Dartmouth Slang

Title: Dartmouth Slang

Informant info:

Joseph Balaban is a twenty-year-old sophomore (’19) from the eastern shore of Maryland. He has two older brothers, one of which graduated from Dartmouth this past spring (Class of 2016). His mother, uncle, and grandfather are also all Dartmouth alumni. Joe intends to be a history major and is also a member of the men’s lacrosse team.

 General Information:

  • Verbal, folk speech
  • English
  • United States of America 

Social / cultural context:

Joseph was interviewed in person in early November. The context of this item is much broader than most items of folklore because although they first appear for freshmen upon arriving to Dartmouth, they remain a part of student vernacular for the remainder of their time in Hanover and potentially thereafter.


Blitz- Dartmouth email account; also used as a verb i.e. “to blitz a professor”

Flitz- Flirty email sent among students, usually to invite another student to a formal or on a date

FoCo- The class of 1953 commons food court

’17s, ‘18s, ‘19s etc.- Dartmouth students are referred to by their class year i.e. seniors graduating in 2017 are called ‘17s or sophomores, 19’s

The Hop- The Hopkins Center for the Arts; also used to refer to the courtyard café located on the bottom floor of the Hopkins Center

The Bema- The big empty meeting area located east of the Shattuck Observatory

Shmob- Mob of freshmen usually seen walking or eating together


“Since so many of my family members were Dartmouth alums, I grew up hearing lots of Dartmouth slang. By the time I arrived on campus last fall I was already familiar with many of the terms used by Dartmouth students such as blitz, foco, ‘19, and the Hop. These terms commonly used by Dartmouth students are integral to being a Dartmouth student because they differentiate us from all the other college students in the world while also unifying us with the alumni. On my way up to school, I ran into a Dartmouth alum who was a ’99, and we had a long conversation about his time at Dartmouth. Even though our graduation years are 20 years apart, we spoke as if we both attended Dartmouth at the same time.


Collectors Info: Armin Mortazavi, Class of 2019, hometown: Potomac, MD

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