coll., p. 86. Laws of Yale Coll.

2. "The scholar of the house," says President Woolsey, in his Historical Discourse,—"scholaris aedilitus of the Latin laws,—before the institution of Berkeley's scholarships which had the same title, was a kind of aedile appointed by the President and Tutors to inspect the public buildings, and answered in a degree to the Inspector known to our present laws and practice. He was not to leave town until the Friday after Commencement, because in that week more than usual damage was done to the buildings."—p. 43.

The duties of this officer are enumerated in the annexed passage. "The Scholar of the House, appointed by the President, shall diligently observe and set down the glass broken in College windows, and every other damage done in College, together with the time when, and the person by whom, it was done; and every quarter he shall make up a bill of such damages, charged against every scholar according to the laws of College, and deliver the same to the President or the Steward, and the Scholar of the House shall tarry at College until Friday noon after the public Commencement, and in that time shall be obliged to view any damage done in any chamber upon the information of him to whom the chamber is assigned."—Laws of Yale Coll., 1774, p. 22.

SCHOLARSHIP. Exhibition or maintenance for a scholar; foundation for the support of a student—Ainsworth.

SCHOOL. THE SCHOOLS, pl.; the seminaries for teaching logic, metaphysics, and theology, which were formed in the Middle Ages, and which were characterized by academical disputations and subtilties of reasoning; or the learned men who were engaged in discussing nice points in metaphysics or theology.—Webster.

2. In some American colleges, the different departments for teaching law, medicine, divinity, &c. are denominated schools.

3. The name given at the University of Oxford to the place of examination. The principal exercises consist of disputations in philosophy, divinity, and law, and are always conducted in a sort of barbarous Latin.

I attended the Schools several times, with the view of acquiring the tact and self-possession so requisite in these public contests.—Alma Mater, Vol. II. p. 39.

There were only two sets of men there, one who fagged unremittingly for the Schools, and another devoted to frivolity and dissipation.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 141.

S.C.L. At the English universities, one who is pursuing law studies and has not yet received the degree of B.C.L. or D.C.L., is designated S.C.L., Student in or of Civil Law.

At the University of Cambridge, Eng., persons in this rank who have kept their acts wear a full-sleeved gown, and are entitled to use a B.A. hood.

SCONCE. To mulct; to fine. Used at the University of Oxford.

A young fellow of Baliol College, having, upon some discontent cut his throat very dangerously, the Master of the College sent his servitor to the buttery-book to sconce (i.e. fine) him 5s.; and, says the Doctor, tell him the next time he cuts his throat I'll sconce him ten.—Terrae-Filius, No. 39.

Was sconced in a quart of ale for quoting Latin, a passage from Juvenal; murmured, and the fine was doubled.—The Etonian, Vol. II. p. 391.

SCOUT. A cant term at Oxford for a college servant or waiter.—Oxford Guide.

My scout, indeed, is a very learned fellow, and has an excellent knack at using hard words. One morning he told me the gentleman in the next room contagious to mine desired to speak to me. I once overheard him give a fellow-servant very sober advice not to go astray, but be true to his own wife; for idolatry would surely bring a man to instruction at last.—The Student, Oxf. and Cam., 1750, Vol. I. p. 55.

An anteroom, or vestibule, which serves the purpose of a scout's pantry.—The Etonian, Vol. II. p. 280.

Scouts are usually pretty communicative of all they know.—Blackwood's Mag., Eng. ed., Vol. LX. p. 147.

Sometimes used in American colleges.

In order to quiet him, we had to send for his factotum or scout, an old black fellow.—Yale Lit. Mag., Vol. XI. p. 282.

SCRAPE. To insult by drawing the feet over the floor.—Grose.

But in a manner quite uncivil, They hissed and scraped him like the devil. Rebelliad, p. 37.

"I do insist," Quoth he, "that two, who scraped and hissed, Shall be condemned without a jury To pass the winter months in rure."—Ibid., p. 41.

They not unfrequently rose to open outrage or some personal molestation, as casting missiles through his windows at night, or "scraping him" by day.—A Tour through College, Boston, 1832, p. 25.

SCRAPING. A drawing of, or the act of drawing, the feet over the floor, as an insult to some one, or merely to cause disturbance; a shuffling of the feet.

New lustre was added to the dignity of their feelings by the pathetic and impressive manner in which they expressed them, which was by stamping and scraping majestically with their feet, when in the presence of the detested tutors.—Don Quixotes at College, 1807.

