A fresher’s guide to five Cambridge in-jokes

Though, we don’t even understand all of them

Being a Cambridge fresher is hard. Not only are you likely to be moving to a new city and trying to make new friends on top of a whole new workload, but you’re also trying to make sense out of all the weird things people keep saying around you.

To aid you as you navigate the already strange-enough complexities of Freshers’ Week, we’ve put together a little guide to help you look like you know what you’re doing as you laugh along at every unfunny Toope meme.

1. The Lingo Thingo 

It’s all Greek to me

It does sometimes feel like in Cambridge, we speak our own language. I’m sure you know by now that your pidge is probably at plodge and that you mustn’t let your DoS know when you’re dossing about. But did you know that Varsity has about three different meanings? Or that if you walked the streets of Cam looking for a sign to the nightclub Life, you would get pretty lost. (Yep that one confuses me too). You’ll catch on eventually with all the silly names, and before you know it you’ll be whipping them out to prove you’re a real Cantab.

2. Girton is really far away

If you just follow Huntingdon Road…

One joke that seemingly never gets old (and never stops boiling my poor Girtonian blood) is that Girton College is far away. Yes, we do have a different MP to the rest of the Cambridge Colleges and yes, we all have to ride our bikes or get the bus to get anywhere near King’s Parade. But, I promise. It’s not that far. Nevertheless, it seems that whenever anyone meets a Girtonian, they say “Girton isn’t actually in Cambridge is it?”, which is of course the height of comedy. But totally not accurate. I think. Maybe? 

3. The Toope Obsession

The Vice-Chancellor overseeing some academic rigour

Since the beginning of the Pandemic and our regular email updates from the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Stephen Toope seems to have become a meme. I don’t exactly know why but my Facebook timeline always seems to be full of memes about “Daddy Toope” or something along that line. With the Vice-Chancellor announcing that this will be his final academic year at Cambridge, these memes will probably come to an end soon. Good riddance, so some might say.

4. Camfess is a thing?

Working hard or hardly working?

Cambridge, like a number of UK universities, has an anonymously-run Facebook page for anonymous student confessions, or in this case, Camfessions. In the last few years the page has become an institution in its own right, spawning multiple memes and copypastas. It has even been a source of inspiration for an article or two at the Tab. One of the greatest ways to feel like a true Cambridge student is to submit your thoughts onto Camfess and watch others tag their friends and laugh at you.

5. Dressing up for a Mainsburys Crushbridge

Wearing my BEST outfit

Similar to Camfess, Crushbridge is another anonymous Facebook page for Cambridge students to declare their love (and lust). Very quickly it became apparent that one of the best ways to receive a Crushbridge was to be spotted in the Sainsbury’s on Sidney Street (aka Mainsburys). And so it has become a tradition of sorts to ensure that one is dressed one’s best (or not) when making a trip to Mainsburys, just in case you might get spotted. 

Let us know which Cambridge in-jokes are your favourite (maybe via Camfess? 😉 )!

Feature Image Credit: Fiona Gibbs and Author’s Screenshot from Crushbridge

Other image credits: Fiona Gibbs