Five new words I’ve heard at Stanford

Nov. 15, 2018, 2:00 a.m.

I have picked up some new expressions while living on Stanford’s campus; they’re new ways of using old words and unfamiliar abbreviations (and no, I’m not talking about the classic-but-overhyped “CoHo, FloMo, FroSoCo, ProFro, etc.” collection). Here are my impressions of the top five, loosely ordered by how much they resonate with me:

1. Grind

The popularization of this word is an upgrade for student conversations. It’s the perfect umbrella term for letting people know you are going to buckle down and get stuff done. Describing homework or to-dos is not only boring and irrelevant for other people, it also fails to capture the emotional and/or mental and/or physical hustle required: “grind” captures it all in one to-the-point, no-questions-asked concept. Use it as a noun — “back on the grind” — or verb — “Gonna go grind for a while at the dorm/library/gym.” Whether referring to a couple hours of rigorous focus, or a general state of being over multiple days, weeks, months, quarters, everyone has a mutual understanding and respect of grind time.

2. Crunchy

Considering I am from the very “crunchy” town of Boulder, Colorado, I am surprised I have not heard this term before. I knew it was associated with “granola” as an adjective, but I double-checked the meaning with Urban Dictionary. It states “crunchy” is “used to describe persons who have adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons…and may be additionally but not exclusively categorized as vegetarians, vegans, eco-tarians, conservationists, environmentalists, neo-hippies, tree huggers, nature enthusiasts, etc.” I think it’s fun, fitting and a pretty easy word to grasp.

3. Facts

Otherwise known as “that’s facts” or “big facts,” an affirmative response to a true or relatable statement. It’s catchy. I’m still too aware of the word to use it naturally (I stick to “true”), but it sounds cool, like a mix between academia and surf slang (I can see why it would prosper at Stanford). It has a promising future.

4. Suss

After hearing it a couple times, I deduced it was short for “suspicious.” Further clarification revealed that it has a broader use of describing general shadiness. It might fall into the unnecessary abbreviation category.

5. Bet

I vividly remember the first time I heard someone utter the syllable. It was before I had left for college, and I was taken aback because I didn’t think it was a word people used in real life. But no, it has popped up every so often here. It’s a response of acknowledgment or agreement, like “sure” — essentially short for “you bet.” I can’t explain why, but there’s a fundamental difference in the “cool” factor between saying “bet” and “you bet” (the latter sounds like it could easily be followed by an over enthusiastic “kiddo” and a pat on the back or two thumbs up). While I’m not a natural bet-sayer, I appreciate a “bet” dropped here and there by those who have picked it up.


Contact Emma Perkins at emmap22 ‘at’

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