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The Ultimate College Dictionary: Lingo You Need To Know From A-Z

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By Emily Grier

As most college students will tell you, at some point during your first few days on campus, somebody will say something to you and might as well be talking in Finnish. And while awkwardly showing up to an ABC party dressed as your favorite consonant makes for a great freshman year anecdote, a quick review of this Dictionary will have you talking the talk in no time. So fear not, pre-college kids: this is your guide to college lingo. And just to clear this one up...

-A-
ABC Party: “Anything But Clothes” Party.
Attendees wear (as the name implies) anything but clothes: monopoly money, duct tape, candy bar wrappers, calculus notes, etc. It’s a great excuse to flaunt your creativity at making clothes out of, well, not clothes (and you thought that skill would never come in handy!).

-B-
Big-Little Week: Usually lasting about one week during each semester, a secret “big sister” (older member) in a sorority indulges her “little” (new member) with presents and surprises.

Trust me: whether you’re in a sorority or not, you’ll know when Big-Little Week is upon your campus. Neon posters covered in glitter and ribbons will grace girls’ doors with phrases like, “I love my little!” and miniature candy bars spelling out Greek letters will be found in many a hallway. For sorority sisters, it’s a week of pampering and fun. For non-sorority sisters, it’s the week that makes you question why you didn’t rush (who wouldn't love an entire week of presents?).

Bro: Used to describe the archetypal college party boy. You can usually find your fair share of bros prowling around campus on the weekends, looking for whatever combination of girls, booze and parties they can get their hands on. A bro can be easily identified by his signature lax pinnie and (often matching) flat billed hat ... attractive, I know.

BYOB: Bring your own ... banjo? Bicycle? Boom box? Boy? BYOB usually stands for “Bring Your Own Beer/Bottle.”
Typically, this means that the host of a party will not be providing alcohol, but guests can choose to bring their own.

-C-
Common Room: A shared living space or lounge in a dorm. Here’s the thing about a common room: everyone has it in common. Hence, they serve as the perfect place to get a little studying done AND to chat up any guys and girls that live in your building that you'd like to get to know a little better.

Helpful hint: don’t leave any personal belongings alone in a common room for too long. Common rooms serve as a great place for college kleptomaniacs to get their jollies (then again, “Sorry, Mom, somebody must've stolen that fuzzy unicorn sweater you got me for Christmas after I accidentally left it in the common room,” is always a legit excuse).

Creeper: (Generally) a person who is notorious for doing weird things ... really weird things. Typically, guys are the first ones to be labeled as a “creeper.” These are the guys who will watch you for a solid 20 minutes at a party before coming up behind you and creepily asking you to dance. They’re also the guys who just seem to be ... (how do I put this nicely?) ... one fry short of a Happy Meal.

Of course, girls can be creepers, too. Usually, a girl creeper is used in the context of a less-than-normal roommate. You know ... the one who stares at you while you sleep or watches you floss your teeth before bed. It’s pretty easy to spot these unique students ... creeper tendencies are hard to hide.

-D-
Darty (or Day-long): A party occurring during the day (aka an excuse to rage in broad daylight). At many college campuses, darty or day-long season begins in early spring, when the weather starts to warm up, and typically ends right before finals start.

Dead Week: The last week of classes before final exams. Usually by the time Dead Week rolls around, professors have already accomplished everything on the syllabus, so they will refrain from assigning anything new (good). BUT that also usually means that you already have a killer amount of studying to do (bad).

Dorm-cest: Hook-ups and relationships between two people living in the same dorm. This is probably the most inevitable part of living in a dorm. When you spend the majority of your time around the same few floors of guys, it's likely that at least a few intra-dorm hook-ups and relationships will happen throughout the year. Caution: Dorm-cest often results in drama and awkward post-hook-up interactions.

Drop: You were signed up to be in a class, but you have since taken it off of your schedule (you have ‘dropped’ it).

DFMO: Dance Floor Make Out. A semirespectable acronym for a (let's be honest) not-so-classy act.

