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We Gauchoback: Here’s Your Guide to UCSB Lingo

Being a Gaucho comes with its own UCSB-specific vocabulary. Here are 10 terms to learn, to help you speak like a regular.

It’s no secret UCSB students use their own lingo, and it may leave you feeling confused. Here’s a cheat sheet to 10 of the most popular words and sayings you’ll hear around campus. You’ll soon be fluent yourself!

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1. Lib

What it means: Lib is an abbreviation for UCSB’s library, because Gauchos love to shorten words and phrases whenever they can. The same goes for Rec Cen, which refers to the gym (Recreation Center); the LSB, which is the Life Science Building; and U-Cen for the University Center.

How it’s used: “Hey, let’s go to the Lib for a study sesh.”

2. Freebs

What it means: This is an abbreviation for Freebirds, the nachos and burrito hotspot Gauchos love. You’ll often see students here enjoying a late-night snack, since it’s open until 3 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays (and till 1 a.m. the rest of the time).

How it’s used: “Hey, want to split some nachos at Freebs with me tonight?”

3. Send it.

What it means: While not unique to UCSB, students often say, “I’m gonna send it” when they plan to do something challenging or daring. It’s the equivalent of “bring it.”

How it’s used: “I haven’t been to lecture in a while, but I’m still going to send it on the midterm.”

4. Yerb or Yerbs

Meaning: This refers to yerba mate—the popular drink so many Gauchos love. If you haven’t tried it, yerbs is a natural, caffeinated tea that comes in many flavors, like Lemon Elation, Mint Tereré, and Hibiscus Lime. You can buy it at many places, like the Arbor, 7-Eleven, IV Deli, and IV Market. Some varieties have as much caffeine as a cup of coffee.

How it’s used: “I’m so tired, and could really use a yerb right now.”

5. DT

Meaning: DT refers to downtown Santa Barbara. Students mainly use this abbreviation in texts or messages, and less so when speaking.

How it’s used: “Hey, let’s go DT tonight, and meet up with our friends!”

6. OOTs

Meaning: OOTs are out-of-towners, or people visiting UCSB. Gauchos tend to use this phrase during spring when a lot of people visit Isla Vista.

How it’s used: “Wow, there are so many OOTs here right now; I can’t find parking on DP.”

7. IV

Meaning: IV is short for Isla Vista, the small town right next to campus that’s full of students (and some families). You know you’re in I️V when you see students biking and longboarding through the beach town.

How it’s used: “I love living in IV because it’s so close to campus.”

8. FT

Meaning: This abbreviation stands for the Santa Catalina towers, which were formerly known as the Francisco Torres towers. They’re the freshmen dorms farther away from campus. Students also now call these towers San Cat.

How it’s used: “You live all the way in FT? That’s so far from campus!”

9. Dead week

Meaning: This is the week right before finals, when most students are found studying, napping, or procrastinating. This week usually feels like it drags along at an alarmingly slow pace.

How it’s used: “I don’t have time to enjoy the beach; it’s dead week.”

10. DP

Meaning: This refers to Del Playa Drive in Isla Vista, where 65 refers to the 65th block of the street. DP is a busy street many students live on, and it’s usually full of bikers, people walking to the beach, or people tanning in the parks alongside the road. (If you go there, be sure to visit Window to the Sea, a small park that has a wooden swing you can sit on while listening to the waves.)

How it’s used: “I live on 65 DP, right by the beach.”

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