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The Risley Lexicon and Glossary of Self-Referential Adjectives

Current version resurrected and edited by Violet Brewster and Gaea Denker-Lehrman

Former originally compiled by Gar Francis in 1988 and revised in 1990 by Matthew Belmonte.
Latter researched in 1986 by a Bunch of People Who Weren't Particularly Busy One
Thursday Night, and compiled and edited by the Megadodo Publishing Branch of Room 460.
Version X+1.0 resurrected, alphabetized, and combined by Nessie Van Loan
in 1996 and last edited on the web on Whensdae, 28 July 1999 at 1:14:17PM est.
©opyright 1997 Prudence Risley Residential College for the Creative and Performing Arts

Olde Rislish

Olde Rislish is the part of Rislish no longer commonly used in the building, but often referred to by some of the older and former Risleyites.

Associate member n. see Middle Rislish out-of-house member.

Beer Fairy proper n. Person/thing that leaves bottles of Risley-brewed beer on the doorstep of a Risleyite in need. Leading to the phrase "Blessed by the beer fairy".

Bohemian Kingdom proper n. a term used to describe Risley, or a part of the Czech Republic. Referred to in former Risleyites Matt Ruff’s book Fool on the Hill.

Calendar of Events, the proper n. the weekly printed document detailing all the fun stuff to do in Risley. It was usually put out by the PA, and included games, letters from RisAlum, and Hairwatch. The current version is the Risquirer.

Colonel Food proper n. alias of Lynette Fleckenstein, who ran Risley Dining for a stint immediately following Dr. Food. See also Foodette.

Dr. Food proper n. Alias of Paul Seeber, the culinary avatar who ran Risley Dining until 1996. The title was apparently passed down from the original Dr. Food, John Petrillose (RisDining manager 1988-1991). He received the appellation because of his fondness for a short white coat of the kind typically worn by medical students. This title was, however, not passed down to the current manager.

Fred v. [unknown] If someone belches, they have to make a fist under their chin (with the axis of the fist perpendicular to the chin) and say “Fred.” If someone else does this before the belcher does this, then everyone is allowed to hit the belcher until the belcher touches a round doorknob. This entire process is Fredding, and Rule 0 of the official Tammany Rules states that it can’t occur after 23:00. (Thanks to Matt Belmonte for this def.)

grup n. [”Miri,” the Star Trek episode that stars a Matt Ruff doppelgänger as the leader of a youth gang] a parent or other older relative of a Risleyite who has come to take them away from home.

Hairwatch n. an occasional feature of the Calendar of Events that updated the Risley community on the recent hairstyle changes that had occurred in the dorm. Sometimes it was funny, but it was always more interesting than that David Hasselhoff show.

M8 (pronounced “mate” or “emm-ate”) proper n. the former name of the Lego Room.

Mac proper n. a former resident(?) of the wood and metal shop who was always willing to help you build things. Mac would build full suits of armor for fun, and was frequently found at SCA events. Unfortunately, he left a year ago after his wife found a job far away from Risley.

procrasterbation n. a way to pass the time without actually doing work. Usually this has nothing to do with what you might think it might, but….

Prudence Risley Travelling Moonshine Orchestra proper n. Cornell University’s only reasonably competent jug band. Be sure to compliment them on the size and shape of their jugs.

RIP proper n. Risley Ice Hockey Program and Blood Donor group. An intra-mural sports team.

Risley Recorder, the proper n. an irregularly published collection of the strange ramblings of Risleyites. This used to include the Calendar of Events, but they became two separate entities. These two publications have now morphed into The International Risquirer.

Risley rumour mill improper n. remember that interesting bit of info you told only one person, because if you didn't, you'd just explode? well, they only told one person, and they only told one more... and so it goes. It's like a big game of operator, where the message gets more mangled with each telling (the RHD is Carmen Miranda?!). Don't be a victim or a perpetrator.

RisVIP (pron. "riz-vip") n. Also called a RisliVIP, this is a very important member of the Risley community, and one who provides services to Risley in some key manner. This term is generally used for those Risleyans with some sort of title: RisRAs, PA, RHD, Dr. Food, Kommittee Chair, Faculty Fellows, Ris-Life, etc. Food delivery people have honorary RisVIP status.

