GLOSSARY OF AGGIE TERMS, TRADITIONS, SONGS & YELLS
Compiled by E.J. Marintsch August 2010
12th Man – The name given to Aggie football fans who support the eleven players on the field and stand during the game just as E. King Gill, the original 12th man, did in 1922 when he was called from the stands to be ready to enter the game if needed. Today, a walk-on (non-scholarship) player who shows Aggie Spirit through hard work and determination will wear the Number 12 jersey on special teams.
1876 – The year that Texas A&M was founded.
2 Percenters – A reference to those students who are only involved in the classroom aspect of the University and not “The Other Education” that helps to build a fully-develop character.
Aggie Band – Known as the “Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band”, or the “Noble Men of Kyle.” Composed of approximately 400 students, it is the largest military marching band in the country, and is world renowned for its precision maneuvers.
Aggie Code of Honor – “Aggies do not lie, cheat, or steal, nor do they tolerate those who do.”
Aggie Ring – (See Ring.)
Aggie Songs — Include “The Spirit of Aggieland,” “The Aggie War Hymn,” “Saw Varsity’s Horns,” “The Twelfth Man,” and “Texas, Our Texas.”
Aggie Spirit – A sense of loyalty and respect for the school and its traditions and values. It is often said about the Aggie Spirit that “From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.”
Aggie War Hymn – Written by J.V. “Pinky” Wilson while standing along the Rhine River shortly after WW I, it is the essence of Aggie Spirit.
Aggie Yells — Include“Gig ‘em,”“Aggies,”“Farmer’s Fight,” “Military,” “Old Army,” “Locomotive,” “Kyle Field,”“Sky Rocket,”“Beat the Hell,”“Fifteen for Team,” “Fifteen for Team, Farmer’s Fight, Call it a Night,” “Horse Laugh,” and “Team.” (See the Yells section in the back of this Glossary.)
Aggieland – The term describing Texas A&M and Bryan-College Station.
“Aggies never lose, though they may run out of time” – Said after a losing effort implying that the team would have won if the game had gone on longer.
Association of Former Students – Rather than being called the Texas A&M alumni association, the words “Former Students” are used because it was felt that the term “alumni” would imply that a graduate would be an “ex-Aggie.” But once an Aggie, always an Aggie, so the word “alumni” was deemed inappropriate.
Bad Bull – Anything that goes against the Aggie Spirit.
Band Qualified or Band Queer – (See BQs.)
Batt – (See The Battalian.)
Battalian, The (The Batt.) – The student newspaper.
Beat the Hell Outta (BTHO) – An Aggie yell that is followed by the name of the opposing school. Big Event – The largest single-day student run service project in the country. It was initiated in 1983 when the student government encouraged students to show their gratitude to the community by performing volunteer service activities.
Bonfire (Aggie Bonfire) – A 90 year tradition whereby a bonfire was built on campus to symbolize a burning desire to beat t.u. (The University of Texas). The official bonfire ended in 1999 with the collapse of the structure during construction resulting in the death of 12 students. A non-sanctioned bonfire has taken place off-campus since 2002.
Bonfire Memorial — A Memorial constructed on the university polo fields, the site of the accident, and completed in November 2004. The Memorial is composed of three design elements: The Tradition Plaza, History Walk and Spirit Ring.
Boot Dance – The Junior class dance reflecting their readiness to fill the shoes of the graduating Senior class.
Boot Line – Seniors wearing their Senior Boots or Aggie Rings line up at the south end of Kyle Field to welcome the football team back onto the field after halftime.
Boots – (See Senior Boots)
BQs – Meaning Band Qualified (or Band Queer) and referring to members of the Aggie Band.
BTHO – An acronym for “Beat the Hell Outta” the opposing school.
Butts – (See Serge Butts.)
Cadet in Training – (See C.T.s.)
Century Tree – Found in Academic Plaza, tradition has it that if a couple walks under the branches of this tree, then they will eventually marry. If the proposal is under the tree, the marriage is supposed to last forever.
Class Set – The number of seconds a student will have to “Dunk” his/her ring. The length of the Class Set is determined by the year of graduation. For example the class of 2011 will have 111 seconds.
Corp of Cadets – The Corp is a link to the early days of the school’s history when all students were required to receive military training. The Corp became voluntary in 1965. As of 2001, it was the largest uniformed student body outside of the service academies. The Corp is also referred to as the “Keepers of the Spirit” for their defense of Aggie Traditions. The Corps trains students in the ways of the military with the option of a commission to the military upon graduation.
