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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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