Jargon Jungle (R)
Rag (from 'Raise and Give') is an excuse to dress up in stupid clothing and get up to wacky, irresponsible and sometimes illegal antics - and all in the name of charity. Collectively, student charity Rags raise millions of pounds with stunts like parachute jumps, sponsored hitch-hikes and so-called Rag raids where students (usually dressed as rabbits, the Cheeky Girls, characters from Rocky Horror, etc) accost strangers in the street and try to sell them 'Rag magazines'. Rag mags are tackily printed joke books, which usually fulfil one of two conditions: either, they are not very funny, or they're in appalling bad taste, or both.
aka Yah or Sloane. Certain universities - Oxbridge, Durham, Bristol and Exeter spring to mind - tend to attract a certain sort of posh student, ex-public school, dressed in country casuals (and probably able to say what 'country casuals' means) and, when gathered in herds, from a distance their braying makes a 'ra, ra, ra' sound. Hence the name. They're harmless enough, but if you're not one of them, you may almost certainly find them inexplicably irritating.
A redbrick building or campus does not necessarily have to have a single red brick. Instead, it refers to a style of building, or a period from around the turn of the century through to the Second World War. What redbrick means is not very precise, but what it doesn't mean is easier to explain. A campus is described as redbrick if it isn't an Oxbridge rip-off or a modern concrete monstrosity.
Last updated on: 01 May 2008
A band of 20 universities, including Oxbridge, that like to think of themselves as the whipped cream on the top of the frappuccino of lesser universities. It's true that they have cornered a big share if the research funding and they do tend to have excellent teaching. It would be fair to label them 'elite' (or even 'elitist'), but the word 'best' shouldn't be bandied about without extreme care. See also the 1994 Group.