The morning and evening daily prayers were, on the next day (Thursday), interrupted by scraping, whistling, groaning, and other disgraceful noises.—Circular, Harvard College, 1834, p. 9.

This word is used in the universities and colleges of both England and America.

SCREW. In some American colleges, an excessive, unnecessarily minute, and annoying examination of a student by an instructor is called a screw. The instructor is often designated by the same name.

Haunted by day with fearful screw. Harvard Lyceum, p. 102.

Screws, duns, and other such like evils. Rebelliad, p. 77.

One must experience all the stammering and stuttering, the unending doubtings and guessings, to understand fully the power of a mathematical screw.—Harv. Reg., p. 378.

The consequence was, a patient submission to the screw, and a loss of college honors and patronage.—A Tour through College, Boston, 1832, p. 26.

I'll tell him a whopper next time, and astonish him so that he'll forget his screws.—Yale Lit. Mag., Vol. XI. p. 336.

What a darned screw our tutor is.—Ibid.

Apprehension of the severity of the examination, or what in after times, by an academic figure of speech, was called screwing, or a screw, was what excited the chief dread.—Willard's Memories of Youth and Manhood, Vol. I. p. 256.

Passing such an examination is often denominated taking a screw.

And sad it is to take a screw. Harv. Reg., p. 287.

2. At Bowdoin College, an imperfect recitation is called a screw.

You never should look blue, sir, If you chance to take a "screw," sir, To us it's nothing new, sir, To drive dull care away. The Bowdoin Creed.

We've felt the cruel, torturing screw, And oft its driver's ire. Song, Sophomore Supper, Bowdoin Coll., 1850.

SCREW. To press with an excessive and unnecessarily minute examination.

Who would let a tutor knave Screw him like a Guinea slave! Rebelliad, p. 53.

Have I been screwed, yea, deaded morn and eve, Some dozen moons of this collegiate life? Harvardiana, Vol. III. p. 255.

O, I do well remember when in college, How we fought reason,—battles all in play,— Under a most portentous man of knowledge, The captain-general in the bloodless fray; He was a wise man, and a good man, too, And robed himself in green whene'er he came to screw. Our Chronicle of '26, Boston, 1827.

In a note to the last quotation, the author says of the word screw: "For the information of the inexperienced, we explain this as a term quite rife in the universities, and, taken substantively, signifying an intellectual nonplus."

At last the day is ended, The tutor screws no more. Knick. Mag., Vol. XLV. p. 195.

SCREWING UP. The meaning of this phrase, as understood by English Cantabs, may be gathered from the following extract. "A magnificent sofa will be lying close to a door ... bored through from top to bottom from the screwing up of some former unpopular tenant; "screwing up" being the process of fastening on the outside, with nails and screws, every door of the hapless wight's apartments. This is done at night, and in the morning the gentleman is leaning three-fourths out of his window, bawling for rescue."—Westminster Rev., Am. Ed., Vol. XXXV. p. 239.

SCRIBBLING-PAPER. A kind of writing-paper, rather inferior in quality, a trifle larger than foolscap, and used at the English universities by mathematicians and in the lecture-room.—Bristed. Grad. ad Cantab.

Cards are commonly sold at Cambridge as "scribbling-paper."—Westminster Rev., Am. ed., Vol. XXXV. p. 238.

The summer apartment contained only a big standing-desk, the eternal "scribbling-paper," and the half-dozen mathematical works required.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 218.

SCROUGE. An exaction. A very long lesson, or any hard or unpleasant task, is usually among students denominated a scrouge.

SCROUGE. To exact; to extort; said of an instructor who imposes difficult tasks on his pupils.

It is used provincially in England, and in America in some of the Northern and Southern States, with the meaning to crowd, to squeeze.—Bartlett's Dict. of Americanisms.

SCRUB. At Columbia College, a servant.

2. One who is disliked for his meanness, ill-breeding, or vulgarity. Nearly equivalent to SPOON, q.v.

SCRUBBY. Possessing the qualities of a scrub. Partially synonymous with the adjective SPOONY, q.v.

SCRUTATOR. In the University of Cambridge, England, an officer whose duty it is to attend all Congregations, to read the graces to the lower house of the Senate, to gather the votes secretly, or to take them openly in scrutiny, and publicly to pronounce the assent or dissent of that house.—Cam. Cal.

