Hang around us for long, and you'll hear quite a bit of distinctive
terminology -- some standard quiz bowl lingo, with a smattering of random
phraseology associated with the team and some references to past Swat CB history. Here's a quick rundown for the uninitiated (new entries in bold):
- bastard team (n.)
- A team composed of players from different schools. The term
apparently originated with Matt Colvin (formerly of Maryland), who used it
to describe a UVa/Howard team at the Princeton tournament; he used the
term again before the 1996 QOTC in a newsgroup argument over whether
coalition teams should be allowed in tournament playoffs, prompting the
UVa/Howard team at QOTC to go by the name "Matt Colvin's Bastard Love
- blitz (n.)
- To spew out as much information as one knows about a topic,
hoping that the actual answer will be included. Some blitzing is legal,
such as giving both the title and author of a book. Some is not so legal,
but happens anyway when a player realizes the buzz was a little too early.
According to the all-knowing Ed, "Blitzing is an excuse for people who
don't know, to babble a little and eventually get it."
- Cohn's Law (n.)
- Rule which states, "The team that buzzes in fastest during the
buzzer check will win the game." Needless to say, this law is not
universally true, despite the claims of Ed Cohn.
- College Bowl personality
- One of many players, moderators, or hangers-on who through years
of activity on the circuit have won a reputation as a colorful character,
sometimes for good reasons, and sometimes through utter humiliation.
Members of the Swarthmore team have given various CB personalities
descriptive nicknames like "The Anti-Swank," "Tweedledumb," "Eva Braun,"
and "Vampire Boy" -- can you guess which one you are? :-)
- conjunction bonus (n.)
- 1. A type of bonus question which asks a team to provide a
string of answers, each of which can be seen as a continuation of its
predecessor. An example: "The King and I Love Lucy in the Sky with
Diamonds." Someone actually writes a good conjunction bonus every couple
of years, but the genre is more often characterized by stupid, vague, and
tenuous clues designed to show off the writer's (supposed) wit.
- 2. (Preceded by a definite article; caps.) The worst question in
the 1997 MIT Beaver Bonspiel finals, which inexplicably featured 8 tossups
on sports, pop culture, or general knowledge. It was a perfectly okay
question, except that it didn't have any clues; commenting later on the
quality of the round, Harvard's Jeff Johnson noted that "it was like two
woolly mammoths in a tar pit: they're not trying to win so much as
- crimping tool (n.)
- Apparently all we need to fix our problem-prone Zeecraft buzzer
system is a "simple crimping tool," but as of this writing we have no idea
how to use it. According to the New Webster's Universal Unabridged
Dictionary, the verb "to crimp" is derived from the Old English
"gecrympan" and has 14 meanings, but the stuck-in-the-ivory-tower,
out-of-touch-with-the-real-world members of the Swarthmore team have yet
to find the one definition that really matters. A random poll of people we
know came up with such helpful answers as "I think it has something to do
with hair -- you'd better ask Fred."
- Email of Hatred (n.)
- An email sent by Josh to a
certain school's team when they canceled less than 24 hours before QOTC
- ho (n.)
- A person who gets a tossup due to their incredibly detailed
knowledge of one particular topic. This use of the word is not restricted
to Swarthmore, and is frequently modified, such as "trash ho."
- J-O-N-A-H (n.)
- The proper spelling of Jonah Volk's given name. This aid is
required by more moderators than one would expect in as academic an
activity as College Bowl.
- Kursk, Battle of (n.)
- 1. A tank battle in World War II.
- 2. A reminder that some things are not worth of a whole bonus,
as Peter learned when he submitted a bonus about the Battle of Kursk to
- "Lame!" Rule (n.)
- A rule first instituted by Fred Bush at 1997's ad hoc Tomoyuki
Tanaka Memorial Trash Bowl. It enables teams to toss out certain boni that
they consider lame. The rule proved popular, and was subsequently used at
the first TRASHionals, and in practices as far as 1000 miles away from
- Other, The (n.)
- 1. A term frequently used in Swat discourse, as in the course
titles "Europeans and Others since 1750" or "Representations of the Other
in Nineteenth-Century German Prose."
- 2. Part of a frustrated exclamation made by players who neg
early, only to discover the answer is remarkably similar. Examples: "It's
not Plath, it's the other suicidal New England woman poet!" (Anne
Sexton) or "It's not the Tokugawa Shogunate, it's the other
period everyone asks about!" (Meiji Restoration)
- QOTC (n.)
- Questions of the Crum (affectionately known as QOTC) is our
annual tournament, which we typically host the last weekend in March or
the first weekend in April. QOTC was given its name by Adam Fagen in 1992
(in honor of the creek that runs through Swarthmore's campus), and has
become one of the mainstays of the spring tournament schedule.
- Samer the Pirate (n.)
- The title character of the bonus lead-in "Samer the Pirate was
walking the plank..." Named after Samer Ismail, who was an undergraduate
at Yale and is now a graduate student at Penn. After having trouble
receiving the Penn team's packet at QOTC VIII, 1999, Josh struck a deal
with a Penn team member that Penn could play if Josh could use Samer's
name as a lead-in. Josh placed Samer the Pirate in place of "Jack the
Pirate" in a Yale packet (the use of Yale was unintentional, but made
Samer believe that his old team was making fun of him). After Samer the
Pirate's debut at QOTC, he reappeared in a Yale tournament, later that
year. For those of you with poor senses of humor, let us clarify right
now: Samer the Pirate is definitely not funny, nor has he ever
been. He is just kind of loved because he is so lame, much like Pauly
Shore. For Samer the Pirate questions, please see the Pirate Page.
- Tome of Justice (n.)
- The name given to a large and often heavy book (e.g., lexica, atlases and similar items) used at practices by the person sitting closest to inflict "justice" upon the moderator after a particularly horrid question has been read (or, in the case of some team members, after an exquisitely tasteless pun has been made).
- treasurer (n.)
- The most thankless position in all of Swarthmore College Bowl.
Traditionally, the new treasurer has been the most active member of the
team who didn't show up at practice the night the last treasurer quit,
though (in a truly shocking development) three team members
actually volunteered for the job in the fall of 1998. See also
"Brazil" and "Georgia."
Maintained by Adrian Packel. For more information, contact Chris White.