Terms for college grades, 1958; was: "smash-mouth" + Univ. of Wisconsin student slang (1965)

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Sat Jan 29 21:21:08 UTC 2011

Thanks to Ben, as always. I remember the college-slang terms for grades from a few years earlier than
the 1965 Wisconsin article.  I was a freshman at Dartmouth in 1958 and remember: Getting an A on an exam was "aceing it," getting a B was "bombing it," getting a C was "hooking it," getting a D was "dogging it," and IIRC, the flunking grade wasn't F but E, and a student who flunked an exam "eagled it."
Also, I don't remember ever hearing "heavy booker" (that would be redundant), but I very well remember hearing
"booker," since I was once of them.
Gerald Cohen

Ben Zimmer wrote , Fri 1/28/2011 9:49 PM

_Wisconsin State Journal_, Jan. 17, 1965, pp. 1-2
"UW Slang Makes 'Smash' a Kissing Success" by David Bednarek

Getting an "A" on a test is "aceing" it or "hooking" it. Getting an "F" or
failing is called "flagging."
A "heavy booker" is one who studies a lot while one who does the opposite
will probably go into a test "cold" or unprepared.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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