Penn Talk Dictionary First Edition

Class of 2026,

Every group of elite academics has their jargon; organic chemists have their IUPAC names, Kantians have their imperatives, and Oceania has its newspeak. It’s easy to get confused by all the lingo used by Penn students, so we’ve created a dictionary for you. Study up, and you’ll be fluent in Penn Talk in no time.

DRL – the David Rittenhouse Laboratory, an uncomfortably warm lecture hall. At least there’s a pool on the fifth floor.

Houston Market – Cafeteria on campus that supports local farmers by spending a whole 4 meal plans worth of money on their crop each year.

Late-night – Whether it’s late-night partying at one of the many on- and off- campus fraternities or late-night grinding out your physics pset, staying out past 1 am is considered a late-night. It’s the quintessential part of any college experience; after all, why else are you paying 80k a year?

M & T (pronunciation: empty) Management & Technology, a dual degree program for people who want the Wharton name but have actual skills. Students in that program are “highly desirable,” a fact they might exploit in an attempt to dance with you at the class formal.

DRL, captured on April 11, 2022 (Credit: Jason Wang)

MERTed (pronunciation: murdered) – requiring medical attention from the Medical Emergency Response Team. The ultimate dishonor, a brand of lameness.

Platypus Society – a special designation for absolute clowns.

EX) Brad got a 95% on his marketing exam; he’s definitely part of the Platypus Society.

PPE – Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. A popular major at Penn for students who cannot excel at any of those subjects. Much akin to the biophysics major for those who do not understand biology, physics, or computer science.

Tampons – big red statues on Locust Walk. Their structural integrity is one of the eight wonders of the world. A popular meeting spot due to their close proximity to a few comfortable benches.

UTB – Urinary Tract Blockage. Reading satire with the same initials is about as comfortable as having one of these.


The PB

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