What is TBS slang?

TBS slang refers to the unique words, phrases, and expressions used by students and alumni of The Bishop’s School (TBS) in La Jolla, California. As with any school, TBS has developed its own vocabulary over the years that current and former students use to communicate shared experiences and campus culture.

Some key questions about TBS slang include:

– Where did TBS slang originate?

– What are some notable examples of TBS slang?

– How has TBS slang evolved over time?

– Why does TBS have its own distinct slang?

– Who uses TBS slang?

History and Origins

The Bishop’s School was founded in 1909, so TBS slang has had over a century to develop and take shape. Each new generation of students has added their own flair to the lexicon.

Some slang terms arose from abbreviating or shortening official TBS names and places. For example, “The Quad” comes from the school’s main quadrangle area, while “The Bish” is a shortened version of the school’s full name.

Other terms are completely original creations that caught on through repeated student usage over the years. Calling Bishop’s students “Bishops” is an obvious example. More creative inventions include “Quadjobs” (lazing around the quad) and “Bish Bosher” (an intense Bishop’s sports fan).

TBS slang also derives from memorable teachers, campus legends, and shared experiences that get woven into student vocabulary. Calling the school newspaper “The Vox” or the school yearbook “The Miner” became common slang after those names were chosen for the publications.

Influence from Southern California Culture

The Southern California setting has also influenced TBS slang over the decades. Terms like “chillax” (chill and relax) reflect the area’s laidback vibe. Slang using surfing and beach imagery is ubiquitous, like “cruisin'” through school or classes being a ” gnarly wipeout.”

Notable Examples

Certain TBS slang phrases have shown considerable staying power and are still widely recognized by alumni from across the generations. These include:

  • “Quadjobs” – Hanging out or lazing around the main quadrangle
  • “Bish Bosher” – An overly spirited or fanatical Bishop’s sports fan
  • “NARP” – Non-Athletic Regular Person, a disparaging term for non-athletes
  • “Monday” – Compulsory weekly chapel day when academic dress was required
  • “The TBS Bubble” – The sense of existing in a secluded world apart from broader society
  • “The Bishop’s Difference” – The culture of excellence and spirit engrained in students

These examples and many more continue to evoke memories and experiences shared across decades of alumni.

Common Slang Areas

Some common categories where TBS slang flourishes include:

  • People – “Bishies,” “Bishops,” “NARPs,” etc.
  • Places – “The Quad,” “The Pit,” “Senior Alley,” etc.
  • Activities – “Quadjobs,” “Sunbathing on Senior Rocks,” etc.
  • Classes – “Mindbenders” (challenging classes), “Blowoffs” (easy classes), etc.
  • Events – “Ring Dance,” “Color Day,” “The PK,” etc.

Evolution Over Time

While some slang terms like “Quadjobs” have shown incredible sticking power, TBS slang also evolves over time as new students leave their mark.

One example is how the emphasis has shifted from preppy, East Coast influences to more California culture. Preppy terms like “chinos” and “goat boots” have faded, while surf/beach slang like “cruisin'” and “gnarly” has grown.

Attitudes towards concepts like school spirit have also changed. Where “Bish Boshers” once had a positive connotation, the rise of “NARPs” reflects more criticism of school spirit culture in recent decades.

Technology and social media have also impacted TBS slang. Phrases like “grab your app” (checking the student app) or “DM me” are modern additions reflecting how students communicate today.

Enduring Traditions

Even as slang evolves, some traditions and terms have shown incredible staying power over many decades, like:

  • “The Bishop’s Difference” – the culture of excellence
  • “The Bubble” – the secluded feeling of the campus
  • “Monday” – weekly chapel day when academic dress was required
  • “NARP” – disparaging term for non-athletes

These examples and others demonstrate a timeless quality to certain TBS slang, representing common experiences shared across many generations of students.

Why TBS Has Distinct Slang

There are several factors that contribute to TBS having such a robust lexicon of unique slang terms:

  • Long history – Over 100+ years for slang to develop
  • Isolation – Campus feels removed from broader society
  • Tradition – Customs, rituals, events happen yearly for decades
  • Community – Strong bonds between students across grades
  • Competition – Rivalries with other top schools like Saints

The longevity of TBS gives slang time to evolve. The feeling of the “TBS Bubble” encourages words and phrases to flourish internally. Beloved annual traditions generate shared experiences and memories. Competitive rivalries with other schools also promote tight school affiliation and unique terms.

