Dartmouth College Folk Terms



“Blitz: the Dartmouth intercampus mail system. It got the name “blitz” because of its speed: some say that blitz combines AIM and an email system. Dartmouth students are attached to the program–recent news of its replacement resulted in negative reactions from the students, who decided to maintain the name “blitz” for the new program. Blitzmail (blitz is a shorthand for it) is very old-fashioned in its operation, but is used by students as well as faculty and staff.

Freshmen tend to be slow on learning blitz etiquette, which frustrates upper classmen. Students use the term blitz as a verb as well, i.e. “I’ll blitz you about getting lunch on Sunday,” or, “did you get my blitz,” or “are you on blitz?” (Which means are you currently logged onto blitz?) Students at Dartmouth mostly communicate over blitz, and some have come up with the term “flitzing” which refers to flirting over blitz.

I love blitz because it’s unique to Dartmouth and the fact that the college has a unique email system with associated terminology underscores the important of traditions at the college.”

When my sister first started attending Dartmouth University, she would come back with all these strange terms that made no sense to me at all! Blitz was definitely one of them. It amazed me how much of a completely different culture a college can have, I didn’t understand it yet since I was a sophomore in high school but now I do. Terms like “tro gro” and the “finger fountain” will perhaps make no sense to anyone outside USC but I could not imagine using any other term for such things.

I like the blitz term because it was very odd for me to understand it at first, which makes it more special, sometimes I feel like USC terms like the above mentioned are perhaps a little easier to decode, but who could possibly know what a blitz is?

I also like it because my sister has used it so often that I immediately connect the word with Dartmouth and knowing what it means makes me feel a little bit like I’m part of the Dartmouth community, though in reality I am only a part of the folk group by association. I also like how it portrays that the ways of communication in Dartmouth are of utter importance. As Dana described, most things are centered on Blitz, to the point where flirting is even managed through it. Communication is key in most aspects of all of our lives, so I cannot say I’m surprised that Dartmouth has such a strong emphasis of the system as a whole, as well as folk term itself.

Overall, out of all the traditions that make a college community its own unique folk group, I think speech is what really differentiates the person within the group versus the person outside the group, which is why Blitz is so special to Dana.