# School Slang

The school Slang date primarily of the Years 1880, where sets up itself, in France, the organization of the preparatory classes at the universities. It is often at least partially copied on that of the University aimed by each category of preparatory class: that of khâgne Normal watch of the loans to that of sup , that of cornice to Cyr , etc

## Literary preparatory classes

The literary preparatory classes are called hypokhâgne (1st year, officially higher letters ), shortened in HK , and Khâgne (2nd year, officially first higher ), shortened in KH . (ὑπό being the Greek prefix meaning “in lower part”). The gathering of the hypokhâgne and the khâgne at the time of certain occasions is indicated by the abbreviation HKH .

In second half of the XIXe century, the word of knock-kneed was used to make fun the academics, repeaters, normaliens set on traditional studies, always plunged in their books. That comes owing to the fact that with the old military service, called which had the the knock knees was reformed, and intended for the bureaucracy, from where by extension to the letters.

For example, on February 21st, 1866, Goncourt notes: I notice that the impetuous celebrators of naked, of old athletic and gymnastic civilizations, are in general of knock-kneed academics, with poor and narrow chest, locked up in a flannel vest.

In 1869, in the will of a joker , written Vallès: There is in tunics with green collets, they are the normaliens; they have on cranium and with the side a opera hat and a sword! A sword! not, it is undoubtedly in this leather sleeve that one places a feather of goose at the sad beard and the dirty nozzle, the feather of the prigs! Why a sword? Here is one in this uniform which is knock-kneed, lame and the leg draws. Thus give him crutches rather!

When, in 1880, the first classes of rhethoric higher are created, the taupins, which, to prepare the military academies, make horsemanship and fencing, use this mockery against the pupils of rhétosup , which are plunged in traditional studies, prepare the Teacher training school and are future academics. From there, knock-kneed , then the cagne . The pupils of higher rhetoric put themselves then to employ this denomination, but about the years 1910, the whimsical orthography khâgneux and khâgne work out, in order to reveal it more erudite and to occult its real significance.

Khâgneux is a square the first year, a cubic if he asks to redouble and a bica (for biquadratic ) if he triples his class. These denominations are not specific besides to the khâgneux one, since at the XIXe century they are used for the pupils of the National university or the central School; the taupins, until about 1935, use also this vocabulary.

L'archicube designates the former student of the National university and the directory of the former students is named the archicubier . By abuse, the khâgneux one which integrates the National university at the end of its year of cube, can be called archicube. The archifâkh is that which joined the Université, the members of this one being fâkhins (Pun on “faquin”).

The pupils of the preparatory classes to the École of the Charters are called, with less creativity, chartists , the first year being freshers or hypochartes . To confuse a khâgneux with a chartist is an offense mortal! The ceremony of introduction into the class of Charters is called the sacring . The bonnet or the Khâlot carried by the pupils is called a Faluche, name of the old university bonnet. Its color depends on the die followed by its carrier.

A pupil who passes from hypokhâgne in hypochartes or of hypochartes in hypokhâgne is a triangle .

The pseudo-Greek orthography is most current for the words khâgne and khâgneux . By imagination, one can extend it to khârré , khûbe , bikhâ for square, cubic, bica and with the verbs khârrer , khûber , bikhâter . However, one can notice that the reason which made replace knock-kneed by khâgneux (to occult the direction first) is less valid for square, cubic etc, and which the orthography of origin is more adequate.

## Scientific preparatory classes

The scientific preparatory classes with dominant mathematics are called Taupe and their pupils taupins . The words hypotaupe and hypotaupin (to indicate maths sup in opposition to maths spé) fell in disuse. One rather designates the pupils according to their year of study by the expressions a-half , three-halves , five-halves and seven-halves . By analogy with the formation of hypotaupe , and concerned of words with Hypocras , one finds the terms Hypokrâss and Hyperkrâss for the biologists of first and second year respectively.

Before 1935, names were respectively square fresher , , cubic , biquadratic , which was preserved in the literary classes. The freshers owed the respect with the powers (square, cubic, biquadratic). With the beginning of the year 1930, professors and inspectors observed an increase in the difference in level between the class of first year (which was the class of preparatory special mathematics known as hypotaupe ) and classifies it of second year (the true class of special mathematics known as mole ). Little by little, a distinction took place between pupils of first year ( hypotaupins or hypos ) and of second year ( taupins ).

the decisive moment was the year 1936 when the Polytechnic school decided to modify the calculation of the average power of the allowed candidates. It assigned value 1/2 to the pupils of special mathematics preparatory, 3/2 with the squares and so on: to some extent, a devaluation of the hypotaupe! Starting from this date, pupils of special mathematics preparatory, then higher mathematics as from the years 1940, was called half (with the direction half-taupins). As they are powers 1/2, they are called roots in certain colleges. In this logic, the 3/2 are the pupils who made to a hypotaupe then a mole, while the 5/2 are those which made to a hypotaupe then two moles. On their stone-block, the pupils indicated their power: a bar silver plated for a hypotaupe, and a bar gilded per year of mole.

