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1.4 Glossary of 'Cambridgespeak'



Advanced student Postgraduate.
Bedmaker/Bedder Traditional term for a cleaner in College (short for bedmaker; they do not make beds). Selwyn has replaced the term by ‘Housekeeping Assistant’.
Bursar The College’s senior financial and administration officer.
Come up Arrive in Cambridge at the beginning of term.
Court Enclosed area usually of lawn of grass surrounded by College buildings. Known as a quad (quadrangle) in Oxford. Selwyn has three – Old, Cripps, and Ann’s.
Intermit If a student is ill and has to miss a significant part of their course, they may request permission to take a period away, before returning to resume their studies.
Director of Studies The Fellow of the College (or other senior member of the University) responsible for overseeing an undergraduate’s academic studies.
Division of Term The day that marks the mid-point of Full Term, at the end of the 4th week. It is quite often used by the University for deadlines.
Easter Term The term after Easter and before the undergraduates’ big, long vacation.
Exeat Permission to spend a night away from Cambridge. Students must sign out and back in again whenever they are away from Cambridge to satisfy University requirements to ‘keep term’.
Fellow An academic or Senior Member of the College.
Formal Hall Formal dinner (served at table) on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Fresher First-year undergraduate student.
Full Term Shorter than Term, eight weeks long. All undergraduates must stay in residence during this time.
General Admission During four days at the end of June/early July undergraduate students are awarded their degrees at this University ceremony. Selwyn students graduate on the Friday. There are other ceremonies for postgraduate degrees.
Gowns Black cape, to be worn on formal occasions (formal hall, chapel, matriculation). Graduates and Fellows wear a longer BA or MA gown.
Go down Leave Cambridge at the end of term.
Graduands Students being presented to receive their degree, having successfully passed their exams.
Gyp Room A very small kitchen, only really suitable for preparing snacks, not feasts.
Hall Dining Hall.
Hostels College accommodation in detached houses, on or adjacent to, the main site.
JCR Junior Combination Room. Undergraduates are members of this.
Junior Members Undergraduates and postgraduates.
Keeping Term Satisfying the residence requirements of the University.
Lent Term Term between Christmas and Easter, surprisingly!
Master The Head of the College. His name is Roger Mosey.
Matriculation Ceremony of entry to the College and the University. Having promised to obey the College and University rules, students become members of the College.
May Ball Post-exam celebration – in June!
May Week Also in June. The week after the end of the Full Easter Term; highlights include May Balls and garden parties.
MCR Middle Combination Room. Postgraduates are members of this.
Michaelmas Term Term before Christmas.
Pigeon-hole Where your mail is left for you (in the Porters’ Lodge).
Porters’ Lodge Where the porters are to be found.
Porter College employee responsible for security, signing in and out, mail and spare keys. They do not carry bags.
Postgraduate A postgraduate student; may be studying for either Masters’ or doctoral degrees.
Praelector College Officer responsible for matriculation and graduation ceremonies.
Proctor University Officer in charge of discipline and administration.
Reading Studying – “I am reading Natural Sciences”.
Rediit Book Used to be a book you sign on the day you come into residence at the beginning of each term. Now done in the Porters Lodge electronically by scanning your University Card.
Residence Cambridge is a residential University; students are required to spend a certain number of nights each term in order to be eligible to take their degree. Once you have come up, you are in residence.
SCR Senior Combination Room. Fellows are members of this.
Senior Members Fellows and Directors of Studies.
Supervisions Small group teaching organised by Directors of Studies and that are called tutorials Oxford.
Supervisor The academic responsible for your supervisions
Term A longer period than Full Term. There is no formal teaching outside Full Term.
Keeping Term Form/Terminal Exeat The form that must be signed in the presence of your Tutor at your end of term meeting to confirm your going down and coming up dates.
Tutor A Fellow with pastoral responsibilities connected to student welfare and wellbeing and who acts as your advocate in various matters.