Since they first opened their doors, public schools across the land have been adding to the Queen’s English with bizarre expressions of their own. A sense of belonging is vital at these institutions – and what could be more bonding than a universal lingo that is adopted by all pupils, exists only within the school’s hallowed walls and is largely incomprehensible to outsiders? Here, we unearth some of the strangest school slang around.


    Bancoused at: Charterhouse  meaning: homework

    Beakused at: Eton College, Charterhouse, Harrow School  meaning: teacher

    Bigside used at: Radley College  meaning: the First XV rugby team, First XI cricket team and the pitches they play on

    Bimsused at: Wellington College  meaning: weekly inter-house sports fixtures

    Calloverused at: Wellington College meaning: morning and evening roll call in house to check everyone is present

    Chambers used at: Eton College meaning: mid-morning break

    College Pigused at: Wellington College meaning: school prefect

    Crackused at: Charterhouse meaning: the tuck shop

    Dame used at: Eton College  meaning: matron

    Divused at: Eton College  meaning: lesson

    Donused at: Radley College, Winchester College  meaning: teacher

    Dry bobused at: Eton College  meaning: a pupil who plays cricket

    Ducker used at: Harrow School  meaning: swimming pool

    Eccer/Ekkerused at: Harrow School, Winchester College  meaning: sport or exercise

    Grubbiesused at: Wellington College  meaning: school shop

    Hashused at: Charterhouse  meaning: lesson

    Homebillused at: Charterhouse  meaning: evening meal

    Jam Accountused at: Radley College  meaning: a pupil’s account at the school shop

    Jerksused at: Harrow School  meaning: punishment

    Notionsused at: Winchester College  meaning: the school’s lexicon of slang

    On fatiguesused at: Wellington College  meaning: punishment schedule of reporting in and doing chores

    Periodused at: Harrow School  meaning: lesson

    Playused at: Westminster School  meaning: a day’s holiday

    Pupsused at: Radley College  meaning: prefects

    Quarter used at:Charterhouse  meaning: the school term

    Ripused at: Eton College  meaning: the tear a teacher makes in a poor piece of work

    Shag used at: Westminster School  meaning: a pupil’s own clothes

    Shell used at: Harrow School  meaning: new boy

    Show-upused at: Eton College  meaning: a good piece of work

    Slack bobused at: Eton College  meaning: a pupil who does neither of the above

    Socials used at: Radley College  meaning: school houses

    Stationused at: Westminster School  meaning: afternoon sport

    The Masterused at: Wellington College  meaning: the headmaster

    The Pink Rollused at: Wellington College  meaning: a list of all pupils and staff

    Toshesused at: Harrow School  meaning: showers

    Toytimeused at: Winchester College  meaning: evening prep period

    Up Schoolused at: Westminster School  meaning: main hall

    Wardenused at: Radley College  meaning: headmaster

    Wet bobused at: Eton College  meaning: a pupil who rows




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