The Guide to Fordham Slang


Contributing Writer Taylor Mascetta, FCRH ‘23, outlines some of Fordham University’s most ubiquitous slang. (Courtesy of Flickr)

Fordham University deserves its own edition of “Urban Dictionary.”

Students across all three campuses refer to many different locations, traditions and general things with their own curated language and some New York dialect sprinkled in. Whether you’re a freshman enduring your first semester or a senior who’s been here for years, Fordham “slang” can, at times, be hard to understand. Here is the guide to Fordham slang.

THE CAF: It may be formally named “the Marketplace,” yet Rose Hill’s cafeteria will forever be known as the beloved “caf.” “I’m heading to the caf” just rolls off the tongue so much easier than “I’m going to the Marketplace.” From waiting on the long line immediately following a night class to poking through the interesting food selections and wasting countless hours debating nonsense with your friends, the caf forever remains an integral part of Fordham.

DOCKING: The scariest phrase any freshman (or upperclassman, for that matter) can hear is the classic “You’ve been docked.” This usually occurs after a group of underaged students are caught drinking alcohol by an RA, but occasionally loud noises and disruptive messes also lead to a docking. The period following the dock involves letters, meetings and that fateful, dreaded call to your parents.

FUEMED: “FUEMS,” or Fordham University Emergency Medical Service, is a student-run organization that provides 24/7 EMS service. Around campus, they are known for treating intoxicated students. They provide immediate help to anyone dealing with dangerous levels of intoxication. Admitting you’ve been FUEMed once or twice isn’t the best story to tell on a first date.

RAM VAN: The Ram Van services are lifesavers for anyone searching for an easy way to the Lincoln Center campus from Rose Hill, and vice versa. The Vans run until 4 a.m. on weekends, and round trips only cost $7. Many non-Fordham students often snicker at the fact that the vans are called “Ram Vans.”

BARNYARD: No, there isn’t an actual barnyard near the Rose Hill campus. If you want to see animals, head to the Bronx Zoo. When people ask if you’re heading to Barnyard, they are typically referring to Barnyard BBQ, a popular place for students to visit during the weekend.

DCB: DCB stands for “Declining Cash Balance,” and it is a reference to the amount of dining dollars you have until the semester’s closure. At the beginning of the semester, students can choose the amount of DCB to pay for based on the meal plan. They have to spend all of it before the end of the semester. No refunds! Students with excessive amounts of DCB left at the end of the semester often splurge at on-campus dining locations and share snacks with their friends.

PUGSLEY’S: Pusgleys, often shortened to “Pugz,” is a small pizzeria located in the heart of 191st Street, tucked behind a gas station. Its convenient location and fun atmosphere make it a go-to spot for all Fordham students, and the pizza is top-tier. The penne vodka pizza is a Fordham classic, and banging the gong found inside the kitchen is university tradition.

RAMS/BEST ARGUMENT: When these two words are used together, students are probably referencing one of the most popular debates on campus — which is better: Rams Deli or Best Deli? Both stores are located right off campus on Fordham Road and sell a variety of yummy snacks and necessities.

POD: If your mind immediately drifted to Juul pods, you’re wrong. However, the Provisions on Demand (POD) Market — located underneath Queen’s Court — might be just as addictive. The store is where DCB goes to die: a variety of fruits, ice cream pints, sandwiches, candy and more are sold here. Many students looking to spend the rest of their DCB at the end of the semester often come here to splurge. By May, POD’s inventory is a ghost town.

RIDING THE RAM: This is a long-standing tradition where Fordham students “ride” the Ram statue located near Hughes Hall before the end of their freshman year. This consists of students climbing onto it very late at night to snap some pics because they have nothing better to do.

DAGGER JOHN’S: Dagger John’s is not a pirate that lives on campus. It’s a secret mini-cafeteria located in the basement of the McGinley Center. There are three hidden eateries located: Chopsticks, Sambazon Acai Bowls and BKG Coffee.

FMH: Not to be confused with “FML,” FMH refers to “Faculty Memorial Hall.” This is a classroom building located right off campus near the parking garage. For freshmen and those living in Salice, Campbell or Conley, the journey to FMH from their dorms is a long, difficult trek.

EDDIE’S: Officially known as Edward’s Parade, Eddie’s is the famous field located right in front of Keating Hall. Orientation, club fairs and senior tailgates often occur here.

THE CITY: When Fordham students say “I’m heading to the city today,” they’re referring to a trip into Manhattan.

MAD: While this still means angry, many Fordham students and New Yorkers use it in a way that means “very.” As in, “this food is mad delicious!”

FORDHAM PREP: This is Fordham University, but the “high school, just for boys” edition. The all-boys institution, located on campus near the University Church, was founded in 1841. You can spot Fordham Prep students in tall suits hanging around Cosi or POD or driving past the McGinley construction site with their parents every morning.

GABELLI BROS: They uphold the long-standing tradition of Vineyard Vines, loafers and, in the warmer months, wearing pastel shorts that end well above the knee.