It could have particular cases there: until in the years 1950, a pupil who entered directly in mole and redoubled received the old name of square; a pupil who redoubled his hypotaupe was a two-halves ; when it entered then in mole, it became four-halves .

It is in the years 1960 qu ' a pupil discovers a revolutionary way to calculate certain integrals. Knowing what is the nickname of the Polytechnic school X, which $\ int_1^2 X \ is worth, dx$? Obviously 3/2 since to integrate X between 1 and 2 (between the first and the second year of mole), it is necessary to be 3/2! One obtains in the same way value 5/2 for the Intégrale of X between 2 and 3. That gave place to a charming demonstration in worms.

the integral of X

From 1 to 2
For all X
Is worth 3/2,
Because integrates X
Between one and two
Années of X
the three-halves.

In certain colleges, the hypotaupes are indicated hypo-X (HX), and the moles by X (ex: XM' 1), always by allusion to the Polytechnic school.

In the piece of poetry above, letter X has successively four directions: mathematical symbol (integral of X), polytechnician (for all X), Polytechnic school (X integrates), mole (years of X).

But why the polytechnicians are called X since the middle of the XIXe century? The answer is in the book on the slang of X written by Levy and Pinet in 1894.

X : Character borrowed from the algebra, which appoints at the same time the polytechnician and the Polytechnic school itself. X is for all the taupins a to some extent higher being, for which they profess the respect and admiration. The almost exclusive study of mathematics, its state of abstraction in X and there, were worth to him for a long time to be indicated by this symbol. One day, Charlet, during a meeting of the council; had fun to represent a struck polytechnician of apoplexy. The doctor runs, opens the vein to him: he does not leave blood drops there… only X and Y.

X indicates also the School. The fame, the popularity of the institution are still so large that in the colleges and the boarding schools, almost all the small children of the class of eighth declare that they intend for X.

The sometimes advanced explanation according to which nickname X comes from the guns crossed on the blazon of the school is not attested. This hoax seems born in second half of the XXe century, hundred years after the appearance of X to appoint the polytechnicians.

The preparatory classes with the schools of agricultural engineers and with the schools veterinary surgeons are called agro-veto since their fusion in 2002.

## Economic and commercial preparatory classes

The economic and commercial preparatory classes are especially called the spices and their pupils quite naturally of the grocers .

The pupils of commercial CPGE are also called the wolves or the sharks or the swindlers , by allusion to the competing character of the modern economy. It is current also that the pupils of the other dies call them Picsou , of the name of the famous character of cartoon.

At the time where the commercial CPGE lasted one year, one named fresher a new pupil, square a pupil redoubling his year of prépa, and cubic a pupil who tripled it. Since 1995, and the “official” passage of the prépa at 2 years (crushing it majority of the pupils redoubled), one names fresher a pupil of first year, square a pupil of second year, and cubic one redoubling of second year. It very seldom arrives that the 2nd year is tripled, in which case the pupil is called “biquadratic”.

## Military preparatory classes

The military preparatory classes are called cornices and their pupils of gherkins. They have a clean vocabulary depend on the college to which they belong. The kharrés terms and khûbes are however also used. One finds also terms of military origin.

## Common vocabulary

The pupils of the preparatory classes can be interns. Their room is called Thurne or pad and their comrades of room cothurnes or copiaules .

The many oral interrogations that they undergo to prepare with the various contests are called adhesives , also spelled khôles or Khôlles . The inspector is naturally called gluer , kholor or khollor . The term widened and is employed in any preparation with a contest, one speaks for example about the adhesives of the CAPES or the aggregation.

The term fresher can also be employed to designate the pupil of first year, the “new one”. The Bizuthage however was strongly criticized these last years following a wave of television reports. It is officially prohibited today but the rites of integration persist.

The cubic is doubling it, the square redoubling it and the biquadratic is tripling it.

## Small lexicon of Taupin and Préparationnaire in general

One can notice that in certain Parisian colleges and old colleges of province, a whole slang developed around the world of the taupins, and even in the world of the préparationnaires of which here a small lexicon. Obviously, these terms are friendly and do not reflect any real animosity.

• File : Generic name for a correction of owe house found on Internet, in books or written by a torch or one 5/2.

