Cambridge jargon according to the offer holders

The bubble has its own pretentious dialect

Cambridge Freshers jargon offer holders Words

For the uninitiated, “meeting your DOS by the plodge before formal” and the like can sound eccentric, if not downright snobbish.

At some point or another, everyone who studies here has alienated a loved one by sounding like a wanker with this jargon.

In order to mock their ignorance, I gave some offer holders a Cambridge word association game. Disappointingly, most of them knew all of the definitions of the words, dictionary fresh. I blame the Student Room.

However, on occasion they humoured me by offering a sarcastic alternative meaning, and a couple of times their answers were slightly out. Here are a selection of the most creative.


“A really cool club that only plays the edgiest songs and has a beautifully fragrant aroma” – Ben
“Being alive in a place.” – Lia

This word will soon take on a new and bleaker meaning


“That one girl in college everyone has shagged.” – Max
“Americans pronouncing better.” – Lei
“A person who’s found somebody equally as desperate as them at Cindies to bring back.” – Ben

Formal hall

“Where you get sent if you pass the port the wrong way at dinner” – Max
“Expensive and stuck up, most likely skipping” – Lei

Pass the port.


“Don’ts.” – Lei
“The guys who sleep with 100 girls in the first term.” – Max
I really hope not.
“Ditrous oxide.” – Ben


“The thing that happens when you laugh midway through eating.” – Ben
“Schlicking.” – Lei
“Whipped Cream.” – Jonathan
“If it involves water, please let me get a hat beforehand.” – Lia
“An event held by the Adonian Society at Peterhouse College, typically a massive orgy supervised by Michael Portillo.” – Max

An important ritual.

Week five

“The point at which one realises that their shit grades aren’t just a phase.” – Ben
“Some weird shit that gets Cambridge kids all excited” – Lei
“Settled” – Jonathan

The Union

“A debating society infiltrated by left wingers and feminists with little if any free speech.” – Max
“A really left-wing organisation that strikes for the rights of Cambridge Uni workers.” – Ben
“Very expensive membership.” – Lia


“The initiation test.” – Max

The Wyverns

“Cool…” – Lei
“The illuminati.” – Max
“Is this something out of Jabberwocky?” – Lia

Something out of Jabberwocky.

June Event

“A party in June” – Lia
You have so much to learn, Lia.

The Van of Life

“Where those who don’t get a 2:1 or better get sent.” – Max
“Some weird shit that gets Cambridge kids all excited.” – Lei
“Genuinely, no idea. Drawing a complete blank.” – Lia

Some weird shit.


“A student of Caius college.” – Max
“A way of life.” – Lei
“Apparently my head was too big and this was how I was born.” – Ben


“Jingle.” – Jonathan
“A synonym for muggle; mixing with the peasants at Anglia Ruskin.” – Max
“When you stand alone at a party waiting for someone to talk to you but then nobody does.” – Ben
“What you do when you’re single.” – Lia

Red Chinos

“Along with gilets and ponies these are compulsory for poshos.” – Max
“The unofficial uniform of posh boys.” – Lia

Probably a Tory.


“A slang word for bursaries.” – Max
“Some weird shit that gets Cambridge kids all excited.” – Lei


“A college where there’s peer pressure to actively be a cunt.” – Ben


“Knives to eat venison with.” – Max
“The weapon of choice for St John’s thugs.” – Ben
“Of glory.” – Lia

So there you have it.

While Cambspeak is exclusivist and annoying, it is also easy to Google, so the premise of this article was fairly redundant.