SECOND-YEAR MEN. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., the title of Second-Year Men, or Junior Sophs or Sophisters, is given to students during the second year of their residence at the University.

SECTION COURT. At Union College, the college buildings are divided into sections, a section comprising about fifteen rooms. Within each section is established a court, which is composed of a judge, an advocate, and a secretary, who are chosen by the students resident therein from their own number, and hold their offices during one college term. Each section court claims the power to summon for trial any inhabitant within the bounds of its jurisdiction who may be charged with improper conduct. The accused may either defend himself, or select some person to plead for him, such residents of the section as choose to do so acting as jurors. The prisoner, if found guilty, is sentenced at the discretion of the court,—generally, to treat the company to some specified drink or dainty. These courts often give occasion for a great deal of fun, and sometimes call out real wit and eloquence.

At one of our "section courts," which those who expected to enter upon the study of the law used to hold, &c.—The Parthenon, Union Coll., 1851, p. 19.

SECTION OFFICER. At Union College, each section of the college buildings, containing about fifteen rooms, is under the supervision of a professor or tutor, who is styled the section officer. This officer is required to see that there be no improper noise in the rooms or corridors, and to report the absence of students from chapel and recitation, and from their rooms during study hours.

SEED. In Yale College this word is used to designate what is understood by the common cant terms, "a youth"; "case"; "bird"; "b'hoy"; "one of 'em."

While tutors, every sport defeating, And under feet-worn stairs secreting, And each dark lane and alley beating, Hunt up the seeds in vain retreating. Yale Banger, Nov. 1849.

The wretch had dared to flunk a gory seed! Ibid., Nov. 1849.

One tells his jokes, the other tells his beads, One talks of saints, the other sings of seeds. Ibid., Nov. 1849.

But we are "seeds," whose rowdy deeds Make up the drunken tale. Yale Tomahawk, Nov. 1849.

First Greek he enters; and with reckless speed He drags o'er stumps and roots each hapless seed. Ibid., Nov. 1849.

Each one a bold seed, well fit for the deed, But of course a little bit flurried. Ibid., May, 1852.

SEEDY. At Yale College, rowdy, riotous, turbulent.

And snowballs, falling thick and fast As oaths from seedy Senior crowd. Yale Gallinipper, Nov. 1848.

A seedy Soph beneath a tree. Yale Gallinipper, Nov. 1848.

2. Among English Cantabs, not well, out of sorts, done up; the sort of feeling that a reading man has after an examination, or a rowing man after a dinner with the Beefsteak Club. Also, silly, easy to perform.—Bristed.

The owner of the apartment attired in a very old dressing-gown and slippers, half buried in an arm-chair, and looking what some young ladies call interesting, i.e. pale and seedy.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 151.

You will seldom find anything very seedy set for Iambics.—Ibid., p. 182.

SELL. An unexpected reply; a deception or trick.

In the Literary World, March 15, 1851, is the following explanation of this word: "Mr. Phillips's first introduction to Curran was made the occasion of a mystification, or practical joke, in which Irish wits have excelled since the time of Dean Swift, who was wont (vide his letters to Stella) to call these jocose tricks 'a sell,' from selling a bargain." The word bargain, however, which Johnson, in his Dictionary, defines "an unexpected reply tending to obscenity," was formerly used more generally among the English wits. The noun sell has of late been revived in this country, and is used to a certain extent in New York and Boston, and especially among the students at Cambridge.

I sought some hope to borrow, by thinking it a "sell" By fancying it a fiction, my anguish to dispel. Poem before the Iadma of Harv. Coll., 1850, p. 8.

SELL. To give an unexpected answer; to deceive; to cheat.

For the love you bear me, never tell how badly I was sold.—Yale Lit. Mag., Vol. XX. p. 94.

The use of this verb is much more common in the United States than that of the noun of the same spelling, which is derived from it; for instance, we frequently read in the newspapers that the Whigs or Democrats have been sold, i.e. defeated in an election, or cheated in some political affair. The phrase to sell a bargain, which Bailey defines "to put a sham upon one," is now scarcely ever heard. It was once a favorite expression with certain English writers.

Where sold he bargains, Whipstitch?—Dryden.

No maid at court is less ashamed, Howe'er for selling bargains famed.—Swift.

Dr. Sheridan, famous for punning, intending to sell a bargain, said, he had made a very good pun.—Swift, Bons Mots de Stella.

