The Maryland Academic Quiz Team Lexicon (abridged)
Not only is there arrogance streaming from College Park, there is also
a whole new jargon:
Ad Hoc (ad hok') adj.
A tournament originally organized in spring 1996 by the MAQT and quasi-edited by Matt Colvin as
a substitute for the Hopkins tournament, which was cancelled as it had been for
the past several years. Although not the best of tournaments, it was a lot of fun
and was repeated the next year. This time, it was edited by Khon, and thus is also known as
Khon Hoc I. The response to Khon's questions was so overwhelming
that the increasingly misnamed Ad Hoc III (aka Khon Hoc II) was held last year, and now
appears to be a MAQT institution.
Ang·us (angh' uss) n., pl.
1. A hundred-eyed Scottish deity first discovered at Georgetown Cup IV, sometimes
mistaken for the Greek creature Argus. Renowned for his haggis-eating
abilities, he could see one a hundred miles away. The blast of his magical
bagpipes Arghblott could be heard throughout the universe. He destroyed his
foes by crushing them with cabers he tossed from the heavens.
Ass-find·ing ex·pe·di·tion (ass find'
ing ek spe dish' un) n., pl. -ions.
1. A short and easily accomplished quest, the goal of which is to hit one's
buzzer quickly and, by whatever means necessary (e.g. echolocation,
dowsing, etc.), locate one's posterior. The rewards for successfully
completing an ass-finding expedition are 10 points, a bonus, and watching
your opponent's look of annoyance.
Ass·luck (ass luk') n. , pl.
1. That particular kind of luck that is outrageous and undeserved.
2. Extreme luck, as opposed to skill or knowledge or actual prowess. 3.
That Satanic power upon which Andrew Yaphe draws to win games against
Maryland in which he is down 200+ to nothing at the half.
Bastard Team (bass turd teem) n., pl.
1. A team composed of players from more than one school, usually with the intent of amassing
greater talent than single-school teams possess. The term was first used by Matt
Colvin to refer to a team of John Edward, Alice Chou, and Andrew Yaphe that won Princeton's
tournament in 1995. In its strictest sense, the term does not have any pejorative force, but
as you have probably figured out by now, nearly everything uttered by the MAQT carries some
Bis·cuit (bis' kit) n., pl.
1. A small cake of shortened bread leavened with baking powder or soda.
2. Chiefly British. a. A thin, crisp cracker. b. A cookie. 3.
Color. A pale brown. 4. Slang. David
Goodman, or by extension, any other foolish player of academic quiz games:
"Goodman, you biscuit! You just negged again!"
Bis·cuit·try (bis' kit tree) n. , pl.
1. The quality of being a biscuit. 2. The ineffable affliction that
descends upon a quiz bowl player to cause him to play poorly. 3.
The state of playing poorly in quiz bowl: "Another neg
five! F***ing biscuitry!"
The Call·ed Buzz (the kawled buz) n.
1. A legendary answer by Tom Waters on the first word of the first
toss-up in a College Bowel packet after predicting that he would make such
a buzz before the game began. The word was "Extremism," and the answer
was "Goldwater." 2. In lower case and by extension, any attempt to
duplicate this feat by answering a toss-up after predicting the point
where one would hit the buzzer before hand: "We're down 450-15, and
it's toss-up 18, so it doesn't matter. I'll make a called buzz on the
third word of the next question."
CBI NCT (see bee eye en see tee) n., pl.
- 1. A minor-league event at which 9 teams who have won nothing but their
Regional gather to proclaim one of the other 7 teams the "national
champion." This process is carried out in a rigorous and scientific
manner, using "the worst questions of the year."
Cloak·ing (cloke' ing) n.
1. The act of switching a school's A and B teams so that the A team will
play in a more favorable bracket. 2. Any situation in which the first-string
players of a school are on a lower team for the purpose of an easier path to
Col·lege Bow·el (Kol lej' bow' ell) n., pl.
1. A disease-ridden organ headquarted in Sherman Oaks, CA, which secretes
small but expensive envelopes containing yellow and white excrement:
"Ughh! That came straight from the College Bowel!"
Col·vin Sci·ence (Kol' vin si'uns) n., pl.
Quiz bowl. 1. That line of inquiry practiced and taught by
Velikovsky. 2. Any science with no basis in number or mathematics.
3. Any science question answered or answerable by Matt Colvin, or by
extension, any insultingly easy science question in quiz bowl: "Taxonomy
and geologic time questions are Colvin Science."
The Curse (the kers) n.
1. A metaphysical principle of the quiz bowl universe that causes
Maryland A to lose to Maryland B, either in an actual game or in
placement at the end of the tournament. The Curse is inevitable at ACF
regionals. 2. In lowercase, the etiological myth adduced to explain any
game in which the worse team of two from the same school surpasses the
Dead Slot (ded slot) n., pl.
1. One of the two RJ-11 slots on our Zeecraft buzzer system that does not
work, much to the consternation of anyone who plugs his buzzer into it:
"Hey, I buzzed in! What's the deal? 'You biscuit, it's in the dead
Di·nan·ic (Dye nan' ick) adj.
