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Brothers Judd Glossary

(A Reader's Guide to Terms and Concepts found on this Site)

Found a term or phrase that you don't recognize; it's likely listed below; if not, please email us and we'll add it.


The Adam and Eve Fallacy
Perhaps no misunderstanding has been more catastrophic than the belief that the story of Adam and Eve is about Original Sin.  In fact, Adam, Eve & the serpent are not the sinners of the tale, God is the malefactor.

God made Man in his own image, but withheld two elements from him: the capacity for knowledge and the gift of eternal life.  He then commanded Man not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge or the Tree of Life on penalty of death.  This prohibition was meant to keep Man from becoming an equal of God.

Now, we all know, Man eventually ate from the Tree of Knowledge & developed the capacity to think & retain knowledge.  So God threw Adam and Eve out of the Garden before they could also eat from the Tree of Life, because on the day that Man attains Eternal Life he will achieve Godhood & God doesn't want the competition.

In this simple tale we see brilliantly portrayed the meaning of our existence.  Man must strive to accumulate knowledge and extend life & one day we will become Gods.  This is a heroic tale not one which should cause us to be ashamed.  This is the essential aspirational Judeo-Christian metaphor.

Ambrosia (aka--Five Cup Salad) (Ety: every suburban housewife in America, mid-60's)

You're already curious as to 5 cups of what, right?  Well, I remember mini marshmallows, sour cream, mandarin oranges and, imfamously, coconut, but can't remember the fifth.  Now, our family, like yours I'm sure, had a rule that you had to take some of everything and eat everything on your plate.  So Stephen's desperate protestation went for naught & he had this crap rammed down his throat with a plumber's helper.  He proceeded to chunder wildly, as it was determined that he was likely allergic to coconut.  Luckily, this episode got me & Mary-Ellen out of eating the stuff too.

A-S-S (Etymology: East Orange, late 60's/early 70's)
This was a game we played as boys.  You take turns bouncing a Spaldeen off of a door stoop, when you miss the ball you get a letter.  If you get A-S-S before your opponent, you spread eagle on the steps & he fires the ball at your behind.  The homoerotic overtones of the game become obvious in later life & suggest animal behavior wherein alpha males prove their dominance by sodomizing weaker males.

Beta Rumor, Beta Fact (Ety: Beta House, uncertain)
This phrase reflects the understanding that any rumor that circulated through the House without being quickly shot down, was pretty quickly granted factual status.

Blackie (Ety: EO, early 70's)
Blackie was a psychotic cockapoo that we had when we were kids.  People in East Orange still speak, in hushed tones of awe, about the crazy white lady standing on her porch, in the middle of a race riot, shrieking: Blackie get over here, you son of a bitch! Blackie!

Blow Tag (Ety: Beta house, 1982)
Exactly as awful as it sounds, the person who's "it", tries to chunder on someone else.  Don't try this one at home.

Bone Plate (Ety: Beta house, pre-1979)
Dining at tables of six or eight, we would position an extra plate in the middle of the table & toss bones there.  In a later variant, Chuck turned it into a sarcastic cry whenever Beta lingo was flying a little to thick.  (i.e. I'm looking so fine if that prof squeezes me, otherwise I'm hosed.  Bone Plate!)

CHiPs vs. Nature (aka: the first battle of the Culture Wars)(Ety: Beta house, 1981-83)
Few things were uglier than a disagreement over what to watch in the House basement & nothing was ever uglier than the running battle over what to watch on Sunday night from 8:00 to 9:00 (between 60 Minutes & the Sunday Night Movie).  Now the younger folk among you need to be reminded that this was pre-cable, so we only had about 4 choices.  But within the context of these limited options a war was waged between the forces of Light and Darkness.  That's right, even at a fine institution of higher learning like Colgate, there was a gaggle of Philistines who insisted on watching CHiPs instead of Nature.  It was right then that I began to fear for the species, as I watched these inbred thalidomide babies howl for the exploits of Ponch & John.

