29 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning At Cambridge University

“Save the Queen!”

1. “Life”

What it normally means: The existence of a human being or animal.

What is means at Cambridge: A dingy nightclub where the walls drip with condensation.

2. “Matriculation”

What it normally means: To be added to a list.

What it means at Cambridge: Queueing up for hours on a rainy morning in the middle of Freshers’ Week, wearing last night’s fancy dress and a Harry Potter-style gown, for a group photograph.

3. “Tatties”

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What it normally means: Potatoes.

What it means at Cambridge: The only place that will effectively cure your hangover.

4. “Boatie”

What it normally means: A rowing enthusiast.

What it means at Cambridge:
The type of person who heads to the river on a hangover and talks about exclusively about “BCD bants”.

5. “Porter”

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What it normally means: A person employed to carry luggage.

What it means at Cambridge: A person employed by your college to let you into your room when you get locked out, give you post and make everything better when it all goes tits up.

6. “Michaelmas”

What it normally means: The feast of Saint Michael the Archangel.

What it means at Cambridge: Your first term.

7. “Lent”

What it normally means: The 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter in which Christians traditionally give something up.

What it means at Cambridge: Your second term.

8. “Fez”

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What it normally means: A type of hat that’s round and red, with a flat top and no brim.

What it means at Cambridge: A nightclub filled with intense smog.

9. “Far away”

What it normally means: Somewhere remote from your immediate surroundings.

What it means at Cambridge: Girton or Homerton.

10. “DoS”

What it normally means: Something very easy.

What it means at Cambridge: Director of Studies. The member of staff who’ll tell you off if you don’t hand your essays in on time.

11. “Oxford”

Piers Nye / Flickr: piers_nye

What it normally means: A city in southeast England.

What it means at Cambridge: The only place you’d rather be than John’s.

12. “John’s”

Flickr: Neil Rickards / Flickr: neilrickards

What it normally means: Something belonging to John.

What it means at Cambridge: The only place you’d like to be at even less than Oxford.

13. “Caesarian”

What it normally means: The delivery of a foetus by surgical incision through the abdominal wall and uterus.

What it means at Cambridge: The Sunday that marks the end of fun and the beginning of revision in Easter term. |nvolves Girton and Jesus drinking-societies fighting on Jesus Green.

14. “Suicide”

Flickr: EmilyW99 / Flickr: 46449241@N07

What it normally means: To intentionally kill yourself.

What it means at Cambridge: The Sunday that marks the end of exams and the beginning of May Week. Typically involves Pimm’s, garden parties and vomit.

15. “Hill”

What it normally means: A naturally raised area of land.

What it means at Cambridge: Something that doesn’t really exist in Cambridge, but you claim you have to go up one to get to Girton.

16. “Maypole”

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What it normally means: A painted pole with ribbons attached to it that people dance around on May Day.

What it means at Cambridge: A pub which has seen you laugh, cry and vomit. All in the same night.

17. “Initiation”

What it normally means: The action of beginning something.

What it means at Cambridge: A brutal rite of passage for anyone aspiring to be in a drinking society.

18. “June”

Flickr: David Thompson / Flickr: fatty

What it normally means: The sixth month of the year. Follows May.

What it means at Cambridge: The month in which May Week is celebrated and May Balls are attended.

19. “Blue tack”

What it normally means: A putty-like adhesive.

What it means at Cambridge: Girls who go out on Wednesdays with the exclusive goal of getting with a Blue.

20. “Cycling”

What it normally means: The act of riding a bicycle.

What it means in Cambridge: The only way of getting anywhere.

21. “Backs”

Flickr: Alex Brown / Flickr: alexbrn

What it normally means: Things on the back of something.

What it means at Cambridge: The area to the side of the river.

22. “Punt”

Flickr: Jon Jackson / Flickr: 82436511@N00

What it normally means: To kick a ball upfield.

What it means at Cambridge: A narrow, flat-bottomed boat you’ll spend a lot of time in once your exams have ended.

23. “Expunge”

What it normally means: To remove something unpleasant.

What it means at Cambridge: To clear out your Hermes mailbox.

24. “Cindies”

What it normally means: Knock-off Barbie dolls.

What it means at Cambridge: A club where the music inexplicably changes every five seconds.

25. “Union”

Flickr: Ted / Flickr: afterink

What it normally means: The action of joining together.

What it means at Cambridge: A place you can see world leaders (and Jordan) debate current affairs.

26. “Library”

What it normally means: A building containing books for the public to borrow.

What it means at Cambridge: Your home for three years.

27. “Penny”

Flickr: quimby / Flickr: orqwith

What it normally means: A monetary unit equal to one hundredth of a pound.

What it means at Cambridge: The act of throwing 1p into someone else’s drink so they have to down it immediately.

28. “Five penny”

Flickr: Rockman of Zymurgy / Flickr: rockmanzym

What it normally means: A monetary unit equal to five hundredths of a pound.

What it means at Cambridge: The act of shoving 5p into someone else’s dessert so they have to eat it without using their hands.

29. “Master’s”

Warner Bros. / degrassi.wikia.com

What it normally means: A second degree that people have to work really hard to get.

What it means at Cambridge: A second degree that you get for free.

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Tabatha Leggett is head of buzz at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.
 
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