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A Princeton Dictionary (S-Z)

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.


safeguard, n. Musclebound man at the door of a club pretending he is a bouncer. Does not let people in without a PUID unless that person is a woman, a friend or a football player. SECH, n. Sexuality Education, Counseling and Health Program which provides sexual counseling through McCosh infirmary. Good place to go for condoms. secretary, n. Holds real power in academic departments. Can control your future. Marry one if you can. selective club, n. Club that employs Bicker process in selecting its members. See "Bicker." sex, n. 1. One more than five. 2. What rarely happens at Princeton. Shapiro, Harold GS '64, n. Princeton's 18th president as of Jan. 1, 1988. Chairman of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. Former president of the University of Michigan. See "Hal." Shields, Brooke '87, n. 1. Too bad you missed her. Now when you get home, all your friends and your parents' friends can ask if you've met her. Recently divorced from tennis star Andre Agassi, who didn't go to Princeton. sign-in club, n. Prospect Avenue club that takes members through a computer lottery system, rather than subjecting them to Bicker. sign-ins night, n. The first Sunday of the spring term when the clubs officially welcome their new sophomore members. Singer, n. 1. Member of any of the campus a cappella groups. 2. Last name of bioethicist recently hired by the University — despite protests — who believes in allowing infanticide and euthanasia in certain cases. Sit down, you suck, phrase. Chant that became popular during men's basketball's successful season two years ago. Used to taunt opposing players being substituted out. 6, v. To speed up a voice-mail from someone who speaks verrrrrrry slowwwwwwwwwwlyyy. Small World Coffee, n. Coffee shop on Witherspoon Street. The trendsetter in the recent coffeehouse explosion in Princeton. Place to blow off work with a cappuccino forte, the crack of the coffee world. snobbery, n. Ain't none o' that here. Nope. Well, maybe at Ivy. SPEAC n. (pron. "speek") Students for Progressive Education and Action initiated a movement to stop the University from licensing companies that use sweatshops to make University apparel. Rally with 250 people helped force administration to sign a sweatshop code. Spelman Hall, n. Architecturally nightmarish apartment complex near the Dinky with rooms boasting four singles, bathroom, kitchen and living room. Houses mostly independents and married students. Great window decorations. Spring Break, n. Enjoy it now, as you won't have one 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. 'Street,' the, n. Slang for Prospect Avenue, home of the eating clubs and center of University social life. student center, n. Home to poor grad students with no place else to eat. Undergrads would hang out there too, if they could find a table. Late meals served here. With the Frist center opening, future is uncertain. See "Frist Campus Center."


tenure, n. Something that is increasingly difficult to obtain at Princeton, especially if you teach well. Terrace Club, n. Only eating club on Washington Road. Home of black clothing, smoke and an alternative atmosphere. Hosts most Pride Alliance events. thesis, n. The T-word. Major senior pastime, required of every A.B. student and some B.S.E. students. Most are close to 100 pages. Often replaces social activities in the spring. Rumor has it that one can be bought for $20,000. Third World Center, n. Social and cultural center for minority students. Occupies former fieldhouse on Prospect Avenue. Often referred to as the "TWC." Thomas Sweet, n. Home of the best ice cream and chocolates this side of St. Louis. Also called "T-Sweets." Get a blend-in during Orientation Week. 3-3-7, v. To speed through and erase annoying voice-mail messages from your RA. Tierney, Bill, n. Men's lacrosse head coach who has made a national power out of a former doormat. Tiger, n. 1. Princeton student or athlete. 2. Mascot dressed in tiger-skin suit who capers and cavorts at football games while trying to avoid attacks by the Cornell band. 3. Campus humor magazine of erratic quality and publication schedule. 4. Striped jungle cat. Tiger Inn, n. The last eating club to admit women. Also known as "T.I." Has the highest per capita consumption of alcohol and booting on Prospect Avenue. Billboard 1983 CD is default soundtrack. See "boot." Tiger Pizza, n. Student-run pizza shop that used to deliver but now only lures drunken post-'Street' partyers into purchasing pizza of middling quality. tool shed, n. 1. Another name for Tower Club because of the heavy preponderance of Woody Woo students and pre-Wall Street types who eat there. 2. The Wilson School. Tower Club, n. See "tool shed," "Triangle Club." townie, n. 1. Anybody from the town of Princeton. 2. Skateboarders who ride around the Wilson School fountain. Triangle Club, n. Undergraduate theater group that produces an annual extravaganza of song, slapstick and dance. Famous for the drag kickline and actor Jimmy Stewart '32. 24-hour lockdown, n. Public Safety measure implemented in the fall of 1998 locking all dorms, all day. Don't forget to keep your prox with you at all times. See "prox."


