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A Princeton Dictionary (H-R)

The following is a haphazard collection of Princeton buzzwords that may or may not make up your entire vocabulary by the time midterms roll around. Impress your mom and dad by talking cool.

Some of the terms are unique to Princeton, some are universal, some are entertaining and some are, quite frankly, stupid. Enjoy.


Hal, n. 1. Killer computer in "2001: A Space Odyssey." 2. President Shapiro's affectionate nickname. hardcore, adj. 1. Possessed of a particular quality or aspect to the nth degree, as in "hardcore premed." Trait especially prevalent in the Wilson School. See "Wilson School." 2. The kind of music played on WPRB. 3. Heavy drinker. Hargadon, Fred, n. Dean of admission, who spent several years at some rinky-dink school in Palo Alto, Calif. Often spotted at women's sporting events. Harvard University, n. Obscure unaccredited institution in eastern Massachusetts. Where many Princetonians go for graduate school. We hate them; they ignore us. See "rival." Hoagie Haven, n. 1. Where uneaten hoagies go to die. 2. Takeout deli on Nassau Street known for its inexpensive hoagies (subs, heroes). A long walk from campus, but well worth it. Also called "The Haven." Alternative eating club for independents. Jadwin Gym basketball fans often chant its name when owner George enters the gym: "Hoa-gie Haven!" Honor Code, n. Institution through which University exams are policed. Students sign pledges agreeing not to cheat and to turn in those who do. Taken very seriously. hose, v. To render helpless. Most often done in rejecting Bicker prospects. Much overused phrase. Houseparties, n. Pseudo-bacchanal scheduled for the weekend after the end of spring semester classes. Theses are completed and exams are two weeks distant. Only ones that have it bad are freshman males, who so hopelessly outnumber the females that the dining halls look like Princeton before coeducation. Becomes laborious by day three. Hughes, Roger, n. New head coach of Princeton football who is charged with rescuing the team from its recent mediocrity. hyphen, n. The narrow central section of the Chancellor Green student center, connecting the Rotunda to the cafeteria.


independent, n. Upperclass student who joins neither a club nor a University dining facility. By graduation is either a great connoisseur of Princeton's restaurants or a great cook. Many live in Spelman Hall. Ivy Club, n. Oldest and most exclusive Bicker club at the 'Street.' Formerly aristocratic and all male, now aristocratic and coed.


Kim, PJ '01, n. USG president who has come to regret seeing his name in print. See "USG." kiosk, n. 1. $50,000 security post located at the campus entrance. Manned by proctors who have the difficult job of saying, "Where are you going? Okay . . . go ahead." Identified by terrorists as lowest-security entrance into most-powerful United States institution. 2. The news and goodies stand at Palmer Square.


lacrosse, n. The new king sport. Princeton's men's team won the national title in 1992, 1994, 1996 1997 and 1998. The women were national champs in 1994 as well. lectures, 1. Oft-missed speeches by professors that constitute the foundation of the Princeton education. 2. Tasteless and sometimes offensive public humiliation sessions held at Cottage Club. See "Cottage Club." Lewis Thomas Laboratory, n. Houses the molecular biology department and droves of undergraduate concentrators during the summers. See "MolBio." Lot 21, n. Undergraduate parking lot in South Brunswick, near Jadwin Gym. For those unfortunates who don't get permits in Lot 23. See "Lot 23." Lot 23, n. Coveted undergraduate parking lot recently shrunk by University. Suffers from chronic overcrowding.


Malkiel, Nancy, n. Dean of the College who oversees academic affairs on campus. master, n. Faculty member who acts as den mother or father for the freshmen and sophomores in the residential colleges. Mathey College, n. (pron. "Mattey") Residential college consisting of Joline, Hamilton, Campbell and most of Blair and Little halls. McCarter Theater, n. Tony award-winning, University-subsidized stage building. Site of Triangle Club shows, public concerts, film series, plays, etc. Billy Joel played here in 1994. Best plays off Broadway. McCosh Hall, n. Primary classroom facility, bounded at either end by two vast lecture halls, McCosh 10 and McCosh 50. McCosh health center, n. Isabella McCosh Infirmary. If you are going to need a doctor, get sick between 9 a.m. and noon or 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sundays. Areas of expertise: mono and pregnancy. McCosh Walk, n. Walkway, extending from University Place to Washington Road, that splits the campus into two parts. Miller, B.J. '94, n. Former student who jumped on top of the Dinky one drunken night and sued N.J. Transit, the University, a fraternity and two eating clubs for his injuries. The main reason that you as a freshman will have so much trouble getting into the clubs and obtaining beer. See "Dinky." MolBio, n. Moniker for the molecular biology department. See "Lewis Thomas Laboratory." Mudd library, n. A library that stores manuscripts and important papers. Where senior theses go to die.