Corps Turd – Synonym for C.T.s or Cadets in Training.
C.T.s – An abbreviation for Cadets in Training and referring to Corp Members.
Dead Elephant – A senior in his last semester.
Dunk – An unofficial tradition (discouraged by the school) whereby a student’s ring is dropped into a pitcher of beer, and the student drinks the entire pitcher in an amount of time called a “Class Set” in order to “Dunk” their rings (catching it in his/her teeth)
E. Gill King – (See King, E. Gill, and 12th Man.)
Elephant Walk – Done by seniors the week before the football game against the University of Texas (t.u.). Seniors link arms and wander through campus symbolizing the end of their usefulness to the 12th man. The tradition began in 1926 when some students took their last walk around campus to relive memories. They traveled in single file with their hand on the shoulder of the person in front of them leading one observer to comment how they looked like elephants about to die. Today, this day begins at Kyle Field with Yell Practice, a speaker, and a walk through campus led by a Yell Leader.
E-walk – The Junior’s term for Elephant Walk (They are not allowed to use the word Elephant as it is a privileged word).
Farmer’s Fight – A phrase used in several Aggie Yells. The farmer was the school’s original mascot.
Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band – (See Aggie Band.)
Final Review — A full military review that takes place at the end of the spring semester on Simpson Drill Field. The entire Corps marches past a reviewing stand for inspection. The Corps then returns to their dorms to change into the uniforms they will wear the following year, with the juniors donning their Senior Boots. The freshmen, sophomores, and juniors then march in formation past the reviewing stand.
Fish Camp – Developed in 1954, an optional four day retreat held in Palestine, TX during the summer for incoming Freshmen whereby students are introduced to Aggie traditions, spirit, and way of life. It accommodates over 4,500 Freshmen every year.
Fish Drill Team – A precision rifle drill team representing the Corp and A&M in organized competition. They had prominent roles in the movies “A Few Good Men” and “Courage Under Fire.”
Fish Pond – A fountain located near Lechner Hall and the Sbisa Dining Center, where after a victory, the Aggie yell leaders are ‘deposited.’
“From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.” – Phrase used to describe the difficulties outsiders have understanding Texas A&M culture and traditions.
Gig ‘em – Rather than saying goodbye, an Aggie will end a conversation by saying “Gig ‘em.” The term is thought to have originated in 1930 when Pinky Downs, an A&M board of regent, yelled about an upcoming opponent “What are we going to do to those Horned Frogs? Gig ‘em, Aggies!” as he made with a fist with his thumb straight up. “Gigging” a frog refers to the practice of impaling a frog with a multi-speared rod called a Gig.
Gill, E. King — The original 12th Man who, in 1922, came down from the stands to put on a uniform and stood at the sideline in case his heavily injured football team needed him to play. Today students stand throughout the game to show their readiness to support the team. A statue of E. King Gill stands next to Kyle Field.
Good Bull – Anything that supports the Aggie Spirit.
“Highway 6 runs both ways” – A phrase used to respond to complaints made about Texas A&M meaning that those who don’t like A&M are free to leave.
Horse Laugh – A yell that ends with the students hissing at the opposing team. Booing is strongly discouraged, so hissing is used to show disapproval with an official’s call.
Howdy – The official greeting of Texas A&M. It is the preferred method for a speaker to get a large group’s attention as a “Howdy!” is expected in return. Students are encouraged to greet everyone they pass on campus with a smile and a “Howdy!”
Howdy Camp – A campus orientation program held for Freshmen and Transfer students who enter in the Spring Semester.
Hullabaloo! Canek! Canek! – The beginning phrase of the Aggie War Hymn. It is supposedly an onomatopoeic representation of the sound of a cannon being loaded, or the sound of a train rolling through town since there is a train track that splits the campus.
Hump it – Is where the crowd leans forward and puts their hands on their knees in order to intensify the noise during cheers.
Jollie Rollie – Refers to G. Rollie White Coliseum, the place where the Aggies play volleyball. Before Reed Arena was built, “Jollie Rollie” was the home of Aggie Basketball and held special events like graduation, Muster and Town Hall concerts.
Keepers of the Spirit – Another name for the Corp of Cadets.
Kissing Dates – Whenever the Aggies score points during a football game, students kiss their dates. (See Mug Down.)
March to the Brazos – A 14 mile round trip march by the Corps of Cadets held as a fundraiser for the March of Dimes as well as to transfer leadership positions for the following year. Started in 1977, it has been the largest student-run fundraising event in the U.S. for the March of Dimes.
