Slang at Swat

Here at Swarthmore, we use a lot of slang. What does it mean to say “I wish Reggie were on Cygnet” while Sharplifting Indian bar? Let’s find out.

Swat Seven – any event you host, expect students to show up about seven minutes late. That’s called the Swat seven.

Swawkward – I, like most people (I thought), wave and smile when I see someone I know. Sometimes I say hi. For some reason, Swatties sometimes say hi, sometimes pretend they’re on the phone, and sometimes awkwardly head nod at each other. Once, someone even responded to my “hello” by saying “yes.” Exhibit A, stolen from a Swarthmore student Facebook group:

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Swat Swivel – Swat is a small school. In many ways, that’s great. You have small classes, a tight-knit community, and individualized attention from your professors. But that also means if you want to talk about someone, you should quickly look around you. Odds are, the person you’re about to talk about is either behind you or one of their friends is. Tread lightly, Swatties.

Pub Nite – On Thursday nights, students gather in the sweaty confines of Paces café and dance. Each week, as is tradition, at midnight all the lights are turned on and the song “American Pie” plays loudly over the speakers. Everyone gathers in a circle and flails their limbs until the DJ plays “Closing Time” and Pub Night is officially over.

YOPFO, or You Only Pass/Fail Once –  As you may already know, your first semester at Swarthmore is pass/fail, there are no grades. Upperclassmen watch freshman shirk their academic responsibilities and head to Pub Night despite their 8 a.m. Friday morning class, remarking wistfully, YOPFO

Cygnet – You know how Facebook was originally created by Mark Zuckerberg to look at other Harvard students? Cygnet is our version of the old Facebook. You can look someone up by name, class year, or dorm. So if there’s a cute girl in your Astro class who you know is a sophomore living in Willets, but you don’t know her name, you can look up “Willets 2021.”

McCage – A nickname for one of our libraries, McCabe. McCabe is actually really nice on the inside, but the small windows make it look a little prison-y on the outside. McCabe is also a pretty social space, especially when they bring out the “Grind Cart,” (a cart of coffee and snacks at 10 p.m.). McCage? More like McRage, right?

Crumhenge – On campus we have the Crum Woods, a gorgeous 220-acre forest with 3.5 miles of trails. It’s really beautiful. In the Crum, if you walk about fifteen minutes from campus, you’ll find a giant clearing with some big stones and a fire pit:


Who put them there? When? Why? Nobody knows. But it’s very nice, so I recommend checking it out.

Swat Married – For some reason, when Swatties get in a relationship they can become inseparable. This is called being Swat married. To be clear, you definitely can be in a relationship and not be Swat Married, but a lot of the time people spend a lot of their time together and it begins to resemble a marriage.

Indian Bar – Four words, nineteen letters, say them and I’m yours: it’s Indian Bar tonight. Objectively this is one of the better meals Swarthmore has to offer. The lines for Indian Bar are long. Whether you’re there for the chicken vindaloo or vegetable pakora, palak paneer, or warm naan, it’s bound to be tasty and you’re bound to enjoy it.

Sharplifting – Swarthmore doesn’t have a ton of late-night food options. So sometimes people will borrow utensils or plates from Sharples (the dining hall). 21764819_1946262995588505_144657126642980432_n
This is called Sharplifting. It happens a little too often, and maybe we should put back the mugs we take?

Reggie – He roams Wharton courtyard and lives in the compost bin behind Essie Mae’s. He is always naked. Who. Is. He.? At Essie Mae’s, we call him Reggie, the local raccoon. Aside from chasing a student once or twice, he’s harmless, albeit a little startling to see sometimes.

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