David and Goliath Fallacy (Ety: OJ)
see extended essay

The Dog/Bo Rule (Ety: Bob Cook, Wingnut & Chuck, 1983)
It occurred to these three that every Theta Chi nickname was created by taking your own name & adding -bo, -do, -dog, etc..  They proceeded to come up with Theta Chi variants for Beta's who had failed to earn nicknames or whose generally accepted nickname had become dated; it was during this same brainstorm that they gave me the enchanting moniker O-gaz, short for Orgasm.

Easy Rider Factor (Ety: OJ)(See also: Letting the Tiger Out of the Cage)
This one's also become known as the Sophia Coppola Factor in more recent years.  It's the phenomenon whereby a director or author fails to realize that the big emotion grabbing climax he's been building towards, typically involving the death of one or more central characters, has slipped out of his grasp and viewers/readers, rather than dreading it,  are praying for it to happen because they just want the character to die, preferably painfully.

The Falling Down Copout (Ety: Chicago, 1993 or 4)
With Bud visiting us, I rented the movie Falling Down.  Michael Douglas plays the ultimate angry white male and starts striking back at all the annoyances of modern life, from the petty, like fast food places, to the real, like muggers.  Now I'm aware that folks consider me to be a reactionary, but you haven't lived until you see Bud & Brooke react to Mike Douglas whooping up on some crooks.  So we were enjoying this thoroughly, but then the film makers lost their nerve and turned Douglas into some wild-eyed perpetrator of domestic violence.  They obviously felt uncomfortable with the premise of their own film, that Douglas' anger might have some justification.  So they copped out.

This kinds of thing has become increasingly common; movies set up a serious moral question but then afraid of the answer, they stack the decks for one side.  Another example is when Jack Nicholson's character in A Few Good Men starts raving.  The movie would have actually been decent if they'd just played it straight & asked viewers to decide whether a little bit of brutality in training methods was a worthwhile price to pay for troops kept at a fevered pitch of readiness.

Flash Bowling (Ety: East Orange, early 70's)
This is a bar game where you slide a puck down a lane & try to time your strike with flashing
lights for added points.  We first played it at Star Tavern in East Orange.  Following an abominable showing at the Cub Scout Mother/Son Bowling and Pizza Party, my mother and I redeemed ourselves on the flash bowling table & I finished second to Nathan Knight by eating 13 slices of pizza & took 1st by drinking 5 Cokes.

To my very great pleasure, it turned out that the Beta House had a long running house Flash Bowling Championship.  Like many cultures, we consider it the supreme test of manhood.  John Hoff & I just happen to be the reigning World Champions.

Forty Cent Drafts (Ety: The Old Stone Jug, 1979-1983)
That's not a misprint, drafts were only 40 cents and a shot of Kesslers was 60 cents (25 cent Sours on Friday only lasted a year or two & $5 all you can drink Monday Night Football at the Norwich HoJo's only lasted one game ).  The Jug Brothers' Dad had supposedly promised that one old volunteer fireman that a boilermaker would not cost over one dollar.

Senior year Bud & took advantage of this bargain pricing & started ordering a Rye & Ginger with each draft.  The night before the Flash Bowling Championship, Bud & I opened and closed the Jug & spent over $40 between us.  I wasn't a math major, but I think that's twenty drafts & twenty Rye & Gingers apiece.

Compounded by the carnage of the next day, I personally hold that one weekend
responsible for the Red Cross decision not to accept my blood donations anymore.

Get Whitey (Ety: East Orange, Early 70's)
A genuinely unpleasant playground game; as the population of white students in the East Orange school system declined precipitously after the Newark riots, we few remaining honkies were periodically set loose on the playground and then chased by our black schoolmates.  This is how I received my second childhood concussion.

Give 'em to the Pisspot Poor (Ety: Stephen, early 70's)
Unbeknownst to many, our darling brother (Stephen) is possessed of a wicked temper (see also That'sa whatta makesa me so madda).  Once when we were kids, our Mom collected a bunch of our clothes to give to the needy.  Stephen rebelled at the thought of parting with these treasured rags, but Mom stood firm.  Finally, Stephen snapped: "Go ahead, give 'em to the pisspot poor!"

Grunts! (Ety: Beta house, pre-1979)
Eloquent announcement that dinner is served.

Hamlet Typing Monkeys (Ety. Probability & Statistics)
There's an old probability example that posits that if you give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters, eventually one of them will type Hamlet.  This is most effectively used in conversation as follows; You know those Monkeys that are eventually going to type Hamlet, well, in the meantime they're typing Finnegan's Wake.