Shared Identity Through Slang

TBS slang gives students and alumni a sense of shared identity, community and belonging. Using certain phrases demonstrates someone is “on the inside” and adds to the feeling of school affiliation. The continuity of slang over decades also connects alumni across generations through common experiences.

Who Uses TBS Slang?

Current students use TBS slang extensively in daily campus interactions. Certain terms rotate in and out of popularity, but even first-year students pick up core slang very quickly.

Recent graduates stay fluent in TBS slang as a way to maintain bonds with their Bishop’s network. Alumni further removed from school days may lose touch with newer terms but remember core phrases from their era.

Faculty, staff, and coaches integrated into campus life also regularly use TBS slang when interacting with students. However, more removed staff and outsiders are unlikely to understand the lingo.

Some notable groups that use TBS slang include:

  • Current students
  • Student leaders (ASB, prefects, etc.)
  • Athletes and team captains
  • Recent graduates
  • Alumni from past decades
  • Engaged teachers and staff

Unifying Generations

While each generation adds their own innovations, core TBS slang terms live on across decades. This ability for certain phrases to connect students and alumni across many years is a testament to Bishop’s strong sense of community and tradition.

Even graduates from the 1930s, 60s, and 90s share common slang like “The Bubble,” “NARP,” “The Bishop’s Difference,” and more. The slang bridges generations of shared student experiences.

Examples of TBS Slang in Sentences

Here are some examples of TBS slang used in sentences to demonstrate the lingo in action:

  • “Jake and Danielle were quadjobbing all afternoon instead of doing their homework.”
  • “The intense Octagon basketball rivalry put all the Bish Boshers in a frenzy this week.”
  • “Bill’s lack of school spirit identified him as a clear NARP.”
  • “Mrs. Davis caught the students sunbathing on the senior rocks during fifth period.”
  • “Katie was dreading her AP Mindbenders class that was going to be such a gnarly wipeout.”
  • “The Bishop’s Difference was on full display when the entire sophomore class showed up early to decorate for Color Day.”

Slang in Context

Seeing TBS slang employed in full sentences demonstrates how the lingo gets used in everyday dialogue on campus. The phrases seamlessly fit into descriptions of common Bishop’s activities, events, classes, and more.

Core slang terms like NARP, Bish Bosher, Mindbenders, or The Bishop’s Difference frequently appear across decades of student interactions.

TBS Slang Glossary

Here is an alphabetical glossary of common TBS slang terms and their meanings:

Term Definition
Bish Bosher An overly intense Bishop’s sports fan
Bishie Affectionate term for a Bishop’s student
The Bishop’s Difference The culture of excellence and spirit engrained in students
Bishops Nickname for Bishop’s students
Blowoff An easy class requiring minimal work
The Bubble The secluded feeling of being apart from society while at Bishop’s
Chillax Relax and chill out
Cruisin’ Coasting through classes or school with ease
Gnarly Very difficult, challenging, intense
Goat boots The suede ankle boots once associated with the preppy style
Mindbender A very challenging, intense academic course
Monday The weekly chapel day when academic dress was required
NARP “Non-Athletic Regular Person” – a derogatory term for non-athletes
Pit The student seating area in the amphitheater
Quad The central quadrangle and lawn area on campus
Quadjobs Lounging or lazing around the quad
Senior Alley The path lined by senior rocks leading to the quad
The Tubes The school-operated bus system transporting students
Vox Nickname for the school newspaper “The Vox Populi”
Wipeout When a class, grade, or assignment overwhelms a student

Core Slang Terms

This glossary captures some of the essential TBS slang words and expressions used on campus. It represents the vocabulary central to students’ shared daily experiences and campus life at Bishop’s.

Certain phrases like “Quadjobs,” “NARP” and “The Pit” have resonated across generations of alumni, becoming core pillars of the Bishop’s vernacular. Mastering TBS slang is key for incoming students looking to demonstrate school affiliation.


TBS slang provides a fun way for students and alumni to connect through shared expressions representing their common experiences. Core terms like “NARP,” “Quadjobs,” and “Bish Bosher” capture the campus culture at Bishop’s spanning over a century.

While slang comes and goes each generation, certain phrases demonstrate incredible staying power at Bishop’s. Traditions like chapel Monday and rivalries like Saints-Bishops fuel unique slang terms that become woven into the fabric of Bishop’s identity and community.

TBS slang ultimately reflects the passion, spirit, and memories that unify generations of Bishops across the decades. The lingo bonds alumni to the school and to each other through a vocabulary that only Bishies truly understand.

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