Art Chenoweth

A source of amusement is the everyday slang that constantly changes among university students. I especially find myself fascinated by some of the reported abbreviations and acronyms. For example, ACA means Acute Commitment Anxiety, said to be a common disorder among students who hook up with many different people. Pretty much gone now is BH9, the appreciation for the former Beverly Hills 90210.

Perhaps my favorite is BOBFOC: Body off Baywatch, Face off Crime Watch. How about BOD, Breath of Dog? Then there is CBD, Chicks Before Dicks, putting your girl associates before boyfriends. DTR, Determine the Relationship, the discussion that occurs in a relationship lasting longer than two weeks. With DUFF you have Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Really cute girls are said to almost always pal around with a DUFF for the contrast and the DUFF hopes some of the excess will roll of onto her. That is allied with FFS, Fat Friend Syndrome, the contention of many male college students that just when you think the attractive girl at the party is ready to leave with you, her DUFF talks her into leaving without you. It’s ugly conversation, but it’s out there. Why pretend otherwise?

ELF, every lady’s friend. He’s the poor guy who has a lot of hot girl acquaintances but no opportunity to actually hook up with any of them. GDI is claimed to be the Greek abbreviation for God Damn Independents. FUPA is again anatomical, referring to Fat Upper Pelvic Area, also called a roll. HMB’s are High Maintenance Boys, guys who take forever to get ready to go out. On the female side of the coin is the IPS, Instant Princess Syndrome, assumed by women where there exists an overabundance of men. Every college student encounters FFF, Forced Family Fun, activities that involve the whole family but bore you to distraction.

PDA is Public Display of Affection, snickered at in some quarters. Connected with more serious romance is SPOON, a message written outside your door by your roommate who wants privacy. It stands for Start Planning Other Options Now.

College slang, like slang generally, changes rapidly, and there is some on record that proved totally new to me. One is Penny the Door. This refers to forcibly hammering a stack of pennies between someone’s door and doorframe so they are trapped inside. How about Rentals, for the people who raised you and possibly paid your tuition? I like Setting the Pick, when you persuade a friend to intercept an undesirable someone from approaching you at a party. Walk of Shame, when you have to walk across campus wearing the same thing you had on last night. The Wake and Bake, the habit of starting the morning with a toke of marijuana.

Some slang describes less than attractive, but apparently common, behavior. One of these is the Three Second Rule. If food falls on the floor, you have three seconds to pick it up before it gets too dirty to eat. Less than three seconds, eat it. There is also a Ten Second Rule, the drunk version of the Three Second Rule. A Frisbee is an uneaten pizza left on the floor. A Hoover is declared when a beer is spilled and the spiller must drink it from whatever surface it is spilled on.

At a party, one may encounter the declaration “got five on it,” which invokes the rule that an individual can leave a seat in a room and return within five minutes and still retain the rights to sit there.

Then there’s Stalloned, which means being so ripped you’re talking like Rocky Balboa after being punched around for 10 rounds. I am a frequent victim of the Food Coma, the utter drowsiness that creeps in after eating.

The utter ambiguity of it all overwhelms me and totally distracts me from those challenging assignments where slang is not allowed in the assignments that lie just ahead. I fear I may be contracting Osmosis, which is falling asleep with my head slumped into a book.

These glimpses into what university students are saying across the country, and, in some cases, in Europe, may be found on the Web site The site invites students to submit their most outrageous stories, which they do. Most anecdotes relate to drinking or sex. They are much too detailed to sample in a column. Some students, no doubt, are lying. But then, college students will do that, won’t they?