Maroon Out – Though maroon shirts are worn to every football game by Aggie supporters, a particular predetermined football game is determined as “Maroon Out” where everyone is encouraged to wear maroon.
Mascot – The official mascot of Texas is “Reveille,” a purebred American collie (see Reveille). Ol’ Sarge is the unofficial mascot (see Ol’ Sarge).
Mascot Corporal – The Corp member who is the constant supervisor of “Reveille” including in class as well as on dates.
Memorial Student Center (MSC) – The Student Activity Center dedicated to Aggies who have died in wars. Those entering the MSC are asked to remove their hats and not walk on the surrounding grass lawns.
Midnight Yell Practice – Started in 1932 and held at Kyle Field at midnight the evening before a game, over 20,000 students practice cheers to be used at the upcoming game.
MSC – The Memorial Student Center.
Mug down – Another name given to kissing one’s date commonly after a score at an Aggie football game or after Midnight Yell Practice.
Muster – A ceremony held annually on April 21st to honor any current or former student who died during the previous year. The first Muster was held in 1883. Over 300 Musters take place around the world with the largest occurring on campus at Reed Arena. A Roll Call for the Absent takes place where a family member or friend says “Here” and lights a candle when the name of the deceased is called in order to signify that his/her spirit will last forever.
Noble Men of Kyle – Another name for the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band.
Non-regs – Students who are not in the Corps.
Off the Wood – Students step off the bleachers (formerly made of wood, but now aluminum) and onto the concrete as a show of respect when a player is injured or when “The Spirit of Aggieland” or “The Aggie War Hymn” is played.
Ol’ Sarge – An unofficial school mascot of a tough-looking drill sergeant who is only portrayed graphically.
Old Army — A term referring to A&M’s past when TAMU was a military school only. Also used by current students who are sophomores or older to refer jokingly to their freshman year, and by former students to refer to their entire time at Texas A&M.
Other Education, The – The education a student receives outside of the normal classroom experience that helps to make the Aggie a well-rounded, moral, and ethical person.
Parents’ Weekend – An A&M tradition previously designated as Mother’s Day, Mother and Dad’s Day, Parent Appreciation, and Open House. Corps flower pinning, chapel services, military reviews, Parents of the Year receptions, campus tours and outfit award presentations have been part of the weekend since its beginning. New activities are continually being added and include a traditions program, concerts, Bevo Burn Barbecue, Maroon and White Football Game, All University Awards, and ‘Ol Army Yell Practice.
Parson’s Mounted Cavalry – The only mounted ROTC unit in the U.S.
Pass backs – Hand signals used by Yell Leaders to direct the crowd with cheers.
Pisshead – A nickname for a Sophomore cadet that may not be spoken by Freshmen.
Privilege – A ranking system based on one’s class year which determines what traditions an Aggie student is allowed to perform. Freshmen have “Fish Privileges”, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors have SP, JP, and ZP’s (Zip Privileges). Vocabulary in the Corps of Cadets is restricted by class. Freshmen cannot say “Pisshead,” a nickname for sophomores. Juniors are known as “Serge Butts,” so neither freshman nor sophomores can say either form of the word. Seniors, known as “Zips,” have reserved the word “elephant” and all words dealing with death, dying or guns in reference to the Elephant Walk.
Privileged Words – See words listed under Pisshead, Serge Butts (Butts), Whoop, and Zips.
Pulling out – Refers to students saying words or the wildcat reserved for other classes (see Pisshead, Serge Butts (Butts), Whoop, and Zips). Students caught “Pulling Out” must Push. That means doing a “Class Set” of pushups, one for each year of their class. For example, the class of 2012 must do 112 pushups. It‘s thought to be “Good Bull”/”Redass” to do this.
Push – Refers to pushups often done in “Class Sets” for “Pulling Out” or watching someone of an equal or higher class “Push.”
RAggies – Aggie Baseball fans. Redass – A term for an Aggie who goes out of his/her way to show Aggie spirit. A good example of Redass Aggie spirit is “Pulling Out.”
Reed Rowdies – Fan club of A&M basketball teams.
Replant – A one day environmental service started in 1991 to beautify Bryan-College Station and establish a unity between the students and residents of the community.
