TabGuide: Durham Lingo

It’s time for you to set yourself apart from the locals and finally figure out how to speak Durham

Tired of hearing words you don’t understand? Feel that you have so much to offer but just can’t find the words to express yourself? Want to feel like you finally truly belong?

We’re here to set your frantic heart at rest with a glossary of Durham terms that will have you a master of words quicker than you can say Susie Dent.

Back yourself

An inspirational instruction to individuals to have faith in their abilities, normally said when someone’s self-assurance seems to be under threat.

“I don’t think I’ll be able be able to pull that 8.” “Mate, back yourself.”


Synonym for banter, except without any of the wit.

“He’s an absolute arsehole but he’s got good chat.”


A term used in reference to either drinks or ladies, generally implying getting through them at a fast rate, and therefore only heard on the lips of the most ardent feminists.

“Everything I chopped last night was dripping wet.”

The multi-task chop


In Durham this term is applies to anyone who varies from the ordinary jean/t-shirt combo, goes to club nights where they don’t play the charts or involves themselves in “recreational” activities.

“Oh my God did you see that girl in the snapback? She’s so bloody edgy.”


An excuse to wear gowns and be served food, so that for a glimmering few hours “Doxbridge” students can pretend they managed to make it into the haven of their first choice.

“I think the Latin mass really adds a certain je ne sais quoi to formal.”

Gownin’ around


A phrase used to admit guilt of an accused action of a laddish nature. Must be accompanied with hand gesture portraying wrists being locked in handcuffs for full effect.

“Did you actually shit in the library?!?” “Guilty.”


A status obtained through the completion of a range of outlandish and legendary activities. The sense of achievement associated with this term serves to numb all nagging worries about being socially inadequate, replacing it with a warm fuzzy sense of belonging that non-lads can only dream of.  A true lad must master the holy trinity of alcohol, women and banter.

“But it’s OK cos he’s a lad.”

If you look like this, you’re doing it wrong


“A collective of people who chop neither pints or birds. They go out their way to make the queues in clubs/bars longer with no intention of chopping anything inside.” As so beautifully defined by our very own Jack gets-them-Hardwick

“He’s been talking to this girl for at least 10 minutes and still hasn’t closed, what a pigeon.”


The exact opposite of a pigeon, you pigeon.

“He finished the night with a bottle of Dom Perignon and a Cuth’s fashion show model under each arm; what a hawk.”


A concoction of orange, cranberry and 4 shots of vodka. Half the vodka is given separately to comply with EU health and safety regulations, but despite this precaution it will still end up with the drinker passing out on the Bailey cuddling a Hearty Italian Subway.

“Why were you texting me naked pictures of your mum last night?” “Too many quaddies.”


A variant from the ordinary that deserves recognition that shows what an edgy fucker you are. Going to Klute on a Wednesday is an excellent example of this, but if you can’t handle quite that much crazy mix paracetamol with Tesco gin for a “rogue” predrinks.

“Urban Oven was too busy post-Shack so I went to Pizza King and got a falafel wrap, it was so rogue.”

Very rogue Klute pulling attire

Secret Society

A group of wealthy and like-minded people who collate together occasionally for drinks and banter. Most members pretend to be embarrassed about it, proclaiming that membership is only for future employment aid, although that doesn’t stop them buying the society’s stash. More importantly, let us not forget the irony of a secret society having stash. Really.

“How did you get that job at JP Morgan?” “I met the CEO at last Friday’s Secret Society dinner.”


A hilarious conclusion to a comment that serves to negate itself through repetition. Said at the end of an action that one would be expect you to be sorry about but, hysterically, you’re not sorry about in the slightest.

“I pulled out and came all over her face. Sorrynotsorry.”


An age old tradition to gain access to the realms of the not-so-elusive Bailey crew. This process of joining a university sport in order to qualify for the stash and then dropping out the week after. For those who are wealthy enough to spend hundreds of pounds on polyester trackies but don’t have the skill or commitment to actually play a sport for a year.

“Are you really a member of the Quidditch team…?” “Nah, I’m just gonna do a stashndash.”

Ability to move not necessary