Oxford Glossary

It can almost feel as though you are talking an entirely different language to others once you arrive at Oxford. Over the past 800 years, Oxford students have developed some strange and wonderful words for certain things. This is a comprehensive list of Oxford words that you will come across as an LMH undergrad.

A full Oxford Glossary (provided by the uni) can be found here – https://www.ox.ac.uk/about/organisation/history/oxford-glossary

AshmoleanThe University’s museum of art and archaeology located on Beaumont St. It is also the oldest museum in the UK!
BattelsThe charges from college for accommodation, library fines etc. Your battels accounts can be found on the LMH Intranet.
BlueA blue is the highest sporting achievement that you can receive for playing certain university sports. Usually awarded to those who have played in an annual Varsity Match.
BodA nickname for the Bodleian Library.
Bod CardYour university student ID card.
CherwellA major tributary of the Thames that runs through Oxford. Also the name of a popular student news publication.
CollectionsMock exams taken in 0th week that cover the previous term’s work.
Coming up/Going downArriving at Oxford at the beginning of the term/leaving at the end.
CommonerA student who does not have a scholarship or exhibition.
CuppersInter-collegiate tournaments. These are usually for different sports.
DeanThe Fellow responsible for supervising the conduct and discipline of the Junior Members of the College. To be ‘deaned’ is to be sent to the Dean.
Domestic BursarThe college officer (often a Fellow of the College) with overall responsibility for domestic aspects of college life, including accommodation, security, catering and housekeeping, external lettings and sometimes sports facilities and administrative non-academic staff.
DonA professor, a lecturer or a Fellow.
EightsInter-collegiate rowing races, held in Trinity Term.
EntzA shortened term for ‘entertainments’ that are usually organised by an ‘Entz Team’ – these are the Social Secretaries in LMH.
Examination RegulationsThe large grey book containing details of syllabuses for all courses, currently issued to all students as they start their course.
ExhibitionA lesser student scholarship.
FellowsThe senior members of College.
FinalistAny student who is about to take their final exams.
FinalsFinal examinations at the end of three or four years as an undergraduate student – the level of degree awarded is largely dependent on performance in these exams.
FirstHighest class of degree.
First Public ExaminationExams normally taken at the end of the first year, although there are exceptions, and that must be passed for a student to be allowed to continue their course; called either prelims or mods.
Formal HallA traditional meal held in college. At LMH, formal attire (but not gowns) is usually word. Some colleges require gowns to be worn.
FresherA first year student
GaudyA fancy formal hall for the older members (mostly third or forth years) in college.
Governing BodyThe body defined in the Statutes of each college that has responsibility for the governance of their college.
HackA derogatory term for students who are involved in the Union or student journalism.
Hall The dining hall.
High TableThe table at the head of the dining hall where the fellows sit. Students may sometimes be invited to sit there.
Hilary TermThe second term of the academic year’s three terms.
IsisThe part of the River Thames that runs through Oxford.
JCRJunior Common Room – 1) The undergraduate body of the college. 2) A name for the undergraduate executive committee in college. 3) The recreational room located at the bottom of the Katie Lee building in LMH.
LecturerLecturers are those who have the responsibility to present lectures, to which all university students in that discipline may go. In Oxford, not all lecturers are Fellows of colleges.
LMHLady Margaret Hall.
Long VacLong vacation – the name widely used for the period between the end of Trinity Term and the beginning of Michaelmas Term each year.
MatriculationMatriculation confers membership of the University on those students who are enrolled at the University of Oxford and following a degree-level course. Freshers will matriculate at the end of the First Week of Michaelmas.
MCRMiddle Common Room – the self governing body and social centre for graduate students in a college. Fourth year students at LMH can either choose to have JCR or MCR membership. The MCR is located in the Clore Graduate Centre in LMH.
Michaelmas TermThe first term of the academic year.
Mods(abbrev. Moderations) Honour Moderations are first year univeristy (or in the case of classics, second year) exams. They are the “First Public Examination” for the degree of B.A. Results are classified as Firsts, Seconds etc., Not all students take Mods – some take Prelims, depending on the subject in question.