SEMESTER. Latin, semestris, sex, six, and mensis, month. In the German universities, a period or term of six months. The course of instruction occupies six semesters. Class distinctions depend upon the number of semesters, not of years. During the first semester, the student is called Fox, in the second Burnt Fox, and then, successively, Young Bursch, Old Bursch, Old House, and Moss-covered Head.

SENATE. In the University of Cambridge, England, the legislative body of the University. It is divided into two houses, called REGENT and NON-REGENT. The former consists of the vice-chancellor, proctors, taxors, moderators, and esquire-beadles, all masters of arts of less than five years' standing, and all doctors of divinity, civil law, and physic, of less than two, and is called the UPPER HOUSE, or WHITE-HOOD HOUSE, from its members wearing hoods lined with white silk. The latter is composed of masters of arts of five years' standing, bachelors of divinity, and doctors in the three faculties of two years' standing, and is known as the LOWER HOUSE, or BLACK-HOOD HOUSE, its members wearing black silk hoods. To have a vote in the Senate, the graduate must keep his name on the books of some college (which involves a small annual payment), or in the list of the commorantes in villa.—Webster. Cam. Cal. Lit. World, Vol. XII. p. 283.

2. At Union College, the members of the Senior Class form what is called the Senate, a body organized after the manner of the Senate of the United States, for the purpose of becoming acquainted with the forms and practice of legislation. The members of the Junior Class compose the House of Representatives. The following account, showing in what manner the Senate is conducted, has been furnished by a member of Union College.

"On the last Friday of the third term, the House of Representatives meet in their hall, and await their initiation to the Upper House. There soon appears a committee of three, who inform them by their chairman of the readiness of the Senate to receive them, and perhaps enlarge upon the importance of the coming trust, and the ability of the House to fill it.

"When this has been done, the House, headed by the committee, proceed to the Senate Chamber (Senior Chapel), and are arranged by the committee around the President, the Senators (Seniors) meanwhile having taken the second floor. The President of the Senate then rises and delivers an appropriate address, informing them of their new dignities and the grave responsibilities of their station. At the conclusion of this they take their seats, and proceed to the election of officers, viz. a President, a Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The President must be a member of the Faculty, and is chosen for a term; the other officers are selected from the House, and continue in office but half a term. The first Vice-Presidency of the Senate is considered one of the highest honors conferred by the class, and great is the strife to obtain it.

"The Senate meet again on the second Friday of the next term, when they receive the inaugural message of the President. He then divides them into seven districts, each district including the students residing in a Section, or Hall of College, except the seventh, which is filled by the students lodging in town. The Senate is also divided into a number of standing committees, as Law, Ethics, Political Economy. Business is referred to these committees, and reported on by them in the usual manner. The time of the Senate is principally occupied with the discussion of resolutions, in committee of the whole; and these discussions take the place of the usual Friday afternoon recitation. At Commencement the Senate have an orator of their own election, who must, however, have been a past or honorary member of their body. They also have a committee on the 'Commencement Card.'"

On the same subject, another correspondent writes as follows:—

"The Senate is composed of the Senior Class, and is intended as a school of parliamentary usages. The officers are a President, Vice-President, and Secretary, who are chosen once a term. At the close of the second term, the Junior Class are admitted into the Senate. They are introduced by a committee of Senators, and are expected to remain standing and uncovered during the ceremony, the President and Senators being seated and covered. After a short address by the President, the old Senators leave the house, and the Juniors proceed to elect their officers for the third term. Dr. Thomas C. Reed who was the founder of the Senate, was always elected President during his connection with the College, but rarely took his place in the chamber except at the introduction of the Juniors. The Vice-President for the third term, who takes a part in the ceremonies of commencement, is considered to hold the highest honor of the class, and his election is attended with more excitement than any other in the College."


SENATE-HOUSE. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., the building in which the public business of the University, such as examinations, the passing of graces, and admission to degrees, is carried on.—Cam. Guide.

SENATUS ACADEMICUS. At Trinity College, Hartford, the Senatus Academicus consists of two houses, known as the CORPORATION and the HOUSE OF CONVOCATION, q.v.—Calendar Trin. Coll., 1850, p. 6.

SENE. An abbreviation for Senior.

Magnificent Juns, and lazy Senes. Yale Banger, Nov. 10, 1846.

A rare young blade is the gallant Sene. Ibid., Nov. 1850.

SENIOR. One in the fourth year of his collegiate course at an American college; originally called Senior Sophister. Also one in the third year of his course at a theological seminary.—Webster.


