The Berzerkeley Phrasebook

Your guide to Berkeley Lingo

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Asian Ghetto-A collection of restaurants located on Durant Avenue. Formally named Durant Food Court, this location consists of several eateries that predominantly serve Asian cuisine at an affordable price between $7 and $15.

Main Stacks-Four underground floors below the Doe library that house the university’s millions of books. Unlike the general public, Cal students are granted free access to Main stacks so be prepared to encounter many of your fellow Golden Bears clothed in Cal Gear.

Bro-Refers to any member of a fraternity with the derogatory implication that he is obnoxious, douchy and spends a lot of time drinking. Also used by fraternity brothers to refer to one-another. Related terms: Bro tank, bro hoe.

Northside/Westside/Southside-Despite sounding like references to gang territory, these terms actually pertain to the neighborhoods surrounding the campus. Northside is quiet and residential, with cute cafes and restaurants. Westside contains downtown Berkeley and a more urban housing selection. Southside is home to many students and can be quite a ruckus during weekends. For some reason the term ‘Eastside’ doesn’t exist.

Gourmet Ghetto-A strip of critically acclaimed restaurants located on Shattuck Avenue. Two famous restaurants are Cheeseboard, a pizza place that also houses a bakery, and Chez Panisse, a pricey restaurant that inspired the creation of Californian cuisine and former employees who are now culinary entrepreneurs.

“San Fran”/ “Frisco“-Neither are acceptable terms for referring to the city of San Francisco, unless you want to advertise (rather obnoxiously) that you’re a newcomer. Locals prefer “San Francisco”, or, simply, “the city.”

Berkeley Goggles-A phenomenon unique to this campus, in which individuals perceive others to be more attractive than they actually are due to a shortage of actual good-looking people.

ASUC-Associated Students of the University of California. These are elected members of the student body whose job it is to, well, represent you. Founded in 1882, it functions much like any other government organization, holding meetings and voting on new laws.

GBC-Golden Bear Cafe. Located between Sproul Plaza and Telegraph Avenue, this quaint University-owned cafe services mostly meal point holders and provides convenience food served a‘ la carte.

SLC-Student Learning Center. If you ever need help for any of your classes, come on down for some academic tutoring. Located in the Chavez Student Center on Lower Sproul, students come here for help in just about every subject.

4.0 Hill-According to campus legend, rolling down the hill located near Morrison Hall and The Faculty Club ensures a perfect GPA for that semester. Although the jury’s still out on this one, a number of bruises and grass stains are virtually a guarantee.

RSF-Recreational Sports Facility. Located just steps from campus, this gym contains exercise equipment and also offers group exercise classes and intramural sports to kickstart an active lifestyle.

FSM-Free Speech Movement Cafe. Located right next door to Moffitt Library, it’s open late and is a popular place for study groups and sleep-deprived students in search of coffee. Generally, it’s possible to find a seat in the FSM. But during finals? FML.

VLSB-The Valley Life Sciences Building. A second home to students who pursue biological sciences. A life-sized replica of a T-rex skeleton takes center stage right in front of the VLSB library.

Yoshua-The sweet-looking man with a white beard often seen around campus with a chalkboard counting down the days til we all die a fiery death. Yoshua — aka David Temple — warned passersby about the May 21 doomsday, which failed to materialize. Not one to be fazed, the campus prophet continues to go about his duties, chalkboard in tow.