Reveille – The “First Lady” of A&M, Reveille is a purebred American collie that is the official Texas A&M mascot and is considered a Cadet General (the highest ranking member of the Corp). Reveille I came to Texas A&M in January 1931. A group of cadets hit a small black and white dog on their way back from Navasota. They picked up the dog and brought her back to school so they could care for her. The next morning, when “Reveille” was blown by a bugler, she started barking. She was named after this morning
wakeup call. The following football season she was named the official mascot when she led the band onto the field during their half-time performance. The current Reveille (Reveille VIII as of 2010) must be addressed by cadets as “Miss Reveille (or Rev), Ma’am.” A tradition is that if Reveille chooses to bark in class, that session is cancelled, however, this tradition is not often applied. A full military funeral is held at Kyle Field upon the death of a current or former mascot. Reveilles are buried in front of Kyle Field facing the scoreboard so they can watch the Aggie Football team “Beat the Hell Outta” the opponent.
Ring (Aggie Ring) – A&M graduates will recognize one another anywhere around the world by their ring. Specific requirements must be met in order to for the ring to be purchased. The ring’s design has remained essentially unchanged since it as introduced in 1894. The ring is adorned with numerous symbols of the Aggie Spirit.
Ring Dance – At the yearly Ring Dance, held on Senior weekend, the soon-to-be graduate will turn his ring around so that the class year faces away symbolizing a readiness to face the world.
Ring Dunk – (See Dunk.)
Ring Day – The day when qualified students receive their rings.
Roll Call for the Absent – (See Muster.)
Ross Volunteer Company – The official honor guard of the Governor of Texas, and, aside from the Corp itself, the oldest student-run organization in the state as well as the oldest honor guard and drill team of its kind in the state.
Run Out of Time – Aggie don’t lose games, they just “Run Out of Time.”
RVs – Ross Volunteers, a prestigious group in the Corps.
“Saw Varsity’s Horns Off” – A verse from the Aggie War Hymn referring to defeating the Texas Longhorns.
Senior Boots – Highly prized knee-high boots worn only by seniors in the Corps
Serge Butts (Butts) – A nickname for Juniors in the Corp that may not be spoken by Freshmen or Sophomores. “Serge Butt” is a reference to the pleated serge on the rear of the pants that was formerly a junior privilege. All of the pants now have serge butts, but the name continues.
Silver Taps – A ceremony held monthly when necessary on the first Tuesday of the month to recognized deceased current students. On the morning of Silver Taps, a small card with the deceased student’s name, class, major, and birth date is placed at the base of the flagpole in Academic Plaza. At 10:15 p.m. all lights on campus are extinguished and Albritton Tower begins to chime hymns. As the music begins, students gather silently in front of the statue of Sul Ross. At 10:30 pm the Ross Volunteers fire a 21-gun salute. Six buglers at the top of the Academic Building play a special rendition of Taps called “Silver Taps.” The song is played three times, to the north, south, and west, but never to the east because the sun will never rise for that Aggie again.
Singing Cadets – All-male choir at A&M, called “The Voice of Aggieland.”
“Sit down bus driver” – Aggie yell at athletic events to taunt opposing teams’ coaches who are holding up the game. “Bus driver” is a reference to the fact that coaches used to drive buses for road games.
Spirit of ’02 – A model 1902 3-inch field gun and used for football games.
Spirit of Aggieland, The – The school song written in 1925 by Marvin H. Mimms. Also a term meant to epitomize the traditions of Texas A&M.
Standing During a Football Game – Done by the student body throughout the entire game in order to show their readiness to support their team.
Statue of Sul Ross – (See Sully.)
Sully – A nickname for Lawrence Sullivan “Sul” Ross, A&M president in the 1890s credited with saving the school from closure. The statue of Sul Ross is found in Academic Plaza. Students will put pennies at the foot of the statue for good luck on exams. Legend has it that Ross would tutor students on campus and asked only for a penny for their thoughts in return.
TAMC – Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College, TAMU’s original name.
T-Camp – A campus orientation program held for Summer and Fall transfer students.
Tea-sip – Student of the University of Texas
t.u. – Refers to the University of Texas by Aggies.
Twelfth Man – (See 12th Man.)
Uncover – Taking off one’s hat when entering the MSC or doing a yell.
Walk – Skipping a class when a professor doesn’t show up or if Reveille barks in class.
Whip out – The tradition whereby Corp Freshmen extend their hand and introduce themselves to upperclassmen. They are required to remember the names of the upperclassmen who they meet.
White Out – Similar in theme to a Maroon Out, but instead with White t-Shirts at a basketball game.
Whoop! – An Aggie’s exclamation towards anything positive or “Good bull.” Juniors and seniors are the only ones allowed to say this (except for sophomores Pulling Out). (See Wildcat.)