SENIOR. Noting the fourth year of the collegiate course in American colleges, or the third year in theological seminaries.—Webster.

SENIOR BACHELOR. One who is in his third year after taking the degree of Bachelor of Arts. It is further explained by President Woolsey, in his Historical Discourse: "Bachelors were called Senior, Middle, or Junior Bachelors, according to the year since graduation and before taking the degree of Master."—p. 122.

SENIOR CLASSIC. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., the student who passes best in the voluntary examination in classics, which follows the last required examination in the Senate-House.

No one stands a chance for Senior Classic alongside of him.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 55.

Two men who had been rivals all the way through school and through college were racing for Senior Classic.—Ibid., p. 253.

SENIOR FELLOW. At Trinity College, Hartford, the Senior Fellow is a person chosen to attend the college examinations during the year.

SENIOR FRESHMAN. The name of the second of the four classes into which undergraduates are divided at Trinity College, Dublin.

SENIORITY. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., the eight Senior Fellows and the Master of a college compose what is called the Seniority. Their decisions in all matters are generally conclusive.

My duty now obliges me, however reluctantly, to bring you before the Seniority.—Alma Mater, Vol. I. p. 75.

SENIOR OPTIME. Those who occupy the second rank in honors at the close of the final examination at the University of Cambridge, Eng., are denominated Senior Optimes.

The Second Class, or that of Senior Optimes, is larger in number [than that of the Wranglers], usually exceeding forty, and sometimes reaching above sixty. This class contains a number of disappointments, many who expect to be Wranglers, and some who are generally expected to be.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 228.

The word is frequently abbreviated.

The Pembroker ... had the pleasant prospect of getting up all his mathematics for a place among the Senior Ops.Ibid., p. 158.

He would get just questions enough to make him a low Senior Op.Ibid., p. 222.

SENIOR ORATION. "The custom of delivering Senior Orations," says a correspondent, "is, I think, confined to Washington and Jefferson Colleges in Pennsylvania. Each member of the Senior Class, taking them in alphabetical order, is required to deliver an oration before graduating, and on such nights as the Faculty may decide. The public are invited to attend, and the speaking is continued at appointed times, until each member of the Class has spoken."

SENIOR SOPHISTER. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., a student in the third year of his residence is called a Senior Soph or Sophister.

2. In some American colleges, a member of the Senior Class, i.e. of the fourth year, was formerly designated a Senior Sophister.


SENIOR WRANGLER. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., the Senior Wrangler is the student who passes the best examination in the Senate-House, and by consequence holds the first place on the Mathematical Tripos.

The only road to classical honors and their accompanying emoluments in the University, and virtually in all the Colleges, except Trinity, is through mathematical honors, all candidates for the Classical Tripos being obliged as a preliminary to obtain a place in that mathematical list which is headed by the Senior Wrangler and tailed by the Wooden Spoon.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 34.

SEQUESTER. To cause to retire or withdraw into obscurity. In the following passage it is used in the collegiate sense of suspend or rusticate.

Though they were adulti, they were corrected in the College, and sequestered, &c. for a time.—Winthrop's Journal, by Savage, Vol. II. p. 88.

SERVITOR. In the University of Oxford, an undergraduate who is partly supported by the college funds. Servitors formerly waited at table, but this is now dispensed with. The order similar to that of the servitor was at Cambridge styled the order of Sub-sizars. This has been long extinct. The sizar at Cambridge is at present nearly equivalent to the Oxford servitor.—Gent. Mag., 1787, p. 1146. Brande.

"It ought to be known," observes De Quincey, "that the class of 'servitors,' once a large body in Oxford, have gradually become practically extinct under the growing liberality of the age. They carried in their academic dress a mark of their inferiority; they waited at dinner on those of higher rank, and performed other menial services, humiliating to themselves, and latterly felt as no less humiliating to the general name and interests of learning."—Life and Manners, p. 272.

A reference to the cruel custom of "hunting the servitor" is to be found in Sir John Hawkins's Life of Dr. Johnson, p. 12.

SESSION. At some of the Southern and Western colleges of the United States, the time during which instruction is regularly given to the students; a term.

The session commences on the 1st of October, and continues without interruption until the 29th of June.—Cat. of Univ. of Virginia, 1851, p. 15.

