Rugby School - School Slang

School Slang

In common with most English public schools, Rugby has its own argot, a few words of which are listed below. Also, the Oxford "-er" abbreviation (e.g. Johnners, rugger, footer etc.), prevalent at Oxford University from about 1875, is thought to have been borrowed from the slang of Rugby School. However, much of the slang below is now obsolete as marked.

  • Bags: Sporting colours (particularly 'The Holder of Bigside Bags', the Captain of the Running Eight)
  • Beaks: Teachers (obsolete: current pre-1970)
  • Bodger: The current headmaster (After Dr. H. A. James - former headmaster (1895–1909). He gained this nickname while headmaster at Rossall School.) (obsolete - current in 1970s and earlier)
  • Boomer: Chapel Bell (not actually functional, on the premise the tower may collapse)
  • Bosh: A traditional game of soccer between School House and School Field on the Close annually
  • Bug: Library (obsolete: current pre-1970). The main library is the Temple Reading Room (TRR)
  • Close: Rugby and cricket pitches outside School House. Also serves as a form of punishment in School House, where the offender walks around the Close early in the morning.
  • Cock House: winner of the inter house rugby competition
  • Copy: Award for exceptional work
  • Credit: Award that is just below a distinction
  • Crick Run: annual long distance run from Crick to Rugby
  • Defaulter : half an hour of manual labour, that could be imposed as a punishment by a sixth
  • Dics: House prayers or talks on useful information (obsolete - current in 1960s and earlier)
  • Distinction: Award for slightly less exceptional work than a Copy
  • D-Block: Year 11
  • E-Block: Year 10
  • F-Block: Year 9
  • Far Polo: the most distant rugby pitches, only occasionally used, located on farmland more usually used for grazing sheep.
  • Gation: Second to worst form of punishment in the form of boarding house arrest with staff or Levee signatures required on the hour.
  • Ground Work: 2 hours of manual labour, imposed as a punishment
  • G-Block: Years 7 and 8
  • Imposition: Lowest form of punishment
  • Job: 1 hour of manual labour, imposed as a punishment
  • Lacque (pronounced 'Lake'): Room for the sixth in Sheriff House
  • Levee: School prefect
  • LXX: (Known as Lower Twenty) Year 12
  • Hall: The table below that of the Sixth. Members of Hall have or had certain privileges, such as that of carrying an umbrella, or making toast (obsolete: current pre-1970 )
  • The Marshall: A figure who makes sure everything is as it should be
  • New Turf and Old Turf: Hockey Astro Pitches
  • New Quad and Old Quad: The two areas around OBS
  • Old Guard: Sports team of teachers
  • OBS: Old Big School
  • OR: Old Rugbeian
  • Pig Hut run: Physical punishment of running to Levee hut (obsolete)
  • Pontines: 2nd XV rugby pitch
  • The Porridge: The gravel area outside the Chapel
  • Rustication: Highest form of punishment before expulsion. Sent home or occasionally sent to live with Chaplain.
  • Sixth: House prefect
  • Speckle: To sack someone from being a House Sixth (the Sixth tie is speckled)
  • Stewboi: A hindrance - 'To lay a Stewboi' being the correct term for hindering a pupil - or a fashion of hat worn
  • Stodge: School tuck shop
  • Stripe: To sack someone from being a Levee (the Levee tie is striped)
  • Tanner: Day-boy (from 'Town House') (obsolete)
  • Tick: The obligatory salutation of a Beak in the street, by lifting an index finger to shoulder level (obsolete - current in 1960s and earlier)
  • Topos: Lavatory (from Greek τόπος, meaning 'a place') (obsolete - current in 1980s and earlier)
  • Tosh: The old 662⁄3 yard open-air swimming pool, also used as a skating rink in winter, demolished by the School Governors in 1989 and replaced with a basket-ball court and a smaller indoor swimming pool. In some houses a name given to a large communal shower room. Also, a bath (sb.) or to take a bath
  • Wagger: Waste paper basket (abbreviation of "wagger pagger bagger" - see Oxford "-er") (obsolete - current in 1960s and earlier)
  • XX: Year 13

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