Human Frisbee Golf (Ety. Spring Party Weekend, 1983)
After a mistimed visit to Hamilton, NY, Walter Cronkite is reputed to have said that there were two places he didn't want his daughter to be, the DMZ in Viet Nam & Colgate during Spring Party Weekend.

However even Uncle Walter would have been impressed by the ingenuity of the band of hardy souls who invented Human Frisbee Golf (I believe Wingnut & Bob Cook were two of that lot).  Players balanced full beers on the bodies of folks who were asleep on the Beta lawn, who then became living golf holes.  Players then endeavored to strike the corpii without dislodging the beer.

I'm a little cloudy on the rules because after a night of roasting the pig with Ace, I believe I may have been the 6th hole.

Hump! (Ety: Bob Cook, 1981)
This bitter lament was Bob Cook's response to being skunked on so many Shotgun! calls (see below), acknowledging the likelihood that he'd be riding in the middle of the back seat.

I Can Go Faster (Ety: Orrin G. Judd, early 70's)
Our grandfather was one of the most formal men ever to grace the planet, the freakin' guy wore two piece bathing costumes and garters to hold up his socks, for chrissakes.  But he also had a dry sardonic wit.  This was best displayed on a trip to Howard Johnsons, our grandmother's favorite restaurant.  When he missed a turn, she said: "Orrin, you're going the wrong way just as as fast as you can."  He responded: "I can go faster."

I'm OK, You're a Foodstick (Ety: Dad's apartment, early-70's)

again with the snacks...  On our visits to our Father, we were consistently confronted by a pronounced paucity of food stuffs at his bachelor pad (yes waterbed, no sandwiches).  He typically had pickles, chocolate chip cookie dough & Mr. Salty pretzels on hand & nothing else.  After much pleading, he stocked some snacks, including that special byproduct of the Space Program, Foodsticks, which were basically Soylent Green with chocolate flavoring.

Even then, we were forced to plead for a snack & as these pleas fell on deaf ears one day, we started reading titles of books off of his shelves but substituting the word Foodstick at a pivotal point.  Now keep in mind that these books were all left over from Seminary or were Humanist Management gobbledygook, so we had titles like:  Our Children, Our Foodstick, Young Martin Foodstick & most famously, I'm Okay, You're a Foodstick.  Finally, the subtle subliminal messages worked their magic & we were blessed with one blessed tube of gunk apiece.

I Was Only Tight'n'n 'em, Ya Old Fool (Ety. Corson ancestor, 1910)
In 1910, our Grandmother, came upon a five-year-old nephew, screwdriver in hand, busily loosening the screws on a doorknob.  When she confronted him, he mumbled indignantly, "I was only tight'n'n 'em, ya old fool!"

Ever since, this expression is used in our family when you are stone cold busted.

Joe (Ety. Beta House, Pre-1980)
This is an affectionate term for a beer gut.

Justice is Blind (Ety: Mom, early-70's)

In one of a series of largely futile attempts to control our bad habits, Mom limited us to one snack a day from the nearly sacrosanct snack drawer.  Our snacks consumed & one Milky Way left over, she had dreamed all day about rich milky chocolate & creamy caramel & luscious nougat, when to her outrage she found the drawer empty.  She hustled us into the dining room & stuck the three of us in chairs facing different corners, telling us we could get up when the villain confessed.  I quickly determined the unlikelihood of that event, and the following exchange ensued:

Me: Fine, I did it.

Mom: No, you didn't.

Me: Yeah, I did.

Mom: I know who did it.  It wasn't you.

Me: Then why the hell am I sitting in the freakin corner.

Mom: Because the person who did it will feel awful about seeing the innocent punished and will confess.

At which point, Mary-Ellen broke down sobbing & acknowledged the probability that she was headed to an especially rotten part of Hell.  During the Inquisition, this form of punishment was also used, it's practitioner told his minions to slaughter believers and heretics alike: Kill them all, let God sort the dead.


