Words that have totally different meanings at Glasgow University

You’ll never look at a traffic cone the same way again.

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Languages are a wonderful thing, yet although the whole country speaks the same one, I’ve found that by moving from Aberdeen to Glasgow I’ve not only picked up a bit of an accent, but some of the words in my vocabulary have completely changed meaning. So, while you’re probably procrastinating revision by reading this, fear not, because this list will enlighten you to how many new meanings of words you’ve learned over your time in Glasgow – something no lecturer could teach you.

First and foremost, HIVE:

Then: a terrifying buzzing bee home

Now: still terrifying, buzzing, and a home but all in a different sense. There’s literally no other place to be on a Thursday night than crushed up against a couple of hundred other worker bees in an orgy of sweat as you dance to All Star by Smash Mouth. As a bee does anything for their queen, a student will do anything for a night in Hive.

The place of dreams


Then: A toxic substance emitted from the fangs of various snakes

Now: A lethal concoction of god knows fucking what that gets you from slightly tipsy stumbling up the stairs in Garage to being so far gone you don’t even remember crashing down them at 3am with a nasty bruise and ban to show for it.

Traffic cone:

Then: A plastic object used to cordon off parts of the road

Now: An official component of the Duke of Wellington statue… you’ve probably never even seen him without his cone tbh. There’s even been festive editions including a drunk man dressed in a Santa costume donning the Duke with his cone of shame. Iconic.



Then: A healthy way that vegetables can be cooked

Now: Being so out of your nut that you think it’s a good idea to pull twelve people in Viper, spew all over yourself and get chucked out only to try and start a fight with the bouncer. Not a good look, but makes a good story I suppose. An obviously you’ll be doing the exact same thing next week.

No YOU’RE drunk


Then: A collective noun for people living together in a community, usually well intentioned, contributing to the general welfare of the population

Now: A group of people with literally any common interest under the sun who meet together for an excuse to get smashed regularly, sometimes in costumes. Glasgow boasts many societies from sporting to LGBTQ+ to Doctor Who. Literally any excuse to go out and get absolutely smashed every week with other students because you share a common interest in anything from cheese to RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Tennis Society’s recent Crawl of Duty social

Cheer society goes golfing in Sanc


Then: 568 ml

Now: a pint of fun; a GU masterclass, get two of them down your neck and what will happen for the rest of the night becomes a mystery. Common symptoms include vomiting, memory loss and crippling embarrassment, as well as the well known ‘VK sugar shakes’ the next morning. With so many different flavour combinations to try, there’s really no excuse needed to get yourself down to the beer bar for this classic “cocktail”

Every colour of the rainbow


Then: A word used to describe working really hard

Now: The process of trying to get someone to shag you by making eyes at them across the dancefloor of Viper, only to sheepishly scoot out of their dingy west-end flat mere minutes after the deed is done.

University of Strathclyde:

Then: A Scottish university

Now: The laughing stock of the academic community. A degree from this place is about as useless as a nun’s dildo. Anyone who goes here is open to endless ridicule and mockery from the clear superiors at Glasgow. Don’t even get me started on Caley.

Other variants include Sesh, Skite and Scran – it’s basically a whole other language. The list goes on and funny new additions come after basically every night out – we think we’re hilarious.