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Jargon Buster

Glossary for new students

In the first few weeks at College, you will be bombarded with a mind numbing array of abbreviations, titles and place names. If you are an enquiring student you may like to know what they mean but be too embarrassed to ask. Well, here they are like they have never been explained before. Dazzle your classmates with the speed of your assimilation into your new environment.

Accommodation Officer

Designated person to help administer campus accommodation issues.


Calendar of important dates.  Despite the old-fashioned name, it is online.


Past students; our Chancellor, Mary Robinson, for example, or you after you’ve graduated.


Academic Registry, located in the Watts Building.

Aras an Phiarsaigh (or-ass on feer-sig)

Irish. Literally “Big-house on Pearse Street”. Behind the Printing House. Home of the Business School, Psychology, some Engineering and the computer people IT Services. Has a small café in the foyer while you are waiting to chat to the computer people.

Arts Building

AKA "Arts Block". A nineteen seventies listed architectural masterpiece. Contains large lecture theatres downstairs (named after distinguished past students), small ones upstairs, and Arts Faculty staff.

Beckett Theatre

Wooden theatre attached to Drama Studies beside Aras an Phiarsaigh where you can enjoy theatrical delights at reasonable prices.

BLU Library

Where the books are kept, unless you are doing science in which case the books are in the Hamilton Building. Once separate Berkeley, Lecky and Ussher Libraries. Now all one building hence BLU. Nothing to do with colour.

Botany Bay

As in Botany Bay, the convict settlement in Sydney, Australia but not so far away and easier to get out of. Originally a botanical collection from the South Pacific, now tennis courts. The Houses adjacent to it are located on Botany Bay.


Book of rules, regulations, staff members, awards and yes, a few dates (see Almanack). The Bible of Trinity, if you like...


Bell tower in Library Square. Stands on the foundations of the original All Hallows monastery on which College was built.


Mirror image of the Exam Hall on Front Square. It actually is a chapel and regularly used by the major Christian faiths and for ecumenical services.  (Students of other faiths can talk to the Chaplains in House 27 regarding the location of their faith services).


Graduation ceremony, as in commencing your career as a graduate.


On-campus meal served in the Dining Hall.


With a capital C; what we call TCD. With a lower case c; another university.

College Green

The area in front of College before it becomes Dame Street. No longer green but it was once. It may eventually be pedestrianised as a historical precinct.

College Health Centre

Located near Beckett Theatre – to look after your health and well being.

College Park

Large oval lawn in front of the Pav. Used for cricket and athletics and sitting around in summer when the sun is out (or not, as the case may be).

College Secretary

Administrative support to Board, deals with College's legal matters, art collection and hosting of conferences. Unlikely to type your assignments for you.


Inter-university events competing with UCD.


The noise the College pigeons make. Also the Chief Operating Officer.


A happy little playful haven of care for babies and toddlers of students and staff. Located beside the College Health Centre.


Central Societies Committee. People in charge of societies (located in House 6).


Academic head of a collection of services or departments; postscripts indicate specificity e.g. Dean of Students is the person in charge of student services. Dean of Health Sciences heads up the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Dean of Graduate Studies

In charge of academic administration etc. for postgraduate students.

Dining Hall

Large building between the GMB and the Chapel. Contains the Buttery, the Scholars’ dining hall, the staff dining hall and staff rooms upstairs (known as the Senior Common Room), an open meeting area called the Atrium constructed after fire damage, and the Enquiries Office (which used to be a bank, the bank is in the Hamilton Building now. There is still an ATM outside the door though)


Dublin University. Trinity College is the only college of Dublin University. Not to be confused with UCD or DCU. Just say Trinity College.


Dublin University Central Athletics Club. The people in charge of sports clubs (located on 2nd Floor of the Sports Centre).

East Chapel

Offices on the East side of the Chapel. Houses the Trinity Foundation.