Letting the Tiger out of the Cage (Ety: OJ & CD Herzog)
(see Musings)

The Loop  (Ety: Mark McCormick, Spring 1982)
Mark, a once fleet of foot Colgate offensive lineman, had slackened off somewhat on his physical conditioning program after gamy knees forced him into an early retirement.  So imagine our surprise when we found him limbering up for a run in a pair of $120 New Balance sneakers.  His response upon being asked what he was doing:  "I'm running the Loop!"  The Loop?  anyone know what the heck Loop he means?

Well, he trotted out of the House, hung his first right into the driveway of the ATO house, ran around their house & headed back to Beta.  Thus, the Loop.

Lucky Pierre (Ety: Mark McCormick)
This is the name for the middle man in a gay menage a trois

The Ludlum Rule (Ety: OJ)
Robert Ludlum lends his name to a rule which covers any author whose first book that you read is your favorite, because you quickly realize that all subsequent efforts are identical.

Medieval Philosophy & the well oiled democracy (Ety: Fall 1982)
When Pete Fawcett accidentally bought & wrote his name in the wrong textbooks, I agreed to buy the books for half price and take the course.  I quickly discovered my towering lack of interest in Medieval Philosophy and curtailed my attendance accordingly.  Towards the end of the semester, the apparently dumbfounded professor announced to the class that one student was in flagrant violation of her attendance policy & she allowed them to vote on whether I should be allowed to continue in the course.  None of the several people that I was actually friendly with spoke in my defense, but a young fellow did offer this stirring plea:  I think you're taking this all to personally.  Orrin's a history major & he and I both have a course with the chairman of the department and he never goes to that one either.  His Darrowesque eloquence carried the day and I was allowed to continue.

Moshe (Ety: Beta house, 1979)
This term for a stupid mistake derives from the nickname of Larry "Moshe" Grossman.

Most Profane Sentence Ever Spoken (Ety: Bud Rouse but often falsely credited to the movie Get Shorty)
Imagine, if you will, the frisson of linguistic excitement that was enjoyed by his audience when Bud Rouse bellowed the following sentence: F*** you, you F***in F*** F***; F***!
That's right; for the first time ever the F-word used as every part of speech in the same sentence.

Not! (Ety: Charlie Herzog, 1980 but mistakenly attributed to comedian Mike Myers)
There used to be a charity race called the Colgate 500.  It involved a race around the campus with required stops & beer consumption at various fraternity houses.  More prestigious than winning the race was earning the Horse's Ass award for last place.  Our sophomore fall, Whitey, Howie, Yurks and Doggett easily won this honor.  By the time they got to the Beta House (well after nightfall), Chuck & Yurks were only capable of speaking in monosyllables and whenever someone annoyed him, Chuck would shout Not!. i.e., "Hey Whitey, you want another beer?"  "Not!"  We quickly realized the sarcastic potential for this linguistic construct: i.e. You did an especially good job on that term paper. Not!




Rag Room (Ety: Beta House, pre-1979)
The Beta house had a "study" room in the basement, a convenient 14 steps from the Tap.  Panelled in cheesy pine board, a tradition quickly developed of writing complaints (rags) & wry observations on the walls.  In the Spring of '82 when we had 60 brothers in a house that comfortably slept 48, Chuck, Howie & I lived there.

The Shawshank Redemption Corollary (to Letting the Tiger out of the Cage) (Ety: OJ & Brooke)
The Shawshank Redemption is emblematic of a movie that doesn't actually suck, but which has been so predictable that the only way to save it is with a perverse plot twist (i.e., Morgan Freeman should have dug up the box & found the gun that Tim Robbins used to commit the murders.)

Shotgun (Ety: Beta House, early 80's?)
(1) Take a can of beer
(2) using an opener, punch a hole in the bottom
(3) hold hole to mouth & pop tab
(4) repeat

Shotgun! (Ety: Beta House, pre-1980)
Closely related to Spot Res (see below) & Hump! (see above)
Perhaps the only effective means ever developed for determining who gets the passenger seat, once all riders are in sight of the car, the first person to shout Shotgun! gets the passenger seat.  To EJ's delight and my undying shame, Mary-Ellen, age 14 at the time, squoze shotgun when he picked us up at the Syracuse Airport for what would have been Orrin G's 55th Reunion.

