Cue The Lex

The Drofnats Edu™ Lexicon or the Abridged eDictionary of Stanfordese is a compendium of Stanfordese or StanfordSpeak, the specialized vernacular particular to Stanford University and its environs. This lexicon is intended to function as a crib-sheet for newly minted Stanford students, staff & campus visitors, and as a memento for alumni. Stanford is its own (alien) world with its own language, and being on campus can be a bit of a culture shock for the uninitiated.

Having always been fascinated with etymology, languages and vernacular, I naturally gravitated toward the verbal quirks of campus life --- speaking Stanfordese is one of my fondest memories of being at Stanford. I began collecting lists of words and definitions as a lowly student and was often the person asked to explain what "such and such" means and why. I went so far as to compile a rudimentary lexicon that I self-published back in the early 2000s, submitting a copy to the Stanford Alumni Association in response to a call for interesting "books by alumni" to fill out the casual browsing library at the newly erected Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center, which opened in October 2001. (This early lexicon may still be on the Alumni Library shelves, I haven't checked in years.)

Several friends have been after me for a while to update the lexicon for modernity, so I've finally gotten off my Duff in an effort to digitize it and make an e-dictionary. (You're here.) I plan to create and make available an e-book version of the lexicon once I've compiled a goodly amount of terms, so that folks may acquire their own copy. I may also publish an updated, most likely limited-run print edition. It depends. This is a Wordy Nerdy passion project.

Vernacular by definition changes with regular usage over time, it is living active language. Thus most of the initial words included in the lexicon are circa 1988-2006, coinciding with my undergraduate student years and afterward with my (Silicon Valley) California residency. Being away from campus and now residing again in my home state (Georgia), I have no doubt lost touch with today's pulse of Stanfordese and am also missing out on knowledge of earlier vernacular iterations that preceded my Stanford years. Therefore:

If you are aware of any new or altered terms in current use or any archaic terms, please do submit these for inclusion in the lexicon. There's a contact form in the sidebar. Thank you in advance.

A lexicon of vernacular must be kept up to date to be useful!

-- Θεα, Editor-in-Chief


NOTE: Due to the proliferate number of Silicon Valley companies with Stanford connections that now dominate global markets, some Stanfordese terms have since entered into popular culture. Stanford may not have originated every term that makes up Stanfordese, but the university was often an early adopter providing a consistent and large group of people who employed these terms in daily usage and who introduced them into a wider audience (often when students left campus to return home or moved elsewhere due to employment).

DISCLAIMER: This e-lexicon or blog has no official Stanford University connection or sanction. I am a Stanford alumna (Class of '92/'99). The words, definitions and commentary presented here are entirely my own opinions, recollections and/or hearsay (told by a third party). It is meant as no disrespect, but instead an homage. Take it all with a grain of salt. Wink.

Index -- Click to View

A B C D E F G H I J
K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Show more

Popular Entries