British University Slang

35 terms


(CAMBRIDGE), A certificate from the apothecary that you are INDISPOSED, (i. e.) to go to chapel. He sports an Aegrotat, he is sick, and unable to attend Chapel. or Hall. It does not follow, however, but that he can STRUM A PIECE, or sport a pair of oars.


(CAMBRIDGE.) Men who are plucked, refused their degree.
To manoeuvre the apostles, i.e. rob Peter to pay Paul; that is, to borrow money of one man to pay another.
The Twelve , the last twelve names on the Poll, or “Ordinary Degree” List at the Cambridge Examinations, when it was arranged in order of merit, and not alphabetically, and in classes, as at present; so called from their being post alios, after the others.—See poll. The last of all was called St. Paul  (or Saint Poll), as being the least of the apostles, and “not meet to be called an apostle” (see  1 Cor. xv. 9). As in the “Honour” list (see  Gulf ), students who had failed only slightly in one or more subjects were occasionally allowed their degrees, and these were termed elegant extracts.—Camb. Univ. Slang.

Audit Ale

extra strong ale supposed to be drunk when the accounts are audited.—Camb. Univ.


for Brasenose, initials of Brazen Nose College. In spite of the nose over the gate the probability is the real name was Brasinium. It is still famous for its beer.—University.


(CAMBRIDGE.) Barge-men on the river.


the weekly bills at Oxford. Probably originally wooden tallies, and so a diminutive of bâton.—University.


tea; “a bitch  party,” a tea-drinking. Probably because undergraduates consider tea only fit for old women.—Oxford.
To bitch: To yield, or give up an attempt through fear. To stand bitch; to make tea, or do the honours of the tea-table, performing a female part: bitch there standing for woman, species for genius.
A she dog, or doggess; the most offensive appellation that can be given to an English woman, even more provoking than that of whore, as may he gathered from the regular Billinsgate or St. Giles's answer--"I may be a whore, but can't be a bitch."


a small kind of comb for curling the whiskers.—Oxford University.


a bankrupt.—Cheshire. Brosier-my-dame , school term, implying a clearing of the housekeeper's larder of provisions, in revenge for stinginess.—Eton.


the runners who accompany the proctor in his perambulations, and give chase to runaways.—University.