Nassau Herald, n. Princeton's 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. Nassau Inn, n. Princeton's most prestigious — and only — downtown hotel. Nassau Weekly, n. A high school tabloid dumped in mailrooms and in front of doorways all over campus. Comes out on Thursday night, in time to serve its prime function — sopping up boot in bathroom stalls. See "boot." New Jersey ('noo joizee'), n. State in which Princeton is located. The nation's leading industrial state, notwithstanding its nickname the "Garden State." Affectionately called the armpit of the nation by friend, foe and geographers alike. New South, n. Administrative building and monument to red tape that overlooks the Dinky. The place where you go when the University messes up your paycheck. New York, n. Big city located one hour away by train. You've seen pictures. Weekend getaway. New York Times, The, n. Princeton's other daily newspaper. Newman's Day, n. April 24, a day that will live in oblivion. Drink 24 beers in 24 hours. Nude Olympics, n. This sophomore rite of passage was banned two years ago as part of an effort to reduce drunken revelry. In the old days, this annual festival was held in Holder Courtyard at midnight on the night of each year's first snowfall. Traditionally punctuated by drunk, nude sophomores running around campus followed by herds of eager Princetonians and townies hoping to catch a glimpse of frostbitten flesh.


Old Nassau, n. 1. Nickname for Princeton University, derived from Nassau Hall. Other synonyms — Tigers, Tigertown, Orange and Black, Nassau, P.U., P-Town. 2. The alma mater, sung at the end of athletic contests, arch-sings and other events. Olives, n. A Witherspoon Street deli that is gaining a following with University students. Has good chocalate chip cookies and amazing hummus. 185 Nassau St., n. Former Princeton elementary school, now owned by the University. Houses the Creative Writing, Visual Arts and Theater and Dance programs. Hangout for artsy types at any hour of the day or night. Good proximity to T-Sweets. See "T-Sweets." One Nassau Hall, n. Local equivalent of the Oval Office. Stormed by 17 students who held a sit-in demanding courses in ethnic studies five years ago. Offices of President Shapiro and other administrators. Orefice, Stu, n. Appropriately named director of Department of Dining Services. Very proud of his culinary options. Moonlights as possession arrow operator for basketball games. Orgo, abbrev. Chemistry 303/304: Organic Chemistry, which separates the kids from the doctors. Orientation Week, n. The week before classes when sophomores and upperclass students reacquaint themselves with campus life and "meet" the freshmen. Also the week when freshmen are kept busy by an annoying array of University-sponsored activities. Also called "frosh week."


