Durham Student Slang Dictionary

Durham Uni Students has prepared a dictionary of the most common Durham University student slang – if you think of any more, contact us to suggest it.

The Durham University dictionary of slang

  • 24s: the Durham Union Society’s (DUS, not the DSU) bar on the bailey.
  • All-nighter: those rare moments of panic, when you have work due for the next day and leave it until the night before to complete (or start) it, requiring that you spend all night working.
  • Bailey: refers to a ‘bailey’ college of Durham University, i.e. one of Hatfield College, University (Castle) College, St Chad’s, St Cuthbert’s Society, St John’s College. Bailey colleges are often accused of being full of rahs.
  • Bop: a disco, usually held as part of a formal.
  • DSU: an abbreviation of ‘Durham Students’ Union‘, of which all students at Durham are a member. In turn, the DSU is a member of the National Union of Students (NUS).
  • DUCK: an abbrevation for Durham University Charity Kommittee, Durham University’s RAG.
  • DUO: Durham University Online, an online learning environment used throughout the university’s faculties and departments.
  • Ents: an abbreviation of ‘events’, including bops.
  • Exec: an abbreviation of ‘executive committee’: those students who help guide their student body or JCR on a day to day basis. Traditionally, positions within the executive committee include a president, secretary, treasurer and ents secretary.
  • Formal: a formal meal, often followed by a disco and/or other ents. The degree of formality varies between colleges, with most bailey colleges insisting that full academic dress is worn for the duration of the meal, whilst hill colleges tend to be more relaxed with dress code.
  • Formative: work set during your course which is not summative: it doesn’t count towards your end-of-year mark or your degree.
  • Hill: refers to a ‘hill’ college – one of Collingwood, Grey, Collingwood, Butler, St Aidan’s, St Mary’s, Trevelyan and Van Mildert, as well as Ustinov.
  • Hexy: a word often used to describe Treveylan College because it’s…hexy.
  • Hound: Durham rhyming-slang for Planet of Sound, an event at the DSU.
  • JCR: a abbreviation of ‘Junior Common Room’, the students’ representative body within each college. See also SRC and SCR.
  • Lash: getting drunk, usually involves a Durham Bailey bar crawl and at least one of Durham’s nightclubs.
  • MCR: ‘Middle Common Room’, a student association within the colleges for post-graduate students.
  • Meat market: a venue known for inducing an ability to ‘pull’ randomers. See also POS and Revolver.
  • Natsci: a ‘natural sciences’ student (not a supporter of a certain far-right group).
  • POS: ‘Planet of Sound’, a weekly event at the DSU. See also hound. Currently takes place on a Friday night. Very definitely a meat market and said by some to be a ‘piece of shit’…
  • Pennying: a ritual of many college bars, if your drink is ‘pennied’ (that is, if someone manages to drop a one penny or two pence coin in your drink), some ancient (probably unwritten) law says you must finish your drink immediately. Don’t worry, the Queen’s head won’t drown.
  • Rah: a stereotypical upperclass person, defined by their accents, love of pashminas (for the women) or tweed (for the men). Despised by many, the rah is nonetheless prevalent in Durham. See durham21 or Wikipedia.
  • Randomer: someone unknown to you. Often used in the context of clubbing; for example, ‘why is Kate pulling that randomer?’.
  • Revolver: a weekly event at the DSU. Currently on a Saturday night, tickets cost £5.
  • SRC: ‘Student Representative Committee’, similar to a JCR. Hild Bede.
  • SCR: ‘Senior Common Room’. See also JCR and MCR.
  • SDW: ‘Secret Degree Workers‘ – those students who pretend not to do any work towards their degree, but then secretly pull all-nighters to complete work, even if it’s only formative.
  • Stash: university-based clothing, which shows the wearer’s affiliation to a club, society, college or the university itself.
  • Summative: work set during your course which does count towards your end-of-year mark or your degree. See also formative.
  • Trophying: the habit of Durham University students of removing items of value from other Durham colleges. These are often, if not always, returned to their rightful owners later.

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