The Song (Ety: EO early 70's)
Many families have the same rule that we did, whereby you can't leave the dinner table until everyone has finished eating.  But few families had a diner who was quite as fetishistic as our Dad.  By the time he finished his precision salt and pepper runs over his food, Stephen and I were done eating.  As it happened, Stephen had discovered my uncontrollable loathing of one excruciating pop song and he would sing it under his breath until I would vault over the table to try decapitating him.  This aural abomination has since become known simply as "The Song".

Speed King (Ety: Chuck but he may have heard it from Tighe or Frazier, 1986)
This is a vaguely racist Urban Legend.  A friend of a friend was at a lake in North Carolina.  Up to the dock pulled a candy apple red Lincoln Continental towing an enormous pink speed boat with the name Speed King emblazoned on the sides.  Out of the car stepped a gentleman in a pink wetsuit, similarly inscribed with the name Speed King.  Once he & his compatriot lowered the boat into the water, he strapped on a pair of pink water skis.  As his partner revved the boat engine, Speed King gripped the tow rope, the tension building like it would before an Evil Kneivel jump.  Then, from the boat, came the cry: Are you ready Speed King?  Speed King boldly replied:  Make it happen, Cap'n!  The boat raced away, the tow rope snapped taut, Speed King went flying.  It was later determined that the boat was going so fast that Speed King, who had never water skiied before, had dislocated both shoulders.

Speedy (Ety: Dorothy Judd, early 40's)
As near as we kids can piece together from her stories, our Mom's Uncle Speedy spent the better part of her childhood wallpapering their kitchen.  We assume the Speedy was ironic.

Spot Res (Ety: Beta House, pre-1980)
Every family has to find a way to resolve the ugly disputes that arise when one member gets up from a comfortable seat & another member tries snaking it.  As kids we had the "I Sit Here When I Get Back" call.  i was delighted to arrive at the Beta House & discover that this had been shortened to "Spot Res", as in--this spot reserved.

Stoosh (Also known as Kill the Guy With the Football, Smear the Queer and Feregamo)(Ety: EO, early 70's)
All young boys play some variant of Kill the Guy with the Football.  For some reason, we called it Stoosh.  Unlike most boys, we faced an additional challenge.  Our school had a nearly 100% blacktop playground, except for one tiny patch of dirt, bordered on three sides by macadam and on the fourth by a hurricane fence.  It also featured an oak tree & a fire hydrant.  For future reference, nothing frees a football from a young boy's grasp quicker the driving his noggin into a fireplug.

Strikeout (Ety: Beta house, early 80's)
A bong hit, followed by a shot, followed by a chug, followed by exhalation.

Tar Beach (Ety: Beta House, pre-1979)
Tar Beach was the roof of the side porch on the Beta house.  Perfect for sunning your Joe (see above).  Bud & I made the mistake of living above OC when he had the Tar Beach room & cranked REO Speedwagon out the window every single day.

That'sa Whatta Makesa Me so Madda (Ety: Stephen, early 70's)
I don't even remember what this dispute was about, but Stephen got himself so worked up that he practically started speaking in tongues, turning to the family & hollering in a broken Italian immigrant dialect: That'sa whatta makesa me so madda! You can imagine his paroxysms of fury as we all dissolved in laughter.

The Tittie Box (Ety: Stephen and Orrin, late 60's/early 70's)
see extended essay

Ubangi (Ety: Beta House, 1980)
Wingnut was the great practitioner of this artform, which entails wrapping your mouth around the rim of a beer cup, tilting back your head & chugging.

Ubangi Strikeout (Ety. Wingnut, Spring 1982 Room Three)
See Ubangi, see Strikeout.  As far as we know, this was only attempted once.


Wingnut (Ety: Beta house, Spring 1980)
David Burt's swim career was a little rough on the health of his hair, which consequently did little to hide his protuberant ears, earning him the nickname Wingnut.Rag Room

Witches and Warlocks (Ety: Mary-Ellen, Stephen & Orrin, East Orange early 70's)
Our house in EO had a big wraparound front porch and we developed a game where Mel would be a witch & Stephen & I would try to climb onto the porch without her burning us.  If you got burnt, you joined her as a warlock & it was two on one.  Twenty years later, Mel realized that her wretched brothers had merely created a game in which she was always "IT".