SEVENTY-EIGHTH PSALM. The recollections which cluster around this Psalm, so well known to all the Alumni of Harvard, are of the most pleasant nature. For more than a hundred years, it has been sung at the dinner given on Commencement day at Cambridge, and for more than a half-century to the tune of St. Martin's. Mr. Samuel Shapleigh, who graduated at Harvard College in the year 1789, and who was afterwards its Librarian, on the leaf of a hymn-book makes a memorandum in reference to this Psalm, to the effect that it has been sung at Cambridge on Commencement day "from time immemorial." The late Rev. Dr. John Pierce, a graduate of the class of 1793, referring to the same subject, remarks: "The Seventy-eighth Psalm, it is supposed, has, from the foundation of the College, been sung in the common version of the day." In a poem, entitled Education, delivered at Cambridge before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, by Mr. William Biglow, July 18th, 1799, speaking of the conduct and manners of the students, the author says:—

"Like pigs they eat, they drink an ocean dry, They steal like France, like Jacobins they lie, They raise the very Devil, when called to prayers, 'To sons transmit the same, and they again to theirs'";

and, in explanation of the last line, adds this note: "Alluding to the Psalm which is always sung in Harvard Hall on Commencement day." In his account of some of the exercises attendant upon the Commencement at Harvard College in 1848, Professor Sidney Willard observes: "At the Commencement dinner the sitting is not of long duration; and we retired from table soon after the singing of the Psalm, which, with some variation in the version, has been sung on the same occasion from time immemorial."—Memoirs of Youth and Manhood, Vol. II. p. 65.

But that we cannot take these accounts as correct in their full extent, appears from an entry in the MS. Diary of Chief Justice Sewall relating to a Commencement in 1685, which he closes with these words: "After Dinner ye 3d part of ye 103d Ps. was sung in ye Hall."

In the year 1793, at the dinner on Commencement Day, the Rev. Joseph Willard, then President of the College, requested Mr. afterwards Dr. John Pierce, to set the tune to the Psalm; with which request having complied to the satisfaction of all present, he from that period until the time of his death, in 1849, performed this service, being absent only on one occasion. Those who have attended Commencement dinners during the latter part of this period cannot but associate with this hallowed Psalm the venerable appearance and the benevolent countenance of this excellent man.

In presenting a list of the different versions in which this Psalm has been sung, it must not be supposed that entire correctness has been reached; the very scanty accounts which remain render this almost impossible, but from these, which on a question of greater importance might be considered hardly sufficient, it would appear that the following are the versions in which the sons of Harvard have been accustomed to sing the Psalm of the son of Jesse.

1.—The New England Version.

"In 1639 there was an agreement amo. ye Magistrates and Ministers to set aside ye Psalms then printed at ye end of their Bibles, and sing one more congenial to their ideas of religion." Rev. Mr. Richard Mather of Dorchester, and Rev. Mr. Thomas Weld and Rev. Mr. John Eliot of Roxbury, were selected to make a metrical translation, to whom the Rev. Thomas Shepard of Cambridge gives the following metrical caution:—

"Ye Roxbury poets, keep clear of ye crime Of missing to give us very good rhyme, And you of Dorchester, your verses lengthen, But with the texts own words you will y'm strengthen."

The version of this ministerial trio was printed in the year 1640, at Cambridge, and has the honor of being the first production of the North American press that rises to the dignity of a book. It was entitled, "The Psalms newly turned into Metre." A second edition was printed in 1647. "It was more to be commended, however," says Mr. Peirce, in his History of Harvard University, "for its fidelity to the text, than for the elegance of its versification, which, having been executed by persons of different tastes and talents, was not only very uncouth, but deficient in uniformity. President Dunster, who was an excellent Oriental scholar, and possessed the other requisite qualifications for the task, was employed to revise and polish it; and in two or three years, with the assistance of Mr. Richard Lyon, a young gentleman who was sent from England by Sir Henry Mildmay to attend his son, then a student in Harvard College, he produced a work, which, under the appellation of the 'Bay Psalm-Book,' was, for a long time, the received version in the New England congregations, was also used in many societies in England and Scotland, and passed through a great number of editions, both at home and abroad."—p. 14.

The Seventy-eighth Psalm is thus rendered in the first edition:—

Give listning eare unto my law, Yee people that are mine, Unto the sayings of my mouth Doe yee your eare incline.

My mouth I'le ope in parables, I'le speak hid things of old: Which we have heard, and knowne: and which Our fathers have us told.

