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An Oxford Language Dictionary

By Aaryana Sethi



Whether you’re an applicant or an offer holder, reading about Oxford life will definitely lead you to coming across some interestingly Oxford-specific terms! In this post, you’ll find some of the key terms and what they mean.


Bodcard - University ID card which allows access to libraries, college, university buildings.


Bod/Old Bod - The Bodleian Library. This refers to the physical building of the Old Bodleian Library. The “Bodleian Libraries,” however, refers to the university’s library system of over 25 different libraries.


Christ Church Regatta - ‘Christ Church Regatta,’ (or alternatively Michaelmas Novice Regatta),’ is the rowing regatta during the first term of every year which is held exclusively for novice rowers.


Collections - These are mock exams at the start of each term covering information from the paper learnt in the previous term.


'First Through Eighth Weeks' - Referring to each respective week of an eight week Oxford term. It is common to plan events/refer to dates as, for example, “Wednesday of eighth,” as opposed to the actual dates.


Hilary - The second term of the year from January to March.


JCR - Junior Common Room. This refers to both the entire undergraduate body of a college as well as the physical common room which undergraduates use to socialize!

Michaelmas - The first term of the year from October to early December.


Minus First Week, etc. - These are the few weeks preceding noughth week at the start of term.


Ninth Week, etc. - These are the few weeks after term ends during which some students are still in Oxford.


Noughth Week - Alternatively ‘0th/zeroth week,’ this is the week before the official start of term. This is when Fresher’s Week happens before Michaelmas term, as well as collections at the start of term.


Radcam - The Radcliffe Camera. This library is both one of Oxford’s most famous as well as the official Oxford History Faculty Library.


Torpids/Summer Eights/Bumps - ‘Torpids’ and ‘Summer Eights’ are both forms of ‘bumps’ racing in which the main objective is to ‘bump,’ (either physically or by rowing past), the boat in front. Torpids is held in Hilary Terms and Summer Eights in Trinity.


Trinity - Summer term! This is the last term of the year, starting at the end of April and ending in June (depending on different subjects' exams).


Hopefully this has been useful to read, and whether you’re applying or joining us in October, best of luck!

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