• Easy way sometimes spelled Ssstûûce (also RTB: Trick of basic Taupin): Term which gets busy during a demonstration or of a particularly difficult exercise and which requires a trick for its resolution.
• Bural : False singular of “office” (the practice d'" aliser" thus the words is a tradition of the Polytechnic school), indicates the office of pupils (BDE). As the bural is, in the majority of the prépas, an association law 1901, it must have elections there each year, which gives place to electoral campaigns of the more mild nutters posted in the corridors, the rooms, the toilets… For the stations of Z (préZident or Zident), VZ (Vice Zident) and other “ranks” with the very required names.
• Conscience : indicate the reproductive organ. The hand on the conscience is a particular position of attention requested from the freshers by the old ones. (College Thiers, Marseilles.)
• Chîîdssu : Coming from a highly vulgar reflection: “to shit itself above”, means that one missed his adhesive, his DS (to have supervised or written test) or other noted things.
• Chnou : nickname given to a pupil préparationnaire who likes or who makes pretense like to have bad marks. Example: “This pupil comes from " krasser" in adhesive and he likes that, what a Chnou! ” One employs also this term to express his dislike of the die BCPST, that joined expression “BCPST krâss” (Louis the Large one, Paris; Claude Fauriel, Saint-Etienne), very used expression to confine the préparationnaires in BCPST. That remains all the same in a good child spirit.
• Failure : Word which the class shouts in chorus when le/la professor announces an average very bad for a duty or when a student cannot answer a question of a professor for example. Some 3/2 not being afraid of the reprisals, are sometimes tried to say “failure” when one speaks or that one evokes one 5/2.
• Star : get busy to indicate the promotion of second year made up of the most brilliant pupils. To note, an analogy with R*, who represents the private whole of realities of the null ones.
• Hope or Sssspouoîrrr : Says itself to a taupin which claims to be able to integrate the X.
• Krass : A very used expression to confine another pupil drying lamentably in the table. It is also the insult appointed with the pupils of another section. According to the colleges, the khâgneux ones and/or the grocers and/or the agros make the expenses of them, not without counteracting in the same way…
• Kuiss : Transparent term aiming at slackening the atmosphere, employee when the professor can have employed a word enough ambiguity. In certain colleges (ex: College of the Park, Lyon), interjection marking admiration vis-a-vis a purely physical beauty. One khuîsse thus pretty girls. The corresponding interjection for the immaterial beauty (overpower of a reasoning or a teacher, or one 5/2), one then employs the interjection “pschhhh… ”, known as pschitage.
• Blade : To have supervised or another type of written, generally weekly examination. Transformation, resulting from the tradition polytechnician, composition in compo, alized in compale and shortened out of blade.
• Promale : Alisation of “Promotion”. For example: “Are Hello, to you of which promale you? ”, “213”, “Ah! Krass”.
• Saint-kdeumi : Specialized orthography of 5/2 .
• Sanction : When le/la professor called to a pupil “Said, you did not come in khôlle yesterday… ”, when a pupil dries in the table and irritates the professor by his mediocrity, the class answers in chorus: “Sanction”.
• Stress : When one hears $x^ \left\{7/2\right\}$, the class answers in chorus “Stress”. In the same way when the professor of maths announces a duty to come, when one evokes the contests at the end of the year, or any other report/ratio with what is not pleasant in the life of a taupin.
• Sssseeeex : Another transparent term, of the same employment as “Kuiss” although it cannot indicate an immaterial beauty. It is especially there to emphasize an expression, an attitude or sometimes just a word ambiguity which could have passed unperceived in the speech of a professor. “Sssseeeexe decides” (one makes last the “S” and the first “E”). One can see here a resemblance to the “Sssss” evoked further. Sometimes the simple fact of starting to say “Sssss” makes include/understand with all the class under heard. Examples: During the course of maths the professor of Physique knocks on the door, the professor of maths eclipses one moment to discuss in the corridor, at this time the class bourdonne a “Ssssseeeexe! ” causing general hilarity, even that of the well amused professors concerned. The course has started for a few minutes and, made chance, the two latecomers arrive at the same time in the room: the class shouts “Sssseeeexe”. (College Joffre, Montpellier).
• Sssss : Onomatopoeia, generally when somebody says that he is the friend of another, a préparationaire can say “sssss” to make fun.
• Torch , sometimes spelled Torsche or Thôôrch : can get busy like exclamation: “Torch! ” or like name: “Looks at this Torch”. A Torch is a person who makes a success of all, which is really strong; in short which torch well all that it does. The term Transssssss is now more used with a similar significance.

One can hear in the classes of Maths spé, some dissonances at the time of the advertisement of a $x^ \left\{3/2\right\}$ or of a $x^ \left\{5/2\right\}$ . Indeed, a certain category of the class will say “Torch! ” when the other says “Krass! ”. There one sees a great conflict of interest which tears these classes; with knowknowing, despotism of the Five-halves vis-a-vis the attempt at emancipation of the young people Three-halves . However all agree to say,

“It is to always better integrate than to derive. ”

## External bonds

• slang of the classes prépas

• Vocabulary of the School of the department of health of the armies of Bordeaux
• the site of the prépa charters of the college Henri-Iv

 Random links: Euphrates | Jean-Michel Boucheron (1948) | The Community of communes of the Valley of Gers | Maquis of Fontjun | Roger Lenglet | Dombra | Soldat