Swat Slang: Terms, Tips, and Tricks

YOPFO — an acronym for “You Only Pass/Fail Once.” Good excuse for focusing on building friendships and trying out extracurriculars during your first semester.

Cygnet — a database of awkward high school yearbook photos.

Swat Swivel — the act of rapidly looking around you to make sure the person you’re talking about isn’t within earshot. Crucial to conversation in Sharples; preferably enacted before, and not after, a snide remark.

Sleeping Swatties — a Tumblr account with pictures of students passed out in libraries and study spaces, as well as occasionally in Sharples.

Swat Seven — the seven minutes after an event’s start-time during which you’re still not considered late.

Swawkward — A special characteristic of interactions between Swarthmore students, such as persistent refusal to make eye contact, or persistence in making eye contact but refusal to say hello.

Donnie — your new best friend.

Local Foods Night — Sharples’ semesterly version of Thanksgiving, featuring the best food from surrounding counties. Usually good enough to quell student complaints about Sharples for about 24 hours.

Truckathon — the best day of the semester.

Freshman Freebie — a regrettable relationship or hook-up taking place during the first semester of freshman year which may be struck from the record, so to speak. Once an incident is labeled a Freshman Freebie, friends are expected to never mention it again.

Swooping — traditionally, the initiation of a sexual or romantic relationship with a freshman by a junior or senior before October Break. Acceptability hotly debated.

Hallcest — a sexual or romantic relationship between two people living on the same hall. Dreaded by RAs.

Swoggles — shorthand for “Swat Goggles.” The controversial idea that once you’ve been here long enough, unattractive people start to look good by comparison. Alternately, the idea that the assurance that most students are smart and interesting makes them more attractive regardless of looks.

Judgment Brunch — Sunday morning brunch, during which students gather in the dining hall to observe the impact of the previous night on other students.

The Family Room — coveted private room on the third floor of McCabe. Well-suited to movie nights and flirtatious studying.

Crumhenge — mysterious stones arranged near the fire-pit in the Crum Meadow. Rumored to be a studio art thesis from years gone by.

Swat Marriage — a relationship phase in which a couple essentially lives together. A state which you hope your roommate will not enter.


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