Urban Dictionary: UC Berkeley edition

Uday Suresh/File

Since 1999, urbandictionary.com has served to educate us about the colloquial vernacular used throughout the years. As students at UC Berkeley, we have experiences that are unique and particular to our community and social climate (aka, this place is oftentimes referred to as “Berzerkeley” for a reason). Said experiences have inspired us to make up a list of terms and compile them into a resource that we at the Clog would like to call the Urban Dictionary: UC Berkeley edition.

Sproul Scowl — A UC Berkeley-specific adaption of the RBF (resting bitch face), the Sproul Scowl is the look of harsh disinterestedness fixed on one’s face while walking down Sproul, intending to avoid being handed a flyer. The scowl is often accompanied by quick-paced walking, refusal for eye-contact and headphones, even if you aren’t listening to music.

Student Union Swoop — This describes an action that results from impressive reflex and desperation. The swoop occurs when a student stands up to leave his or her table in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union and another student, on the prowl, swoops in to claim the coveted seating before anyone else does. This move takes practice and perseverance, so keep trying if you want to get good at it.

Memorial Fade — Only this phrase could capture the refreshing sense of relaxation found when sitting and chilling on Memorial Glade. Whether you are peacefully reading a book, playing with Cal’s Quidditch team or falling into a deep sleep, you’re under the influence of Memorial Fade. Sobriety optional.

Clock Blocked — When you’re trying to have a conversation with someone of interest but you can’t hear each other because the Campanile bells are ringing too loud, you’re being “clock blocked.” Could be a nice and awaited interruption or an annoying one. It really depends on your particular mood.

Berkeley Time Tardy When you know you should start heading to class, but you think about how you still have 10 extra minutes because of Berkeley Time, sometimes you stall a little bit longer and end up being late — really late.

Ironic Absence — When you miss class in order to catch up on work or reading for said class, in essence, you’re falling further behind in order to catch up. While this is logically unsound, we all know this makes sense in practice. If you haven’t experienced this, good for you — you’re on top of it.

Cal Carded — At UC Berkeley, you might try to enter a building after hours but the doors won’t open for you because you aren’t approved for key card access (e.g. Eshleman after 6 p.m.)

Pain Stacks — When you’re studying in Main Stacks for an egregiously long time, you physically, mentally and emotionally begin to hurt. Sitting in the wooden chairs has started to numb your butt, reading in the fluorescent lights is hurting your eyes and you’re hungry because they won’t let you bring food into the library. 

SwearBears2 — Formerly just “Swear Bears,” this phrase perfectly captures the profane exclamation that ensues upon one’s failure to connect to AirBears2. This is a common occurrence. SwearBears2 can become particularly profane and heated depending on how severe the necessity for Internet connection is. Here’s an example of how it can be used in a sentence: “I missed the deadline for my History R1B essay because I couldn’t connect to SwearBears2 — yay.”

Contact Rayanne Piaña at [email protected].