Campus slang brings sense of community, uniformity


The Daily Illini Photo

Students and their dads tailgate outside of Memorial Stadium before the game against Minnesota on Nov. 3, 2018 during Dad’s Weekend.

By Diana Anghel, Assistant News Editor

Illinois’ campus can make a language barrier even more difficult because of the various slang terms that are only known to its students. From personal experience, overcoming the fear of speaking a second language incorrectly can take years. Combining that with the strange-sounding yet commonly used words can make the process even more difficult. Here is some campus slang that most students know. 

Bance: This is a barn dance. It’s usually a semesterly event for Greek life. Oftentimes, but not always, it’s a date event. Bances can also happen within RSOs and clubs. The given organization usually rents out a farm for the night, and attendees dress in “country” outfits, such as flannels, “jorts,” cowboy boots and cowboy hats. It’s a staple of the University’s social life.

Icing Out: If you want to see this term in action, David Dobrik ices out in KAMs in one of his vlogs when he visited campus last year. Surrounded by a heavy bar culture, students at the University have successfully created their own ways of consuming drinks. As bar drinks are usually served in plastic cups with ice, icing out refers to reaching into your cup with your hand and pulling the ice on the floor, keeping it from distilling your drink. This results in incredibly sticky, wet floors but at the same time, a fun tradition. However, with COVID-19 precautions, campus should take a break from icing out drinks. 

Block: “Blocking” is a verb used by Greek life when a sorority and a fraternity pair on Saturdays before football games. You’ll probably see people wearing bracelets on their wrist; these are “passes” for bar entrance fees, called covers, and sometimes drink deals at the bars. 

Tailgate: This refers to the American tradition of hosting a social gathering before an athletic event, typically in the parking lot of the stadium. You will see attendees dressed up in their Illini gear and tents being set up outside of the stadium.

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UGL: The Undergraduate Library. Coincidentally enough, it’s also an underground library. The UGL has three floors, two of which are designated study spaces: one being more social, loud and open, and the last being a quiet space. It also has a coffee shop on the middle floor. 

Darty: A darty is a party that happens to be during the day. This one is pretty self-explanatory. 

MNL: As previously mentioned, students at the University have found ways to incorporate tradition within the bar culture. MNL stands for Monday Night Lion, aka going to the Red Lion on Monday nights. 

ARC: The Activities and Recreation Center. This is one of the most accessible and beneficial facilities for students. It has sport courts, an indoor track, cardio machines, a weight lifting room, a sauna and a pool, among other things. 

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