Wildcat – A noise and a hand motion (yell) that is particular to each class and made after each yell. Freshmen raise their hands above their heads and yell AAAA. Sophomores chant A! five times, wave their hands up and down in front of their torso with index finger extended and thumb perpendicular. Juniors yell A! A! A! Whoop! while using the same hand motion as the sophomores. For the Whoop! Juniors wrap their left hand over the right fist, with both index fingers extended and pointing toward the ground. (Juniors are the first class to be allowed to say the word “Whoop!”) Seniors yell A! and then “Whoop!” while interlocking their fingers with their index fingers extended and pointing into the air. Also, the right foot is raised and tucked behind the left knee.
Wrecking Crew — Name given to the defense of the football team. The term became popular during in 80s and the 90s. Many fans, coaches, and sports analysts feel that recent Aggie defenses have not “earned” the title.
Yells – (See Aggie Yells, and Wildcats.)
Yell Leaders – Composed of three seniors and two juniors, these students use hand signals (Pass Backs) to lead the crowd in cheers.
Yell Practice – (See Midnight Yell Practice.)
Zips (Zipperheads) – A nickname for Corp Seniors (for the black and gold braid on their garrison caps resembling a zipper). Only Seniors may say the word “Elephant,” and all forms of the the words “Death,” “Dying,” “Shoot,” or reload in reference to the traditions surrounding “Elephant Walk.” Acceptable substitute words are “pass away,” “decease,” “fire,” “load again,” etc.
“The Spirit of Aggieland” (Words by Marvn H. Mimms; Music by Richard J. Dunn)
Some may boast of prowess bold Of the schools they think so grand But there’s a spirit can ne’er be told It’s the Spirit of Aggieland.
We are the Aggies – the Aggies are we
True to each other as Aggies can be We’ve got to FIGHT boys We’ve got to fight! We’ve got to fight for Maroon and White After they’ve boosted all the rest They will come and join the best For we are the Aggies – the Aggies are we We’re from Texas AMC
(Yell sequence that follows; traditionally deleted at Muster) T-E-X-A-S A-G-G-I-E Fight! Fight! Fight-fight-fight! Fight! Maroon! White-White-White! A-G-G-I-E Texas! Texas! A-M-C! Gig ‘em, Aggies, 1-2-3 Farmers fight! Farmers fight! Fight! Fight! Farmers, farmers fight!
“The Aggie War Hymn” (Words and Music by J.V. “Pinky” Wilson)
All hail to dear old Texas A&M Rally around Maroon and White Good luck to the dear old Texas Aggies They are the boys who show the real old fight That good old Aggie spirit thrills us And makes us yell and yell and yell So let’s fight for dear old Texas A&M We’re goin’ to beat you all to Chig-gar-roo-gar-rem Chig-gar-roo-gar-rem Rough Tough! Real Stuff! Texas A&M
Good-bye to texas university So long to the Orange and the White Good luck to dear old Texas Aggies They are the boys that show the real old fight “The eyes of Texas are upon you…” That is the song they sing so well (Sounds like hell) So good-bye to texas university We’re going to beat you all to Chig-gar-roo-gar-rem Chig-gar-roo-gar-rem Rough! Tough! Real Stuff! Texas A&M
“Saw Varsity’s Horns Off” (Normally follows the singing of The Aggie War Hymn)
Saw Varsity’s horns off! Saw Varsity’s horns off! Saw Varsity’s horns off! Short!
Varsity’s horns are sawed off! Varsity’s horns are sawed off! Varsity’s horns are sawed off! Short!
“Texas, Our Texas” (Official State Song)
Texas, Our Texas! All hail the mighty State! Texas, Our Texas! So wonderful and great! Boldest and grandest, Withstanding ev’ry test, O, Empire wide and glorious, You stand supremely blest, God bless you Texas, And keep you brave and strong, That you may grow in power and worth, throughout the ages long. God bless you Texas, And keep you brave and strong, That you may grow in power and worth, throughout the ages long.
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WEBSITES RELATING TO AGGIE TRADITIONS
Wikipedia – Texas A&M University Traditions and Terms
(many links are included within this site and include the following among many others:)
TexasA&M University – Aggie Traditions
Texas A&M University – Traditions Council
Texas A&M University — Traditions at Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University – Office of Admissions and Records Brochure
The Federation of Texas A&M University Mothers’ Clubs – Traditions page
Spiritus-Temporis.com – Website dedicated to Historical Events, Latest News, News Archives
Texas A&M – Office of Admissions – Aggie Traditions and Assets
The Seastrunk Family Website (website by an Aggie Alumnus)
The AgTimes Forum — Aggie Traditions and Lores
Texas A&M University – Yell Leader website.