While the first-ever rook book is a frequent request of new visitors to Archives, this year we thought we’d try sharing fun facts from other early versions of the cadet handbook. A personal favorite of mine is from the year 1934 when a section on slang first appeared.
When we pointed out these pages during library orientations last month, definitions like Civilization as “South of White River” or the use of “Cheeseknife” for a saber quickly got some amused attention. As did the fact that the college bookstore was apparently the “Pirates’ Den” in the 1930s and the presence of the US Military slang of “Top Kick” for First Sergeant.
Another turn of phrase from 1934 also caught my eye as I was putting this rook book away later. In 1934, “Joe Cadet” apparently referred to the skeleton in the biological department. Not that long ago, I’d refiled a snapshot of a skeleton in a collection of photographs taken by a student in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Whether this was the very same “Joe Cadet” remains uncertain but the slang does bring up possibilities.
This is just one example of the information that can be found in past rook books. Come read the rest in our reading room today!