1. Able to finish 30 quiz bowl tossups with four minutes left on the
Find your ass (find yer ass) slang.
1. To grope about with one's hands until they alight upon the gluteus
maximus. 2. To answer a question that is insultingly manifest
and easy. (The phrase was originated, or at least applied to quiz bowl,
by Guy Jordan of GWU).
Flame war·rior (flame wor' yer) n.
1. A title of distinction awarded by acclamation for meritorious and
vehement defense of the principles of ACF by repeatedly asserting quite
vociferously the foibles of the College Bowel and the Northern
Invitational Circuit on the Usenet newsgroup
An office first achieved by Matt Colvin and Vishnu Jejjala to which
pretenders like Shawn Askew aspire.
Ham·il·ton sports (hamm' ill ton sports) n.
1. An area of specialty somewhat analogous to Colvin Science,
but much more varied and unpredictable. Examples include caber toss, Thomas
Lipton, curling, Wheaties box, James Naismith, Honus Wagner, and jai alai.
Hersh·ey·i·sm (Hersh' ee ism) n.,
1. A failure to answer a question about a place one has visited, book one
has done a report on, or any other subject with which one has been
intimately acquainted: "Damnit, you've been to Mount Rushmore! Don't
commit a Hersheyism!" (Named for MAQT player Rob Hershey).
John Cage (jon kage) n., pl.
- 1. The American composer, a student of Schoenberg, most famous for
his "4'33"," a composition that calls for the performer to sit at a piano
for the specified amount of time, then stand up and bow, presumably to
unmerited applause. 2. A particular method for taking a -5 in quiz bowl,
consisting of buzzing in, then sitting there and not saying anything.
Khon pack·et (cone pack' it) n., pl
1. A packet written entirely by MAQT player Khon Lien that will
invariably be used at northern tournaments regardless of its quality
or the relative quality of other Maryland packets submitted. A Khon
packet will have a healthy dose of TV, weird cartoons, crazily written
bonuses, and other things that can only be described as uniquely Khon.
Khon has held two of his fabled "Khon Hoc" tournaments, which is a great deal
for the price, and typically will feature an overabundance of certain subjects,
like minor prophets, playmates, and intricate theme rounds.
Know thy Greek (no thi greek) interj.
1. An obnoxious declaration usually given after constructing an answer
from roots of foreign languages. Particularly useful in answering
List (list) n., pl.
1. An item-by-item printed or writen entry of persons or things, often
arranged in a particular order. 2. Quiz Bowl. An expletive with which to
taunt a player who has obviously memorized something just for ACF,
especially birthdates of famous people. First used by Harvard captain J.J.
Todor to insult Georgia Tech players in the finals of the 1995 ACF NCT.
Moderator: "Born in 1770, this philosopher --"
Player on Team A: [buzz] "Hegel."
Player on Team B: "List!"
"List" is also uttered as a stupid pun whenever someone answers a question
on the composer of Hungarian Rhapsodies.
Per·sis·tence Neg (purr sis' tense neg) n., pl.
The same incorrect answer that a player gives multiple times during a tournament, usually to the
amusement of his teammates. The persistence neg is all the more impressive if it is the answer to a question in
the tournament which the player misses or negs on. Matt Colvin took the persistence neg to its
extreme by buzzing incorrectly with "Caravaggio" twice during the same round at the 1995
Emory Juniorbird, giving Dave G., Dave H., Arthur, Tech I, and Tech II (and presumably the moderator)
a much-needed laugh. Tech continued to ridicule him in the hallway after the match.
Pick·off (pik off) n., pl.
1. A tossup answered by a player after someone on the other team has
already negged; commonly termed a rebound by other teams:
Goodman had 14 pickoffs in that tournament. The verb
"pick off" is used to describe the actual action. Pickoffs that are
especially cheesy or that are used to fatten a players' ppg will often
result in taunting.
Spite (spite) n.
1. Malicious ill will prompting an urge to hurt or humiliate another person, both of which
seem to occur abnormally often in the MAQT. 2. The
motivation behind the studying done by David Hamilton and doubtless many other ACFers, often
for no apparent reason other than to bust another player who thinks he has a monopoly on a
Ston·y·brook (stone ee brook) v.
1. To defeat one team in a tournament multiple times while losing to the rest of
the field. Named after SUNY Stonybrook, the team Maryland C beat three times
at NAQT for their only three wins.
Straight out of Ben·et's (strait out of ben'ayz)
1. A remark used triumphantly by a player upon answering a tossup mostly by
recognizing wording from a reference book rather than actual superior
knowledge on the subject than other players. Often accompanied by exclamations
like "Yeah boyee!," high-fiving, and in general overdramatizing an obscene
buzz in order to annoy the other team during practice. Also used pejoratively
by other players who also recognized the wording but were beat in. An
interesting variant occurred at the 1995 Georgia Tech MLK, where Matt Colvin
buzzed in early on a Karl Barth question, and obnoxiously proclaimed, "That's
John Barth, copied straight from An Incomplete Education!"
putting Dave Goodman's previous neg with James Wilkes Booth to shame.
