Numbering in the States (college)

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Numbering in the States (college)

Message  gerardM le Dim 13 Oct - 17:56

Hi everyone,

Instead of speaking about 1st-year student, 2nd-year... people often use other terms.

So, we often meet:
- a "freshman" is the name given to the 1st year person
- a "sophomore" is the name given to the 2nd year person
- ...
- "junior" is used for the penultimate year
- "senior" is used for the last year.

Well, my lines above are woolly; here's a bit more:
- the 4 terms are used in high-school and at college (high-school corresponds to 9th to 12th grades)
- "pupils" is not used in the States - they speak about "students"
- when there are only 4 years (most of colleges), my suspension points ("...") are useless, otherwise a student in 3rd out of 5 years is named middler; a student who has to repeat one of the years (eg not good enough marks) are said to have been "held back" or "kept back"
- synonyms for a 1st-year student are "fish", "new-g", "fresher", "frosh", "newbie", "freshie", "snotter", "fresh-meat", "skippie", etc
- an alternative to sophomore is "soph".
Etymologically, sophomore means 'wise fool' (from Greek "sophos", meaning "wise", and "moros" meaning "foolish"); thus the connotations "pretentious, bombastic, inflated in style or manner; immature, crude, superficial"
- students who exceptionally need more than 4 years are named "superseniors"
- "Underclassman" is used to refer collectively to Freshmen and Sophomores; Upperclassman to refer collectively to Juniors and Seniors
- a "Graduate" student is a student who goes on with their studies (law schooling, medical schooling, etc) leading to Master’s degree or Doctorate degree.
A "graduate" is also the name given to a student who just got their degree (the time of celebration)

I hope you like these 4 terms that are very often used throughout the States.
They are so common that we can meet them in sports, in politics, in music (and others) for the 2 first years of efforts - Freshman and Sophomore.
You might also find the word "rookie" for a sport Professional in their first year.
The last 2 ones (Junior and Senior) are used in firms not exactly the ways they are at school but they refer to good level and top level professionals.


Please feel free to point out big mistakes in my messages in a foreign language. Thanks to your remarks, I'll be able to improve my level.
PS: Pls note that I chose American English for my vocabulary, grammar, spelling, culture, etc.  :-)

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