Second Time Around: Brown abbv’ns + A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.S.


“She doesn’t even go here!” Join me as I transition to life at Brown, and learn more about our fantastic campus through the ramblings of a recent transfer student. I’m Veronica Fletcher, a junior concentrating in Psychology & Hispanic Studies, and this is my Second Time Around.

It’s not a secret that Brown students love their acronyms. Throughout its 250-year history, Brown has developed a unique vocabulary of abbreviations, acronyms, and nicknames. As a transfer or incoming student, all this terminology can quickly become confusing, so I’ve created a comprehensive* guide to help new students navigate the Brunonian linguistic sphere.

ADOCH: A Day on College Hill. During Brown’s admitted students event, the campus opens its doors to a cohort of 800+ pre-frosh as they face their impeding college decisions.

Binder: short for Dave Binder; the man, the myth, the legend. He and his guitar have been gracing the Spring Weekend stage for the past 30 years.

BOLT: Brown Outdoor Leadership Training. An optional “shared wilderness experience” for incoming sophomores and new transfer students. Lots of bonding and nature peeing!

CFF: Chicken Finger Friday. What better way to celebrate the end of the week than with a plate of your favorite deep-fried poultry? Every Friday at the V-Dub!


CPax: Christina Paxson, current President of Brown University.

GCB: (Yes, it’s a real bar.) The Grad Center Bar, a favorite gathering spot for upperclassmen, boasts cheap drink prices, daily specials, a pool room, and a large supply of board games. Enter through the sketchy-looking booth at the top of Grad Center.

Jo’s: Josiah’s, named after Brown’s favorite nonexistent professor, is one of the most popular on-campus eateries. Whether you’re a fan of giant salads and made-to-order quesadillas, or just find yourself stricken by a midnight ‘spicy with’ craving, Jo’s is a great late night option. Located on the first floor of New Dorm A, and open every day from 6:00pm-2:00am.

JWW or JWOW: Located on Waterman Street across from the Campus Center, J. Walter Wilson is every Brown student’s one-stop shop for mail services, counseling, financial aid, Registrar’s office, and more. If you’re lucky, you may even snag a study space in the Chandelier Room.

MCM: Modern Culture and Media. The only academic department in the world (probably) that offers courses like “Perverse Cinema” and “Anime Studies.”

NDR: The Naked Donut Run. Brown’s most elusive and exclusive public display of nudity. During finals season, an anonymous group of students streaks through the campus libraries, distributing donut holes to unsuspecting studiers. Nobody knows when or where it will occur, and if you’re looking to become a Runner, you’ll need an in with a current participant.


New Dorm: a.k.a. Vartan Gregorian Quad. Home to Jo’s and spacious suite-style living for juniors and seniors.

PLME: like gods among men, PLMEs are pretty much the envy and the bane of all other pre-med students. Through the highly competive Program in Liberal Medical Education, they gain a more flexible undergraduate experience, as well as guaranteed admission into Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School – no MCATs required! For more info, check out Blogside Manner.

Ratty: Its linguistic origins remain a mystery, but “Ratty” is somehow short for Sharpe Refectory – Brown’s main dining hall located on Wriston Quad. Come for the cajun chicken pasta, stay for the Ratty Challenge.

RISD: Like a younger, smaller sibling with a ~slightly~ cooler aesthetic, The Rhode Island of Design is Brown’s art school neighbor to the east. You can check out the RISD Museum for free with a Brown ID, or even take studio art courses if you’re willing to brave the cross-registration process.

The Rock: The slightly less dreary of the two main libraries, the Rock is Brown’s humanities library, named for John D. Rockefeller Jr.

Not to be confused with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

: Residential Peer Leaders are Brown’s unique take on the traditional RA role. All first year dorms come fully equipped with an RPC (Residential Peer Counselor), MPC (Minority Peer Counselor), and WPC (Women Peer Counselor), while sophomores, juniors and seniors receive residential support from CAs (Community Assistants).

S/NC: Satisfactory/No Credit, or the Brown equivalent of pass/fail. Also looks great on a fanny pack or hat.


SciLi: The Sciences Library is notorious for its harsh exterior, but rumor has it that the views from the top floor are pretty fantastic.

‘Spicy with’: Short for “spicy chicken with cheese” – the choice sandwich of Brown undergrads. You can also order a ‘spicy without’ if you’re not feeling the dairy.

V-Dub: The Verney-Woolley is Brown’s second dining hall. Located on Pembroke Campus and serving a clientele of mostly first-years and athletes, the V-Dub is (in)famous for its ice cream bar, as well as Chicken Finger Friday.

*not at all comprehensive.

Thanks for reading! If you have thoughts or questions about this blog post, or any other aspect of the transfer experience, please feel free to email me at, or leave a comment in the box below!


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