Cambridge University Slang

48 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.


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


an old name for academical gowns when they were worn scant and short, especially those of the students of St. John's College.—Camb. Univ. Any ragged or short academical gown.


 An undergrad is expected to attend seven out of the fourteen services in chapel each week, and to let four or five be morning chapels. Occasionally a Don—the Dean as a rule—will “chapel ” him, that is, order him to attend to worship his Creator twice daily. The Bible clerk “pricks the list,” i.e., marks down the names of all present.—Univ.


The house of commons; the necessary house.
the allowance of anything sent out of the buttery or kitchen. “A commons  of bread,” or “of cheese,” for instance.—University. Short commons  (derived from the University slang term), a scanty meal, a scarcity.