The Badger's Guide To UW-Madison's Slang
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The Badger's Guide To UW-Madison's Slang

Because a dictionary definitely can't help you with this.

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The Badger's Guide To UW-Madison's Slang
Ron Cogswell / Flickr

1. Sconnie

Literally, anything that relates to Wisconsin. It is typically used to describe someone who lives in Wisconsin and is an identity that people use with pride. If you are a Sconnie, you probably love the Packers and have been dreaming to be a Badger since the womb; you also probably have an excellent taste in cheese and ice cream.

Use it in a sentence: “It’s 25 degrees and snowing and that guy is wearing athletic shorts; he is definitely a Sconnie!”

2. Coastie

A term used to describe a student who attends UW-Madison that is originally from the east or west coast. You can usually identify a coastie by their intense winter jacket, beanie, and snow boots as soon as the temperature hits 35 degrees. No, they definitely are not from the Midwest, but they still love the Badgers and Madtown just as much as everyone else.

Use it in a sentence: “She is totally a coastie, she’s in snowboots and it's 50 degrees out!”

3. College

When a Badger says they’re at “college”, they are most likely not talking about the university as a self but instead College Library. College Library is located in Helen C. White Hall and is one of the hottest spots to get work done on campus. The library looks over the lake and has a view like no other.

Use it in a sentence: “I really need notecards; are you coming to college anytime soon?”

4. Memorial or ‘Mems’

Again, memorial is also a semi-confusing term for outsiders that is used to describe another one of the most popular libraries on campus. Oftentimes, it is abbreviated to ‘mem’ in texts from one Badger to another.

Use it in a sentence: “I was at memorial all night, yet still I feel so unconfident for this exam.”

5. FAC

Friday After Class. FAC is an acronym used across campus for students trying to let loose and have fun after a long stressful week of classes. If you are passing by the Kollege Klub on Friday afternoon at 3, you are guaranteed to see a line of Badgers waiting anxiously to get allowed in by the bouncers.

Use it in a sentence: “I had the longest week ever, so I'm going to FAC tomorrow.”

6. A-bar

Simply, after-the-bars. An A-bar is a slang used to describe an after-party that often takes place at a fraternity or apartment. After a wild night at the bars on State, the night is still not over for those who choose to finish off their nights at an a-bar.

Use it in a sentence: “There is actually no chance I make it to the a-bar tonight.”

7. Curds

Cheese curds. For non-Sconnies, these things are basically mini mozzarella sticks but 100x better.

Use it in a sentence: “Screw the freshman fifteen, let’s get curds!”

8. Langdon

Langdon is the capital of greek life in Madtown. Beautiful homes line the road housing fraternity and sorority chapters. On game days, you can expect Langdon to be filled with prideful Badgers in a sea of red and white. When looking back on your college experience, you are almost guaranteed to have some of your favorite and craziest college memories on this street.

Use it in a sentence: “It was 70 degrees last Saturday, so as you can imagine Langdon was filled with tons of darties!”

9. The KK

The Kollege Klub. It is not to be confused in a texting conversation as if someone is confirming what you are saying, but instead, the location where Badgers love to spend their Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and maybe even Sunday nights.

Use it in a sentence: “Last night, I kept buying everyone drinks at the KK.”

10. Insomnia

If you think someone is talking about Insomnia, they’re rarely referring to their lack of sleep. Instead, they are probably raving about their late night Insomnia Cookies.

Use it in a sentence: “I need to go to the gym today, last night I had so much Insomnia.”

11. State

When someone refers to their location as ‘State’ in Madison, they are never talking about the state of Wisconsin itself. Instead, they are talking about State Street, the cultural epicenter of all of UW-Madison. Lined with infinite bars, restaurants, apartment buildings, and shops, State Street is all any college student could ask for and more.

Use it in a sentence: “I will be there in 5 minutes, I’m on State right now.”

12. Varsity

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we unite as one when we sing Varsity. If you didn’t make your high school’s Varsity Basketball team and are still upset about it, no, this is not the same Varsity we are talking about. Instead, it is the alma mater for all Badgers that is sung at special events such as commencement.

Use it in a sentence: “I shadily love singing Varsity.”

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