A suffix applied to a team consisting of one player, usually used as a term of
respect. Originally applied to Tom Waters, another other notable instance was
Longstrong (Long Nguyen from Georgia Tech) at 1996 ACF Regionals.
Tom Joint (tom joynt) n. pl.
1. A source of inspiration drawn upon (dragged upon) by a certain writer of
strange ACF questions. The Tom Joint is rumored to be made from the leaves
of cannabis plants growing in South Carolina. The Tom Joint has
occasionally been seen in the mouth of Al Whited. 2. By extension, the
supposed source of inspiration for any writer of strange ACF questions:
"You wrote a tossup on 'A Handful of Dust'? You must have
been smoking the Tom Joint!"
To·tal re·call (toe' tul rhee kall) n., also interj.
1. The condition in which a player who remembers questions previously played
upon too well and thus makes incredible buzzes. 2. A pejorative comment
used towards a player who is suspected of having total recall of a packet.
Tris·cuit (tris' kit) n., pl.
Any player who neg-5's three times in a game; such an action constitutes triscuitry, and
the offending player must eat a triscuit, if one is available:
"I'm a f$%*#@g triscuit! [crunch]"
"Vir·tu·o·so dis·play of
in·com·pe·tence" () n.
1. A term first applied by Vishnu Jejjala to Matt Colvin's driving
performance during the 1995 UNC tournament. After we arrived at our hotel,
Matt left his keys in the ignition and left all the doors unlocked. In
order to prevent someone from stealing the car, Matt also judiciously left
his headlights on. We were rescued by the Georgia Tech team in the morning
with a jumpstart from the Dendymobile. However, Matt has refused to get
gas the night before, and the car died on the interstate. After about an
hour, we managed to get to the tournament, but by that time the first team
had lost by forfeit to Methodist. 2. The inaugural Randolph-Macon Harvest
Bowl (more details are available here).
Vult·ure (vultch yer) n., pl.
1. A player who snaps up all the tossups made available for picking off by the other team's
negs, buzzing as soon as the question is finished or even as the last word is being said, even
if someone else on the team had more knowledge of the answer, or knew it at an earlier point in
the question. This is usually done in order to fatten one's ppg average, although it is often
incorrectly interpreted as a form of spite. Lording
it over the pickoffs is extremely irritating to one's teammates, and is sometimes referred to as "crashing
the boards." Vultures on the Maryland team include David Goodman, David Vacca,
and formerly, Mike Starsinic. On other teams, Andrew Yaphe is said to be a nefarious vulture.
[n.b. -- This term was formerly known as "pickoff lord" until it was deemed
to be a stupid name.]
"Who is this Mr. Bel·ve·dere?" (no) interj.
1. A question posed by Tom Waters after playing a game at 1995 Masters
on a packet written by the infamous 3-freshmen "Maryland 2" team.
Often used when a good player misses what most people would consider to
be an easy question. Vishnu Jejjala was also confounded by this tossup,
answering with "Jeeves" after it was painfully obvious that the answer was,
in fact, Mr. Belvedere. The original question, written in pure ACF style
by David Hamilton, is available here.
Yevshenko (yev shenk o) expl.
1. A mispronounced answer that is unfairly accepted by the moderator. The original answer
occurred in the 1995 Faculty-Student Challenge exhibition, when the B team was playing against
the professors. On a question about a certain Russian poet, Dr. Wolfe (who,
incidentally, bears a striking resemblance to Bald Bull) buzzed in and answered,
"Yevshenko." This answer was accepted by Jesse Molesworth, who deemed it close enough to the
answer (Yevgeny YevTUshenko), much to the consternation of Arthur Fleming, whose team lost the
match. Ever since, he has referred to Dr. Wolfe as "Dr. Yevshenko." Another famous instance
of a "yevshenko" was in the 1994 JMU tournament, where Matt Colvin was given credit for a mumbled
"Protagoras" when the answer was in fact "Pythagoras." In fact, if this answer had not been
accepted, Maryland B would have won the tournament instead of Maryland A.
You're an ass (yer an ass) interj.
1. A rebuke directed at a member of one's own team, usually to distance
oneself from an unseemly display of pomposity or smugness (something
which occurs quite frequently on the MAQT). First uttered
by David Hamilton after Matt Colvin answered a Baldassare Castiglione
question in exaggerated Italian accent:
Matt: buzzes in, then gestures pompously: "Baal-dassssaaaarrrhay
Dave: "You're an ass."
You should have gotten the tossup
1. First extensively used by Arthur Fleming, a knee-jerk riposte that is uttered by
a player in response to another team saying the answers to his team's bonus
(probably to indicate that they would get more points on it than the team that
actually received it). The meaning is essentially, "Yeah, you know more about this
bonus than we do. But -- ha-ha! -- you didn't get the tossup, chump monkey, so you
can shut up."
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Last updated October 16, 1998.