East End

Also commonly referred to as the "Hamilton End" or the Hamilton Building, this is the part of campus that runs alongside Westland Row. The East End also contains the Watts Building, where the Academic Registry is located.

East Theatre

Offices on the East side of the Public Theatre (see below).  Houses Global Relations and the Office of Public Affairs and Communication.

Exam Hall

In Front Square. Also known as the Public Theatre. Georgian building still used for exams and official functions. Very grand inside. You have your own grand formal room and family portraits now that you are a student of TCD.

Emergency Procedures

For rescue or emergency service call 1999 Front Gate.


Male and female. Trinity College Dublin was founded in 1592 as a corporation consisting of the Provost, the Fellows and the Scholars. Fellows are elected by their peers each year. Scholarship or research achievement of a high order is the primary qualification for Fellowship, coupled with evidence of the candidate's contribution to the academic life of the College and an effective record in teaching.

Fellows' Square

The grass area between the Arts Building & the Old Library. Used to be much bigger before the Arts Building was built.

Fire assembly Points

The Campanile, Fellows Square, the Rugby Ground, the Flat Iron, North East Car Park, Cumberland Place, Foster Place- at a building near you..

Foster Place

Off-campus building in Dame Street (or is it still College Green?).

Freshers' Week

Intensive orientation activities occur this week so you know which way is up when lectures start the following week.

Front Square

Also known as Parliament Square. The two grass areas & cobblestones between Front Gate & the Campanile.


Graduate Memorial Building. The neo-gothic building beside the Buttery, home to the debating societies the Hist and the Phil (or is it the other way around?)

Goldsmith Hall

Sometimes called Goldhall. Off-campus building on Pearse St where some societies have rooms. Home to the JCR (Junior Common Room) as well, cheap sandwiches & pool tables a-plenty. Goldsmith Hall is also student residences.


The Graduate Students’ Union, representing all postgraduate students.


As in terraced houses. The numbered doorways around the squares on campus. Originally “houses” were student accommodation. Most still are. Over 700 students live on campus.

House 6

Mandela House; home to the Students’ Unions and societies.


An examination supervisor.

IT Services

IS queries, passwords, technology questions Aras an Phiarsaigh. The go-to people for all the problems with your computers.

International phone access code

For Ireland it is 353, drop the “0” from STD codes so TCD is +353 1 8961000.

Junior Dean

No reference to age. Responsible for student discipline on campus. You have rights and obligations under College regulations.

Junior Freshmen

Male and female. First year undergraduate students of any age. College undergraduates are divided into two tiers; Freshmen and Sophisters, hence Senior Freshman (2nd undergraduate year), Junior Sophisters (3rd undergraduate year) and Senior Sophisters (final undergraduate year). The terms 1st year, second year etc., refer to postgraduate years.

Library Square

The grass area between the Campanile & the Rubrics. Location of a Henry Moore sculpture.

Luce Hall

Large square concrete building at south east end of the rugby ground. Now primarily used for exams.

Mature students

Anyone who can be relied on to behave sensibly. No actually, they are students over 23 years of age who do not come directly from secondary school.  You might be one yourself. The older, distinguished looking person standing next to you might be a class mate or the Provost. Get used to it.

Michaelmas, Hilary, and Trinity Terms

Michaelmas is first term, Hilary is second term, and Trinity is the third term.

Museum Building

It was once. It is the grand Victorian flourish of a building to the west of New Square. It is even more impressive inside. It still has dead animals and curious models of inventions and long since redundant machines. It is now home to part of the Engineering Department.

New Square

The grass area behind the Rubrics and beside the Museum Building. Only 200 years old.

Parliament Square

Also known as Front Square. Built a very long time ago with money provided by the Irish Parliament when it was located over the other side of College Green in what is now a bank. The revolutionary efforts, by some past Trinity graduates among others, to set up an Irish Parliament, made home rule untenable.

People Finder

Not Sherlock Holmes but a facility to search on line for staff of the college on local home page.


The award you may be given if you have represented the College in a sport.

