Nassau Herald, n. Princeton yearbook containing only the senior photos. To get all the other stuff you associate with yearbooks, you have to shell out some extra cash for the Bric-a-Brac. See “Bric-a-Brac.”
Nassau Weekly, n. Also “the Nass.” A weekly tabloid distributed far less than weekly. Known for humorous “Verbatim” section (random quotations) and nonsensical “Weekend” page (random gibberish).
netID, n. The part of your email address preceding “@princeton.edu” and your username for most campus websites.
New York Times, The, n. Princeton’s other daily newspaper. Lots of ‘Prince’ alumni on the staff ... just saying.
Newman’s Day, n. To Paul Newman’s chagrin, students attribute to him the quote “24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not.” Of course, Newman never said that, and there are 30 beers in a case, but this doesn’t stop University students from attempting to drink 24 beers in 24 hours every April 24.
Nude Olympics, n. Sophomore rite of passage banned in 1999 as part of an effort to reduce drunken revelry. Celebrated by running naked through Holder Courtyard at midnight on the night of each year’s first snowfall.
OA, abbrev. Outdoor Action. Week-long pre-orientation program that sends half of the incoming freshman class into the woods to get dirty and make friends. There’s no action on Outdoor Action, but there’s always freshman week to get to know a new friend even better.
ODUS, abbrev. Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students. Oversees campus organizations, undergraduate student government, various student centers and much more.
OIT, abbrev. Office of Information Technology. It controls the University’s computer systems and makes life extremely complicated for the more computer illiterate among us. Free service in Frist is a plus, but plan on a long wait.
Old Nassau, 1. phrase. Nickname for Princeton University, derived from Nassau Hall. Other synonyms: Tigers, Tigertown, Orange and Black, Nassau, PU, P-Town. 2. n. School song sung at the end of athletic contests, arch sings and other events.
One Nassau Hall, n. Local equivalent of the Oval Office, where President Tilghman works. Consider yourself important if you’re ever invited here. Or in big, big trouble. Or CIA Director David Petraeus GS ‘85.
Orange Key, n. Campus tour-guiding group. Don’t believe everything they told you on your tour. Selects new members by audition.
Orange and Black Ball, n. Campus-wide ball resurrected last year after a decades-long absence. Lots of finger food, some top-level music and surprisingly good attendance. The ‘Prince’ used to host it back in the day.
Orgo, abbrev. CHM 303/304: Organic Chemistry. Separates the kids from the doctors.
Pace Center, n. Civic engagement powerhouse on campus which encompasses Community House and the SVC. Sponsors educational “break-out” trips during school breaks and otherwise distributes large amounts of money for worthwhile student projects.
Palmer Square, n. Times Square, Herald Square and La Place de la Concorde all rolled into one. Just across Nassau Street from the University. Home to preppy stores, specialty boutiques and townies.
PAW, abbrev. Princeton Alumni Weekly. The nation’s fourth-oldest weekly magazine, published by the Alumni Association.
P/D/F, abbrev. pass/D/fail. Grading option developed to facilitate a true liberal arts education. Take a class that expands your horizon with the guarantee that your GPA won’t tank. Unless you get a D. Or fail.
Pequod, n. 1. Fictional ship in Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick.” 2. Outrageously expensive photocopied packets of required reading that often resemble that whale. Promised to become free during every USG election.
pickups, n. pl. Days on which the eating clubs greet new members by showering them with champagne in their dorm rooms.
power hour, n. Ritual in which a shot of beer is downed every minute for an hour. Use of hard alcohol not advised. See “boot.”
P-Rade, n. Annual procession of ridiculously spirited, multi-generational alumni sporting black-and-orange costumes. Takes place at the end of Reunions. See “alumni,” “Reunions.”
precept, n. Fifty-minute weekly discussion between a small group of students and a preceptor (a grad student or faculty member) to supplement lectures. A unique feature of Princeton’s education system inaugurated by Woodrow Wilson, Class of 1879. Lots of time spent on Facebook.
prefrosh, n. What you are until you arrive on campus as a freshman.
preppy, 1. n. Person who attended St. Paul’s, Andover, Exeter, Lawrenceville, Groton, etc. 2. adj. Princeton supposedly is one of the 10 preppiest schools in the nation, but don’t be fooled: It’s in the top five.
