- For our collection project, we decided to investigate folklore from within the Dartmouth community. As any Dartmouth student knows, we have an extremely unique vocabulary, specifically when it comes to the use of slang terms. There are dozens of examples, but we wanted to find and analyze the most popular. So, we took a poll of surrounding friends, teammates, and strangers, asking them what they believed were the most commonly used slang terms at Dartmouth. In order from most common to least, our results were:
- After we obtained this list, we needed to determine whether or not Dartmouth slang could actually be considered for the project. To analyze the slang through a folkloric lens, we understood that it needed to meet a specific criteria. The criteria, as derived from in class lectures and readings, is as follows:
- Is it a custom shared by a group of people?
- Is it passed down by word of mouth?
- Is there no single author?
- Does it have multiple existences?
- After analysis, we determined that Dartmouth slang does classify as a form of folklore. It is shared by current students and alumni, is passed down strictly via word of mouth, does not have a single author, and has multiple existences in a variety of forms across sports teams, clubs, and Greek life. We were very interested in the topic and wanted to further investigate it to share our findings on a staple of the Dartmouth community as it is a prime example of the school’s persistent efforts to maintain traditions. To obtain a unique perspective, we asked six current students, from a variety of class years, their opinions and insighst on specific Dartmouth slang terms.
- In terms of general trends among our informants, most students first learned the unique slang on First-Year-Trips or before arriving on campus via family members who attended or are currently attending Dartmouth. During First-Year-Trips, students participate in their first Dartmouth experience, learning many of their new classmates along with several upperclassmen. During the overnight excursions, incoming students learn a lot about Dartmouth culture (including slang terms) from their trip leaders (upperclassmen). These trips act as a rite of passage, as students learn about cultural traits and slang terms that will then be incorporated into their new lives in college. If incoming students are fortunate enough to have current students or alumni in their family, these relatives typically tell the future student everything he or she needs to know about Dartmouth’s unique culture, including slang.
- Samuel Tyrrell
- Will Bednarz
- [Dartmouth slang, blitz, NARP, Trippie, @now, Facetime, shmob]