Durham vocab for Internationals

Solving your conundurham

Are you International? Or just a little out of it?

You need not worry if you don’t understand everything British Durham students say.If you do wish to learn, here is a little Durham Dictionary  for you.

Note: OED is better if you have essay-related vocab queries.


Guys who are either really bulky or just walk like they are. This special walk involves a lot of unnecessary arm-swinging so they can take up the entire street, making it impossible for anyone to pass them. Often seen wearing turtlenecks, Gap shirts, and a  dodgy smirk.


The non-see-through substance  pouring down your window in the middle of the night.


Your saviour after a night out, and your curse the next day. Time to join the gym.

Public School

Public School is the school you go to if you don’t go to private school. But you still have to pay. So it’s private. But Public. But it’s private? Or is it a state school.. But that’s public. Or private. Or both.


The cause of your violent hangover.

Signet ring

It’s a ring that looks like it could have been purchased in Claire’s, but in reality it’s very exlusive. Guys who come from families with aristocratic ties like to wear these and flaunt their status. It’s basically the symbol of arrogance, and if you spot one you know you shoul avoid whoever wears it, or, of course, marry them. Because they’re rich. Obvs.


Nevermind what it’s an abbreviation for, just look for someone who carries her or himself like they’re Prince Harry without the good hair.


This is a special mental state where you experience a tremendous amount of stress because you’re not stressed. You’ll have these moments when you receive snapchats from your friends dancing in Klute, or rolling around in some kind of bush laughing. No matter how pathetic those snapchats are, you’ll still feel like you should be rolling around in a bush too, instead of reading for your summative.


No, it’s not just what you do when you’ve met someone for the first time. It’s a religion, a way of life. In the UK, you spend the first three or four months of knowing someone conducting smalltalk with said person. The first two months should be spent talking exlusively about the weather. In the third month you may dare to ask your new friend if they have any siblings, and after about six months or so you may proceed to asking them about their love-lives.


This is an adjective describing anyone who displays a particular liking for wavy trousers, festival bracelets, or wall-hangings from India. You need not have been on a gapyear to be “gapyah”, you only have to dress alternatively and carry a hip(ster)flask with you wherever you go.


The Pull

The natural consequence of hitting Klute in first year. It’s also the cause of all awkward encounters in Tesco. If you want to be kind to your future self, just don’t do it. If you must, get with someone from Stockton, cause you’ll never see them again.


That chick who wears pashmina shawls and expensive earrings so tiny no one can see them. Probably a SGIA student.


The Durham version of charm, a.k.a attempts at banter to attract a crush.

Success rate: low.

DSU and Student Union

No, they’re not the same thing. No one really knows the difference though.

Hopefully, you’ll now understand everything the cool kids talk about at dinner, and maybe you can even join their banter sometime..