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The Carletonian

Raiders of the Lost Archives IV: a 20s view on 60s slang


Since 1985, the “Raiders of the Lost Archives” column has had a number of incarnations and authors. Starting with the then-college archivist, Mark A. Greene wrote about interesting stories of Carleton’s past, or what he called “cocktail party history.” Eventually, the column came to an end in 1989, and in 1990 was picked up by staff writer Ann Feeney ’91. Feeney ran the column for a total of seven issues and stopped in 1991. It took a long break until, in 2015, Tucker Nelson ’19 revived it for a school year. After spending a few too many hours reading through the college archives, bringing this series to its fourth incarnation seemed only logical. I hope this follows less of a weekly series scheme and more of a “look at this cool thing I bumped into” scheme, but it happens that the first jewel raided was one Mark Greene had already been well-acquainted with: Loosely Speaking, a 22-page  “centennial lexicon of Carleton neologisms,” written by John Bell ‘67, Mark Dubach ’67, Harry Fuller ‘67 and Paul Menzel ‘68 in the 1966-67 school year. 

The stapled booklet sold for 35 cents a copy and was a striking success. Through time, eight pages were added and it underwent several printings, one of which thankfully found its way into the college archives. Given that the words featured in this dictionary have suffered diverse evolutions, it only seems fair to print excerpts from some of the best entries found. However, because of the length of the typescript, the ‘best’ entries are a few too many words for one part, so consider this a first part of Carleton 60s slang, with each part giving more context to the words presented. 

Anti-bod: term used by co-ed [female student] to refer to scrawny male physique. 

Artsy-craftsy: 1) a genus of social parasite noted for his facial hair, body odor, and lack of depth. 2) at Carleton, anyone who can name a painting or quote a poet. 

‘Bery: Hue-speak for the Carleton library.

Carl: any student of Carleton Christian College, a non-Ole, non-Townie, a fellow with few positive qualities.

Cities, the: Minneapolis and St. Paul, two nearby attempts at civilization. Also, the cits.

Computer date night: a procedure of mechanically matching Carleton individuals with their respective ideal Carleton mates in a frenzied attempt to assuage the mental and physical ravages of Minnesota winter and at the same time introduce students to the opposite sex; an indication of early victory of machine over man.

Cows, colleges and contentment: a neatly-turned phrase spewn out by the rhetoricians of the Northfield Chamber of Commerce in their attempts to attract Big Business and human beings to the burg. Northfield does have two colleges and innumerable (if not unnumbered) cows.

Deanery: a collective group of all the deans on campus. Their major concern is to turn out tributes to Carleton College by a process resembling Procrustes’ bed. They are the “their side” in the “our side”—“their side” dichotomy.

Dink: a harmless churl whose non-stop puttering (coupled with his mere presence) borders on the obnoxious; a non-productive, simple-minded soul.

Grad school: the upper floors of any ivory tower. This used to be a good refuge from the draft, but it has since lost some of its effectiveness and charm. It is often an escape from the real world.

Gridley Hall: a womens’ dormitory made of clay and wattles, four stories high and reputed to be over 300 years old. Known in some circles as Grizzly, Grimley or The Yellow Bastion. Soon to disappear.

‘Hue: short for Goodhue. Goodhue seems to attract the jock element, probably because of its nearness to the Arb and thus nature. The ‘Hue is known for its muscular high spirits (also called Goodhue mirth) exhibited in various charming but sweaty ways.

Innie: a student who has never been kicked out or suspended from college.

Jock: l) refers to students who feel an irrational compulsion to exercise. They are usually characterized by well-honed passions, sweaty bodies and colorful language. They may be studied in a state of nature in the ‘Hue 2) when coupled with another word, Jock indicates the focus-in someone’s life, e.g. Gov. Jock, English Jock, etc.

“1,348 people will know tomorrow”: a description of the velocity of the spoken word in the Carleton community, reference to total absence of privacy.

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