W n? archaic an inside joke deriving from Kommittee and a former PA, Michael Moon. This is usually associated with a hand gesture. Ask an old-school Rislimaniac to explain it to you, its a loooong story.

waga (pron. "wodge-uh" or "wog-guh") adj. [a baby-talk version of "Roger," a friend of a Risleyite. The Risleyite would complain to and lament his romantic difficulties to Roger] impaired by unrequited love, unsatisfied lust, or general sexual frustration and/or limerance. There need not be a specific object of affection involved, and usually this is part of the problem.

Middle Rislish

(Used colloquially by current Risleyites. Tourists will be most likely to pass for natives if they use this version).

AmphibiRisleyite n. someone who regularly attends Pool. Those who go to Pool when it is snowing and ten below outside are called AmphibiFrigiRisleyites, and those who attend during Ithaca’s frequent rainstorms are AmphibiDrizzliRisleyites.

Archives, The proper n. the somewhat outdated records of Risley’s history, often referred to but seldom seen. They are supposedly kept in a room on the Mezzanine, under the care of Kommittee’s archivist.

Artist in Residence n. see guest suite artist.

bat-phone, the proper n. the campus phone emblazoned with the bat-signal, located in the alcove immediately to the right and west of the main entranceway. Proper etiquette dictates that one answer the bat-phone with the phrase: “Yes, Commissioner?” Feel free to call the bat-phone at (607) 255-5515. (It's one digit off from the Gannett Hotline)

Campus Life proper n. the organization that evicts Risleyites from their homes during winter and summer recesses. Alternately called ResLife, depending on the whims of that organization.

charter, the proper n. the written body of law that dictates how Risley should be run. It was created back in 1970, and is one of the few written documents that Montana’s Freemen consider legitimate.

CLR (pronounced “sea-el-are”) [Central Living Room] proper n. the big room that faces the main entrance. The CLR is strategically positioned so that you can get the maximum annoyance from all people banging on the outside door to be let in. The proper response to these people is “Keys, carry your fucking!” (which would be pronounced “Keys, comma, carry your fucking!”)

Cowcliffes [Messrs. Bill Cowdery and Scott Sutcliffe, the proprietors of a breakfast service run in this room in ages past] proper n. The room to the left (East) of the CLR. It contains a long table, the donut machine, and the Game of the Gods. Also the name of the breakfast service of yesteryear. Cowcliffes is currently the home of Risbrunch.

crack baby n. Also see dock. Person who sits in the joint between two docked tables, usually balancing their tray over the crack and eventually wearing their juice in their lap if they're not ever-vigilant.
n. Person who falls between the pushed-together mattresses of a living-together Risley couple.

Dock v. Also see crack baby. To smoosh the round dining hall tables together to create larger, non-euclidean, dining accomodations for groups. (Dan Kristin and Clay Chiment once docked 21 tables to celebrate their joint 21st birthdays, in the largest documented single "practical" dock). Oh yeah, and you've got to make the "beep beep beep" noise while docking is in process.

donut machine, the [the piece of furniture that produced better do(ugh)nuts than music. This coincidentally has a bit to do with the breakfast taken in Cowcliffes] proper n. see doughnut machine, the. Donuts would, on occasion, appear as if by magic on and around the machine. No one seems to be able to decide on a spelling.

doughnut machine, the proper n. The painted sculpture in Cowcliffes that is cleverly disguised as a piano. However, it is officially classified by the charter as a non-piano, and any attempts to ‘play’ it have proved to be an effective means of torture. The one currently in the building is the second of such object d’art, the original being destroyed in a courtyard performance called “Burning Piano.”

Eat This! proper n. a weekly activity akin to feeding time at the shark tank. Wednesdays at 22:30, the RAs, PA, and RHD bring food to the CLR and check to see if they still have their fingers. Occasionally, there is a theme.

Eschervator [M.C. Escher, a Dutch painter, and elevator] proper n. Risley’s lift, which has mirrors on three of its walls. Rumor has it that Uncle Ezra has cameras behind the ‘mirrors.’