Them from their children wee'l not hide, To th' after age shewing The Lords prayses; his strength, and works Of his wondrous doing.

In Jacob he a witnesse set, And put in Israell A law, which he our fathers charg'd They should their children tell:

That th' age to come, and children which Are to be borne might know; That they might rise up and the same Unto their children show.

That they upon the mighty God Their confidence might set: And Gods works and his commandment Might keep and not forget,

And might not like their fathers be, A stiffe, stout race; a race That set not right their hearts: nor firme With God their spirit was.

The Bay Psalm-Book underwent many changes in the various editions through which it passed, nor was this psalm left untouched, as will be seen by referring to the twenty-sixth edition, published in 1744, and to the edition of 1758, revised and corrected, with additions, by Mr. Thomas Prince.

2.—Watts's Version.

The Psalms and Hymns of Dr. Isaac Watts were first published in this country by Dr. Franklin, in the year 1741. His version is as follows:—

Let children hear the mighty deeds Which God performed of old; Which in our younger years we saw, And which our fathers told.

He bids us make his glories known, His works of power and grace, And we'll convey his wonders down Through every rising race.

Our lips shall tell them to our sons, And they again to theirs, That generations yet unborn May teach them to their heirs.

Thus shall they learn in God alone Their hope securely stands, That they may ne'er forget his works, But practise his commands;

3.—Brady and Tate's Version.

In the year 1803, the Seventy-eighth Psalm was first printed on a small sheet and placed under every plate, which practice has since been always adopted. The version of that year was from Brady and Tate's collection, first published in London in 1698, and in this country about the year 1739. It was sung to the tune of St. Martin's in 1805, as appears from a memorandum in ink on the back of one of the sheets for that year, which reads, "Sung in the hall, Commencement Day, tune St. Martin's, 1805." From the statements of graduates of the last century, it seems that this had been the customary tune for some time previous to this year, and it is still retained as a precious legacy of the past. St. Martin's was composed by William Tans'ur in the year 1735. The following is the version of Brady and Tate:—

Hear, O my people; to my law Devout attention lend; Let the instruction of my mouth Deep in your hearts descend.

My tongue, by inspiration taught, Shall parables unfold, Dark oracles, but understood, And owned for truths of old;

Which we from sacred registers Of ancient times have known, And our forefathers' pious care To us has handed down.

We will not hide them from our sons; Our offspring shall be taught The praises of the Lord, whose strength Has works of wonders wrought.

For Jacob he this law ordained, This league with Israel made; With charge, to be from age to age, From race to race, conveyed,

That generations yet to come Should to their unborn heirs Religiously transmit the same, And they again to theirs.

To teach them that in God alone Their hope securely stands; That they should ne'er his works forget, But keep his just commands.

4.—From Belknap's Collection.

This collection was first published by the Rev. Dr. Jeremy Belknap, at Boston, in 1795. The version of the Seventy-eighth Psalm is partly from that of Brady and Tate, and partly from Dr. Watts's, with a few slight variations. It succeeded the version of Brady and Tate about the year 1820, and is the one which is now used. The first three stanzas were written by Brady and Tate; the last three by Dr. Watts. It has of late been customary to omit the last stanza in singing and in printing.

Give ear, ye children;[62] to my law Devout attention lend; Let the instructions[63] of my mouth Deep in your hearts descend.

My tongue, by inspiration taught, Shall parables unfold; Dark oracles, but understood, And owned for truths of old;

Which we from sacred registers Of ancient times have known, And our forefathers' pious care To us has handed down.

Let children learn[64] the mighty deeds Which God performed of old; Which, in our younger years we saw, And which our fathers told.

Our lips shall tell them to our sons, And they again to theirs; That generations yet unborn May teach them to their heirs.

Thus shall they learn in God alone Their hope securely stands; That they may ne'er forget his works, But practise his commands.

It has been supposed by some that the version of the Seventy-eighth Psalm by Sternhold and Hopkins, whose spiritual songs were usually printed, as appears above, "at ye end of their Bibles," was the first which was sung at Commencement dinners; but this does not seem at all probable, since the first Commencement at Cambridge did not take place until 1642, at which time the "Bay Psalm-Book," written by three of the most popular ministers of the day, had already been published two years.

SHADY. Among students at the University of Cambridge, Eng., an epithet of depreciation, equivalent to MILD and SLOW.—Bristed.

Some ... are rather shady in Greek and Latin.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 147.