Wolf Creek Pass (Ety: C.W. McCall, mid-70's with periodic revivals)
Every trend sucking dilettante in America knows the words to McCall's monster hit Convoy.  True afficianados recognize Wolf Creek Pass as his masterpiece.  There was no place you could put this on a party tape that it would blend in.  It became the Rag Room (see above) theme song.

Wombat (Ety: Beta house, pre-1979)
These guys made Nike workers in Indonesia look overpaid.  For one quarter of our board money, they kept the House bathrooms clean.  Sort of like being a sanitation worker in Calcutta.

Word Disassociation (Ety: Tap, 1981-82)
This game sounds deceptively simple.  Someone starts off by saying any word.  The next player has to say a word that has no association with the first.  Wingnut was always especially good at finding those associations that hadn't occured to most of us.


Yoo Hoo! Dustin! (Ety: Persis Judd, early '70's)

At some point in darkest childhood, our grandmother took us out on an excursion to find our roots.  Showed us old family homesteads in New Hampshire & what not, & then, took us to meet Dustin, a relative she was sure she could still find.  So she went bouncing three terrified
little urchins down rutted backwood roads (as God is my witness, this memory is accompanied by the tune Dueling Banjos), until she found this tar paper shack looming out of the overgrowth.  Even three products of Urban blight, were certain no normal human being could live in this godforsaken hovel.  But Persis, undeterred, hopped out of the car & started pounding on the doors screaming "Dustin! Yoo Hoo! Dustin!" We three cowered in the Chrysler praying that the next thing we saw would not be Leatherface.

You Chug (Ety: Beta House, Spring 1981)
Callow youth has a marvelous capacity for cutting to the chase.  When we (I recall Bud, Bob Cook, OC, B. Good, Bindo, Chuck) were announcers for the class of 84's  Commitment Night, we adjourned to a secluded room in the house & endeavored to assume the proper state of mind.  We quickly determined that ordinary drinking games would not suffice & so, started merely pointing at one another & shouting "You Chug!".  In later incarnations more elaborate rules were added, Jesus Saves & the like, but there's a stark beauty to the original.

You, Me & the Van (Ety: Bud Rouse, 1983)
In the long history of cheesy pickup lines spoken by desperate men, few can compare to this beauty from Bud.  The Jug closed & we headed back to the House in his van, but Bud decided to take one last run through Hickey's.  I racked in the back of the van & he went inside.  As related later by his target, Bud apparently struck up a conversation with Nancy "Spike" Davis and with the bar closing, said: well, looks like it's just you, me & the van.
Suffice it to say, we drove home alone. (Correction from Bud: Thanks for the "You, me and the van" mention; some things will never go away.  Correction: After I got denied we did not drive home. We both slept in the van outside Hickey's.  We were woken up by the Hamilton Dept. of Public works who told us to move  the van so the street cleaner machine could pass thru)

Your Bookie! (Ety: Mark DiMaria's uncle, Fall 1981)
This television moment did Italo-Americans about as much good as Desi Arnez did for Cuban-Americans.  The DiMaria family was appearing on Family Feud & the question was: Places you stop on the way to work in the Morning?  Now let me preface this by saying that Zippo's (see below) answer of Sundry Shop was similar enough to Convenience Store that it should have been accepted.  However, his uncle's response, Your Bookie!, was understandably the choice of 0% of respondents.

Zippo (Ety: Rag Room residents, Spring 1982)
Every morning that we lived in the Rag Room, Mark DiMaria would come straggling in looking the worse for wear, so we started give him Lifestyle Scores from 1-10.  The preponderance of zeroes on his score sheet won him the nickname Zippo.

Zofo has Fleas (Ety: Zachary Barnett, 1982?)
Having done nothing to promote his candidacy for Junior Class President, Zach hung up a banner on the Colgate Coop, which spelled out his name across the top & then had catchy phrases depending from each letter.
Z--Zoffo has fleas (Zoffo was another fraternity's dog)
and so on.  Having failed to secure a permit for said banner, He can hardly have been surprised when Buildings & Grounds tore it down.  But he was surely shocked when his only competitor withdrew his name & ceded the position to Zach.