Norrington TableA league table of colleges published annually, showing comparative performance of students in Finals.
Noughth WeekThe week before the beginning of Full Term.
Oxford SUOxford University Student Union (formerly OUSU).
Part FinalsThe idea of taking half of Finals exams at the end of the second or third year, and taking the second half at the end of the Third or Fourth year, with both counting towards the final degree attained.
Permanent Private Hall (PPH)A religious hall which has been licensed by the university to matriculate students for degree. There are six Permanent Private Halls.
PidgeShortened term for ‘Pigeon Hole.’ This is where all of your post will be delivered to. Each tutor in LMH has a ‘pidge’ that you can drop work off at.
PlodgeShortened term for ‘Porter’s Lodge.’
Prelims(abbrev. Preliminaries) Preliminary examinations are first year examinations and are not classified into Firsts, Seconds etc. These are only awarded on a Pass/Fail/Distinction basis.
PrincipalThe head of the college. Currently Alan Rusbridger.
PuntA long narrow boat that can be propelled by a long pole. LMH have their own punts located at the river. They can be rented out for a small cost in Trinity Term. Perfect for a sunny day.
Purple LadyThe exclusive LMH cocktail. Can be purchased in the LMH bar.
RON(abbrev. Re-Open Nominations) the only candidate that runs in every student election.
RusticationThe withdrawal of the right of access to the land, buildings and facilities of the university, including teaching, exams and all related academic services, for a fixed period of time or until specified conditions are met. It usually occurs as a result of a major disciplinary offence.
ScholarshipAn award given to students based on academic performance or contribution to the Choir. Most students who receive a scholarship have achieved a Distinction/First in a public examination. Scholars are permitted to wear a ‘Scholar’s gown.’
SchoolsVarious meanings – can refer to Examination Schools, a large building on High Street where some exams are taken and lectures are held; or to Prelims/Mods/Finals in general “to take Schools”; or to a course “Honour School of Philosophy”.
SconceAn Oxford tradition that resembles the drinking game ‘Never have I ever.’
ScoutThe housekeepers in college.
SCRSenior Common Room – the organisation to which all Fellows and College lecturers belong. The SCR is also the name of the room in college which is used by SCR members for a coffee and reading room, as well as for special events hosted by SCR members. (See also the JCR and MCR).
Sending DownKnown as ‘termination of course’; where a student is expelled from the University for failing the First Public Examination twice, or from college for failing penal collections, or for a disciplinary offence.
Sheldonian TheatreThe main ceremonial hall used by the University for events such as Encaenia, Matriculation and degree ceremonies.
SOLOOxford’s online library catalogue.
SubfuscFormal attire worn by students and academics on formal occasions, including matriculation, examinations and graduation. It is made up of a dark suit, skirt or trousers, a white shirt or blouse and a white or black bow tie, black full-length tie or black ribbon, worn with a black gown and a mortar-board. The name derives from the Latin subfuscus, meaning dark brown.
TabA member of the University of Cambridge.
The Other PlaceThe University of Cambridge.
The UnionThe University debating society (NB not to be confused with Oxford University Students Union, or OUSU).
TorpidsInter-collegiate rowing races, held in Hilary Term.
Trinity TermSummer term.
TutorSomeone who teaches students on an individual basis or in pairs. They may be a Fellow, JRF, or a graduate. They act as both a teacher and an academic guide.
TutorialUndergraduates attend, on average, one hour-long tutorial every week, either on a one-to-one basis or with one or two other students. Students must undertake a considerable number of hours’ preparatory work for each tutorial, including background reading, essay-writing and problem-solving.
Tutorial SystemThe college teaching system whereby undergraduates are taught in very small groups by a tutor (usually a Fellow of the college). Through tutorials, students develop powers of independent and critical thought, analytical and problem-solving abilities, and skills in both written and oral communication and argument.
UndergraduateSomeone studying for their first degree.
VacAbbreviation of vacation – the periods between terms; see also Long Vac.
Varsity MatchSporting fixture between Oxford and Cambridge