PAC, n. The seven-digit number the University gives you that lets you place long-distance calls from your room. Why it had to be seven is one of the great unexplained mysteries of the universe. Palmer Square, n. Picadilly Square, Times Square, Herald Square and La Place de la Concorde all rolled into one. Just across Nassau Street from the University. Home to outrageously-priced preppy boutiques, specialty stores and lots of townies with weird-colored hair. See "townie." Papa John's n. Pizza delivery service that seems to be one of the few pizza outlets in the nation to remember that pizza is not grilled cheese and therefore should include sauce. Frequent specials, delivery men in fun uniforms and notorious garlic dipping sauce. PAW, n. Princeton Alumni Weekly, the nation's fourth-oldest weekly (sort of) magazine. P/D/F, abbrev. Pass/D/fail. Grading option developed to facilitate a true liberal arts education. Penn, n. Community college in Philadelphia that comes in second to us in every major sport. They hate us; we used to ignore them until they recently started competing with us in everything. See "rival." Philly, n. The other city near Princeton. History of the nation's founders embedded in town full of sports fans and cheesesteaks. Physics for Poets, n. Revealing nickname of Physics 111. The title says it all. Poe Field, n. Large soccer and Ultimate frisbee field near Butler College. P-rade, n. Annual procession of alumni sporting beer jackets, carrying placards and throwing caution to the wind for Old Nassau. 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 1879. Can be anything from stimulating and mindboggling to downright boring. pre-frosh, n. What you are until you arrive on campus. premed, n. Unscrupulous fanatic who will do anything to get into Harvard Medical School. Students will frequently deny being premed by posing as physics majors. preppy, n. 1. Person who attended St. Paul's, Andover, Exeter, Lawrenceville, etc. 2. Princeton supposedly is one of the 10 preppiest schools in the nation, but don't be fooled: It's top five. Pride Alliance, n. Formerly LGBA. Organization of campus gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and straight allies. Hosts dances, film festivals, Pride Week. 'Prince,' n. 1. A work by Machiavelli. 2. What all women wait for. 3. The Daily Princetonian — campus newspaper published by undergraduates each weekday. A year's subscription costs a mere $39.00, and everyone buys one. See "The Daily Princetonian." Princeton Club of New York, n. On 46th Street near Fifth Avenue. For those alums who need to relive their Princeton days more than once a year. See "Reunions." Princeton Plasma Physics Lab (PPPL), n. Research lab that made headlines in 1994 when Russell Hulce won a Nobel Prize and in 1995 for being the victim of massive federal budget cuts. Fusion reactor is now closed due to the funding crunch. Princeton Theological Seminary, n. A divinity school located a block from Forbes College. proctor, n. Campus police. Security agent charged with keeping the peace. Cuts an imposing figure in his Kevlar Public Safety riot gear. Invariably carries ill-concealed walkie-talkies and drives around campus like Robocop. See "Public Safety." Prospect, n. Formerly president's home in the middle of campus; now a faculty dining hall. 2. Prospect Avenue. 3. Prospect Gardens. Prospect 11, n. Formerly Prospect 12, before DEC went under. The ultimate drinking challenge — one beer at every club in one night. prox, 1. n. Common name for PUID. 2. v. To unlock a door by holding your PUID close — or in proximity — to an electronic sensor. Public Safety, Department of, n. University's corps of crack law-enforcement officers responsible for regulating parking, ignoring room parties and opening doors for locked-out students. PUID, n. Your ticket to admission at the library, sporting events and the eating clubs. Pays for food at the student center. Includes a device that lets you in to locked dorms and other facilities. Especially with the new "24-hour lockdown," don't leave home . . . you know the line. Pyne, n. 1. Pyne Hall, a seven-entry dormitory. 2. East Pyne, home of the Classics department, among others. 3. Pyne Prize, awarded annually to top-ranking seniors.


Quadrangle Club, n. Popular sign-in club of late. This year's round drew surprisingly few of the fairer sex. Known for good bands and pool tables. Quipfire!, n. The University's best — and only — improvisational comedy group. Its fall auditions rival the Bicker clubs in exclusivity.


RA, abbrev. Resident Adviser. Junior or senior who is responsible for guiding students through their first year at Princeton. Ramakrishnan, Karthick GS, n. Princeton's agitator-in-chief. Crusader for liberal causes and champion of the disgruntled grad student. random, adj. 1. Haphazard, casual. Often abbreviated by hurried students into the more annoying "randy." 2. Way, way overused word. ratio, n. The number of males divided by the number of female undergraduates at Princeton. Closer now to 1:1 than it's ever been before. reading period, n. Week-and-ahalf to catch up on reading at the end of each term. Originally intended as time to do independent research, it is now a time to sleep until noon. reserve desk, n. Service desk at library where professors deposit many course readings. Books and articles circulate for three hours and overnight after 9 p.m. reserve room, n. Room on A-floor of Firestone which exists ostensibly for students to check out reserve readings. In actuality, the second-biggest pickup joint on campus with a subculture all its own. Reunions, n. Beer-saturated gathering of alumni during the weekend before Commencement for drink, fellowship and the P-rade. See "P-rade." Rialto, n. Beloved barbershop home to Rich and Ed, two fairly grouchy guys who give everyone the same haircut. The dynamic duo is surrendering its scissors this summer to a younger replacement. Richardson Auditorium, n. Formerly called Alexander Hall until someone named Richardson gave a ton of bucks. Now officially called Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall. rival, n. What Princeton lacks. See "Harvard," "Penn," "Yale." Robertson Hall, n. Name of the Wilson School building after an alumnus made a huge donation. Even administrators still call it the Wilson School. Rockefeller College, n. A residential college composed of Witherspoon, Holder and parts of Blair Hall. Nicknamed 'Rocky' and considered prime real estate by underclassmen. Named after guess who. room draw, n. Computerized process by which students select rooms for 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. ROTC, n. The army officer training program on campus. Makes a lot of noise early in the morning.