Public Theatre

Aka Exam Hall, located in Front Square.

Printing House

Second oldest building on campus. Originally the home of the Dublin University Printing Press. Now used as a lecture hall for Electrical Engineering.


Our College President.

Rag Week

University Rag societies are student-run charitable fundraising organisations that are widespread in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The Oxford English Dictionary states that the origin of the word from "An act of ragging; esp. an extensive display of noisy disorderly conduct, carried on in defiance of authority or discipline", and provides a citation from 1864, noting that the word was known in Oxford before this date. From Wikipedia. One can only assume that funds were raised in some way through this noisy disorderly conduct. Also known as Raise and Give Week.

Regent House

Front Gate - the main entrance to college.

Registrar of Chambers

In charge of Trinity accommodation & rules relating to it.


What you must do online before coming to College in Freshers’ Week.


The red brick building behind the Campanile. Oldest building on campus dating back to the very early 1700s. Previous buildings collapsed or were demolished to make way for progress.

Rugby Ground

Large rectangular lawn behind New Square. Oldest continuously used rugby club and ground in the world (1854).

Senior Lecturer / Dean of Undergraduate Studies

In charge of academic administration, student records, examinations, etc for undergraduate students.

Senior Tutor

In charge of pastoral tutors.


Scholarship examinations held in the break between Michaelmas and Hilary Terms. Scholarships are funded in part from rents on land in Ireland set aside for that purpose by Queen Elizabeth the First when Trinity was set up in 1592. Farsighted, wasn’t it?

Scholars - Foundation

Students who get a 1st in scholarship exams & are elected to the governing body of College (only 70 at any one time).

Scholars - Non-foundation

Students who achieve a 1st in scholarship exams but are not on the governing body of College (most scholars).

Sports Centre

Huge, brand new sports complex at Hamilton end of College.

SU Students' Union

An organisation run by your fellow students to represent your views, protect your rights and provide the services that make college life run more smoothly.

Students Health Service

Located near Beckett Theatre – to look after your health and well being. Student Health is properly called College Health Centre

Student Counselling Service

Located in Phoenix House just across from the main campus on Leinster Street. A space to tease out stress related issue, worries or mental health challenges in a confidential setting.


An academic person allocated to support you with planning and following through on your work/thesis-make contact regularly.

The Buttery

Large and noisy café underneath the Dining Hall for students and visitors. One of several cafés and shops on campus.

The Old Library

The home of the Book of Kells and other 8th Century illuminated biblical manuscripts. The Long Room is upstairs. Go see and marvel.

The Pav

Short for Pavilion. The only remaining on-campus bar, at the Hamilton end of the cricket pitch.

The Ramp

Slope inside College and outside of Arts Building. Popular meeting place. Please don't smoke there.

Trinity Week

The week between the end of lectures and the beginning of examinations. Various activities occur such as the Trinity Ball, the announcement of Scholars, a Chapel service, invited lecturers, and sport and recreation events to get students in a positive frame of mind for exams.


Also referred to as pastoral tutor, responsible for you *should* something go wrong. Advisor and advocate.


Support service for students experiencing mental health difficulties or physical health challenges.

Watts Building

Inside what used to be (and often still is) referred to as the Hamilton Building, where many science lecture theatres and departments are located. The Watts Building is also home to the Global Room and the Academic Registry.

West Chapel

Offices on the west side of the Chapel. Houses the Accommodation Office.

West Theatre

Houses various College administrators.

1st, 2.1, 2.2,etc.

Academic grades for your assignments and examinations.  More details will be found in your course handbooks.

1937 Reading Room

The letters NIKH on the front spell out the name of the Greek goddess of victory. The building is actually a World War 1 memorial opened on the 12th November 1928. The octagonal postgraduate reading room was added subsequently in 1937 which is why it is all out of perspective for the space that it occupies between the Exam Hall and the Old Library.  Part of the film Michael Collins was shot in here.