My performances on the Latin verse paper were very shady.—Ibid., p. 191.

SHARK. In student language, an absence from a recitation, a lecture, or from prayers, prompted by recklessness rather than by necessity, is called a shark. He who is absent under these circumstances is also known as a shark.

The Monitors' task is now quite done, They 've pencilled all their marks, "Othello's occupation's gone,"— No more look out for sharks. Songs of Yale, 1853, p. 45.

SHEEPSKIN. The parchment diploma received by students on taking their degree at college. "In the back settlements are many clergymen who have not had the advantages of a liberal education, and who consequently have no diplomas. Some of these look upon their more favored brethren with a little envy. A clergyman is said to have a sheepskin, or to be a sheepskin, when educated at college."—Bartlett's Dict. of Americanisms.

This apostle of ourn never rubbed his back agin a college, nor toted about no sheepskins,—no, never!... How you'd a perished in your sins, if the first preachers had stayed till they got sheepskins.—Carlton's New Purchase.

I can say as well as the best on them sheepskins, if you don't get religion and be saved, you'll be lost, teetotally and for ever.—(Sermon of an Itinerant Preacher at a Camp Meeting.)—Ibid.

As for John Prescot, he not only lost the valedictory, but barely escaped with his "sheepskin."—Yale Lit. Mag., Vol. X. p. 74.

That handsome Senior ... receives his sheepskin from the dispensing hand of our worthy Prex.—Ibid., Vol. XIX. p. 355.

When first I saw a "Sheepskin," In Prex's hand I spied it. Yale Coll. Song.

We came to college fresh and green,— We go back home with a huge sheepskin. Songs of Yale, 1853, p. 43.

SHIN. To tease or hector a person by kicking his shins. In some colleges this is one of the means which the Sophomores adopt to torment the Freshmen, especially when playing at football, or other similar games.

We have been shinned, smoked, ducked, and accelerated by the encouraging shouts of our generous friends.—Yale Banger, Nov. 10, 1846.

SHINE. At Harvard College this word was formerly used to designate a good recitation. Used in the phrase, "to make a shine."

SHINNY. At Princeton College, the game of Shinny, known also by the names of Hawky and Hurly, is as great a favorite with the students as is football at other colleges. "The players," says a correspondent, "are each furnished with a stick four or five feet in length and one and a half or two inches in diameter, curved at one end, the object of which is to give the ball a surer blow. The ball is about three inches in diameter, bound with thick leather. The players are divided into two parties, arranged along from one goal to the other. The ball is then 'bucked' by two players, one from each side, which is done by one of these two taking the ball and asking his opponent which he will have, 'high or low'; if he says 'high,' the ball is thrown up midway between them; if he says 'low,' the ball is thrown on the ground. The game is opened by a scuffle between these two for the ball. The other players then join in, one party knocking towards North College, which is one 'home' (as it is termed), and the other towards the fence bounding the south side of the Campus, the other home. Whichever party first gets the ball home wins the game. A grand contest takes place annually between the Juniors and Sophomores, in this game."

SHIP. Among collegians, one expelled from college is said to be shipped.

For I, you know, am but a college minion, But still, you'll all be shipped, in my opinion, When brought before Conventus Facultatis. Yale Tomahawk, May, 1852.

He may be overhauled, warned, admonished, dismissed, shipped, rusticated, sent off, suspended.—Burlesque Catalogue, Yale Coll., 1852-53, p. 25.

SHIPWRECK. Among students, a total failure.

His university course has been a shipwreck, and he will probably end by going out unnoticed among the [Greek: polloi].—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 56.

SHORT-EAR. At Jefferson College, Penn., a soubriquet for a roistering, noisy fellow; a rowdy. Opposed to long-ear.

SHORT TERM. At Oxford, Eng., the extreme duration of residence in any college is under thirty weeks. "It is possible to keep 'short terms,' as the phrase is, by residence of thirteen weeks, or ninety-one days."—De Quincey's Life and Manners, p. 274.

SIDE. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., the set of pupils belonging to any one particular tutor is called his side.

A longer discourse he will perhaps have to listen to with the rest of his side.—Westminster Rev., Am. ed., Vol. XXXV. p. 281.

A large college has usually two tutors,—Trinity has three,—and the students are equally divided among them,—on their sides the phrase is.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 11.

SILVER CUP. At Trinity College, Hartford, this is a testimonial voted by each graduating class to the first legitimate boy whose father is a member of the class.

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