U-CALL, n. A very useful feature that lets you find a student's phone number by typing in his name on the phone pad. Custom made for people too drunk to remember boy/girlfriend's number, but double ring gives you away. UCLA, n. 1995 NCAA basketball champions who were bounced in the first round by a certain New Jersey Ivy League school in 1996. U-Council, n. The ultimate committee. University advisory body with faculty members, administrators, graduate students, alumni, staff and undergraduates. Reported to make policy decisions, but not recently. Ultimate, n. Popular club sport. Picture a combination of frisbee, football and basketball. See "Campus Club." University Place, 48, n. Decrepit former dorm and firetrap, renovated for use by The Daily Princetonian, Bric-a-Brac, Nassau Lit., Tiger, USG and other student groups. University Store, n. Princeton's general store, right down to the collectivized credit card arrangements. Charges $14 for $9.95 books. Pardon its appearance while it renovates to serve you better. U-Store card, n. Orange plastic thing containing U-Store number. Popular method of paying for late night food delivery and just about anything else available on campus. Better if bill is sent home. USG, n. Undergraduate Student Government. Lots of resume builders who like to hear themselves talk. Enjoys little respect on campus.


Victor's, n. Well-located Nassau Street eatery specializing in pizza, cheesesteaks and grease. Atmosphere rivals your basement. Voice-mail, n, Free service provided to students to replace answering machines. Press 1 to hear the lady with the sexy voice tell you you have no friends.


Wa, n. Wawa Food Market. The only market in town open 24 hours a day. Located near Forbes College. The source of midnight nourishment and destination of post-'Street' forays — called Wa runs. weight room, n. Recently renovated Stephens Fitness Center where students go to slim down or bulk up. Biggest singles spot on campus, also known as the meat market. It's in the basement of Dillon Gym. Spandex attire not required. West College, n. Princeton's locus of bureaucracy. Home of the dean of the college office, the dean of student life office, the financial aid office, the admission office and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Leave checks under the doormat, thank you. Whig-Clio, n. The American Whig-Cliosophic Society, the oldest college literary, political and debating society in the world (circa. 1765). The source of a lot of hot air, but nothing too dangerous. Whig Hall, n. One of the twin Greek buildings by Cannon Green. The rebuilt home of the American Whig-Cliosophic Society. Clio's more modern twin. Wilson College, n. One of the two older residential colleges. Located in the Old New Quad, if that makes any sense. Wilson School, abbrev. Short for Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs. Selective major for students interested in becoming investment bankers and learning the language of bureaucracy. Usually referred to as "Woody Woo." See "tool shed." Wilson School Fountain, n. Idyllic reflecting fountain in the plaza by the Wilson School. Popular wading spot in the spring, especially Saturday night of House-parties and after Wilson School theses are submitted. Women's Center, n. Sponsors a variety of lectures and programs. Recently removed from Aaron Burr Hall. WPRB, n. Campus radio station on the FM band that reaches all over New Jersey. Student deejays. WPST, n. Local Top 40 radio station, known for hourly rotation of 12-song play-list featuring Britney Spears and 'N Sync. Found at 97.5 on your FM dial. Wu, Gordon '58, n. Hong Kong billionaire developer who four years ago donated $100 million to the University. Losing a lot of money now but insists donation not in danger. Also namesake of Butler College dining hall. Wythes, Paul '55, n. Author of the notorious and recently approved Wythes report, which called for the University to increase the size of the student body by 500.


Yale, n. A Connecticut penal institution. Also a lock factory. Our really big rival, except they sort of ignore us. See "rival."


zees, n. The 20 or so first-year students frequently found under the wing of a Residential Adviser. Also known as advisees.