Princeton, n. The University to which you have committed four years of your life. And the rest of it. And your future earnings.
Princeton Borough, n. The town that covers the north half of campus, until January. See “consolidation.”
PrincetonFML, n. Website where Princetonians procrastinate by sharing their frustrations (Summer’s almost over, FML) and their glories (Time for four years at Princeton, MLIG). PrincetonFML.com died temporarily last year, and a number of spinoffs are trying to reclaim its former supremacy.
Prospect, abbrev. 1. Prospect House. Formerly the University president’s home in the middle of campus. Now a faculty dining hall. Also home of The Daily Princetonian’s annual banquet. Yeah, we’re pretty cool. 2. Prospect Garden. The gardens surrounding Prospect House; popular venue for Houseparties photos. 3. Prospect Avenue. See “Street, The.”
Prospect 11, n. The ultimate drinking challenge: one beer at every eating club in one night. Called “Prospect 10” before Cannon reopened, and possibly once again if Quad goes bankrupt. See “Beast.”
prox, 1. n. Common name for PUID, or the Princeton University Tiger card. 2. v. To unlock a door by holding your PUID close to an electronic sensor. Humping the wall in the process is optional. 3. n. The Daily Princetonian’s blog. See “PUID.”
Public Safety, n. University’s cops responsible for regulating parking, ignoring room parties and opening doors for locked-out students. Called “P-safe.” Despite years of effort by the police union, the officers don’t carry guns.
PUID, n. Your key to admission at the library, sporting events and the eating clubs. Charges variety of goods and services home to parents. Eating club members sport special stickers on their cards. See “prox.”
RCA, abbrev. Residential college adviser. Provides free food (see “study break”), condoms and answers to questions like what to do when your roommate hasn’t showered in five weeks.
Rapelye, Janet, n. Dean of admission who replaced Fred Hargadon in 2003. Has revamped Princeton’s admissions policies, including accepting the Common App, eliminating small group interviews and abolishing the “YES!” letter.
reading period, n. Week and a half to catch up on work at the end of each semester. Originally intended as time to do independent research, it is now a time to sleep in until 2 p.m. or to read and write everything you haven’t in the past semester. Likely both.
Reunions, n. Beer-saturated gathering of alumni during the weekend before Commencement for drinking, fellowship and the P-Rade. Good excuse for students to delay returning home for a week at the end of the year. Reported to be the largest single beer order in the United States. See “P-Rade.”
rival, n. What Princeton lacks. What Penn thinks we are.
Robo, n. Drinking game involving bouncing a quarter into a series of beer-filled cups. See “boot.”
room draw, n. Computerized process by which students select rooms for the upcoming year. Conspiracy theories abound about the supposed randomness of the process: People with high social security numbers, third letters of their last names near the end of the alphabet and Minnesota addresses may receive better times.
safety school, 1. n. Yale, Harvard, Penn, etc. 2. phrase. Popular chant at basketball games regardless of opponent.
sexile, v. To render your roommate homeless after a successful date or night at the Street.
shared meal plan, n. A system by which one can be a member of both an eating club and a four-year residential college, with meals split between the two. How many slots are available depends on the club and negotiations with the University. Generally hard to get.
sign-in club, n. Eating club that takes members through a computer lottery system rather than Bicker. Charter is the only club with a weighted sign-in based on a student’s attendance of club events.
spring break, n. Enjoy it now, as you won’t get to enjoy it for your last two years here.
squirrel, n. A furry friend and foe that overpopulates University grounds. Cute when scurrying around campus. Pesky when scavenging in your dorm room. Scary when rabid. Not scared of people. Comes in brown, gray and black varieties.
Street, The, n. Slang for Prospect Avenue, home of the eating clubs and center of University nightlife.
study break, n. Free food. Enough said. Just follow the flyers. See “RCA.”
sundial, n. The Mather Sundial in McCosh Courtyard. Often used for precepts, at least in the brochures.
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