-E-
Enrollment: This is the time of the year, usually at summer orientation if you are a freshman or in the fall and spring if you are an undergrad, in which you sign up for the classes you will take the next semester. To be ‘enrolled’ in a class means you are signed up to be in it.

Evaluation: A questionnaire in which you grade the performance of your professor. Yes, you have evaluations in high school. But for some reason, college evaluations are just so much sweeter. This is your one given chance in the semester to either praise that professor who changed your life or trash that professor who made absolutely no sense. You get to evaluate TAs, too. Make sure to be honest in your evaluation because you never know how your comments can affect the next semester’s curriculum and help out other students (unless your evaluation gets tossed in the trash, which it very well could be).

-F-
Formal: The college equivalent of a dance (usually hosted by frats, sororities or clubs). Depending on your school, formals may be more or less common. If Greek life is big on your campus, then chances are that formals are lavish events. For the less Greek-inclined universities, formals are equally fun events, usually held at a local hotel or frat house. Formals also serve as the ideal excuse for girls to to a) bring all of your pretty dresses to school (in the hopes that you will have a formal to attend) or b) buy a brand new pretty dress, so you have something fabulous to wear.

Fratastic: A fraternity brother that is the utmost definition of a bro. If you tell a frat brother that he's the most fratastic guy you’ve ever met, he’ll be thrilled by the compliment. If you tell a girl that you met a super fratastic guy at a party, she’ll tell you to run as fast as you can from your new fratastic friend. If you still have any questions, feel free to reference the definition of “bro” again.

Frat Star: A fraternity brother that has achieved “fratastic” status (see above).

-G-
GDI: An acronym that stands for Gamma Delta Iota. It’s an ironic Greek classification created to describe anyone not involved with Greek life. Basically, if a guy ever tells you that he pledged Gamma Delta Iota and invites you to a huge rager that they’re hosting this weekend ... enough said.

Greek Week: A week-long celebration of fraternities and sororities. Usually celebrated by only those involved in Greek life, this is another one of those Greek events that everyone will be aware of on campus. Depending on the school, Greek Week can range from a few extra parties for frats and sororities to entire days filled with entertainment, skits and bonding among Greek organizations.

-H-
Hall: Short for residence hall; the dorm building you live in. It's a favorite pastime of dorm residents to make up cutesy nicknames for the hall they live in that semester. For instance, I lived in Hartranft Hall, which we affectionately dubbed, “The Ranft.”

Highlighter Party: (Also called a Black Light Party) A party theme that requires guests to wear white or fluorescent colored clothing that appears to be glowing in black light. Guests may also write on each other's clothing throughout the night in highlighter. Highlighter parties have become the new toga party of college. It’s just one of those parties that happens so often throughout the year that it’s almost impossible to not end up attending one. Caution: DO NOT wear anything that you're especially in love with to this party. You will leave with highlighter all over your clothes, and other guests will not care that your white t-shirt is a premium cotton blend by French Connection...they’ll add their own artistic touch anyway.

-I-
Intramurals: Recreational organized sports teams. For those of us who aren’t quite athletically gifted enough to play sports at the NCAA level, intramurals offer the opportunity to continue to play a sport you love. And, always a plus, if your intramural football team loses the big game, your entire campus won’t be mad at you.

-K-
Keg: A barrel of beer that is usually at parties.

Kegs & Eggs: A morning keg party. These parties usually begin before daybreak (around 6 a.m.) and last until noon or later. Another version is finishing off the keg used at a party the night before while eating eggs.

-M-
Mixer: A party specifically held between one sorority and one frat. One of the benefits of rushing a sorority is that they hold exclusive mixers with frats on a fairly regular basis. Unless your name is Blake Lively, you’re probably not getting in to a mixer unless you’re a member of that particular sorority. Mixers offer a smaller setting (rather than a frat party) to get to know the members of a specific frat, giving you a unique chance to see these guys beyond their clichéd partying and beer chugging antics.

Click here to read N-Z on HerCampus.com!

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