Oxford University Slang

55 terms


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.


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.


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


 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 College examinations at the end of each term, when undergraduates wear white ties and bands, and are trotted through the subjects of the term's lecture. These are the occasions when the dons administer reproof or advice on the conduct of each individual undergrad.—Oxford University.


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.


A house. To crack a crib: to break open a house.
to steal or purloin; to appropriate small things.
a literal translation of a classic author.—University.
house, public or otherwise; lodgings, apartments; a situation. Very general in the latter sense.
To crib: To purloin, or appropriate to one's own use, part of any thing intrusted to one's care.


—For not paying his term bills to the bursar (treasurer), or for cutting chapels, or lectures, or other offences, the undergrad can be “crossed ” at the buttery, or kitchen, or both, i.e., a cross  is put against his name by the Don, who wishes to see him, or to punish him. Of course it is easy to get one's buttery commons out in some one else's name, and to order dinner in from the confectioner's. The porter is supposed to allow no dinners to be sent in, but, between his winking and a little disguise, it is possible. As another instance, a barrel of beer will not be admitted; but if it is in a hamper it will pass!—Oxford University.