Fac Fellow proper n. Faculty Fellow. A faculty member who is officially associated with Risley and who has an expense account and unlimited free meals to use for Risleyites. Some are very accessible, while others have the equivalent of InvisiRis status.

foamy adj. extremely sketchy beyond all reason. Derived from sketchifoam.

Game of the Gods, the proper n. the round, furry, checkerboardy table that currently exists in Cowcliffes, and the game played upon it. The Game, as it is also called, is reportedly a combination of Dungeons & Dragons, diplomacy, and Physics.

Great Hall, the proper n. Risley’s dining hall. It is a mirror image of the Christ Church Refectory at Oxford, and supposedly the statues along the wall display the 14 stages of botulism. Which is in no way a comment on the food at RisDining. Really.

guest suite n. either of the two suites reserved for the Guest Suite Artists. Room 125 is the upper guest suite, and room B12 is the lower guest suite.

Guest Suite Artist proper n. also known as the Artist in Residence, the GSA (pronounced “gizza”) is an artist that is invited/applies to live in Risley. They will share their talents and ingenuity with you and your programs.

half corridor n., -and a half adj. the hallways on the fourth and third floors that are directly above the Great Hall that are a few steps above the rest of the level.

hellot. A greeting used by Ludo, and adopted by many Risleyites.

InvisiRis n. who is this person? Did they move out, and forget to take the lonely name tag off their door? I think I saw them in our bathroom once… In other words, a person that “lives” in Risley, but does not participate in any Risley programs. They are rarely seen, and their doors are always very undecorated and closed. Usually they move here because the building is close to the Arts Quad.

Ithacation n. Ithacating v. [Ithaca and precipitation] the maybe-it’s-rain, maybe-it’s-snow type of precipitation which often falls from the skies year round. This term is not limited to Rislish, and is occasionally used elsewhere on campus.

Kommittee proper n. the governing body of Risley. Kommittee allocates spacetime and money for your programs. Anyone can introduce a proposal to Kommittee, and any Risleyite can become a member of Kommittee (either by election, or just by showing up to three consecutive meetings). Meetings are Sundays at 21:00 in the CLR. Minutes are posted weekly outside the CLR on the Kommittee board, and all Risleyites should read them. It is run with a hockey stick.

Lego Room proper n. M8, the room on the mezzanine with all the Legos in it. It overlooks the rotunda, but throwing Legos at Rislivores waiting to get into RisDining is a no-no. Bad dog, no biscuit!

Lost Coffee proper n. a weekly even which brings coffee, tea, and cookies to a hallway near you. Originally this took place in lost hallways, giving the event its name.

Lost corridor n. –lost adj. Either of the hallways on the second or third floors that are above the VC and the Theatre. So called because they form sharp angles with the stairway, and are hard to find if one does not know where to look.

Louie’s proper n. [Louie’s Lunch Truck] a grease distributor located across the street from Risley. It is on wheels, and moves sometimes. Not to be confused with Truck.

Ludo proper n. s’good.

Masquerave proper n. [masquerade and rave] Risley’s annual Hallowe’en bash. The first few years it was associated with some sort of disaster, but recently it has been surprisingly disaster-free. Though the locusts may still be on their way. The rumors of penetration are still completely unfounded.

member n. A Risley member is someone who paid their activity fee to attend programs and/or use the shops. They may or may not be residents. See also out-of-house member.

mezzanine n. the second floor accessed by the stairway near Tammany. It contains the Theatre office, the FacFellow office, the archives, and assorted art shops.

Monk’s corridor proper n. the eastern corridor on the first floor that is inhabited solely by men. Coincidentally, the building’s only men’s lavatory is located here. See also VC.

O.S.S. n. the initials carved all around the building. Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage gave $300,000 to have a building named after her mother-in-law, Prudence Risley, but the true purpose of these glyphs is far more sinister. The Office of Strategic Services was (is?) a U.S. intelligence service and propaganda disseminator created during early WWII. See also Uncle Ezra.

out-of-house member n. someone who has paid a small fee to use one and only one shop. They are never residents, and are usually Risleyists.

PA (pronounced “pee-ay”) n. [Programming Assistant] the person who lives in the PA suite and practices creative accounting. The PA coordinates programming and gives you money for your programs.

Pool proper n. do Pool v. an eight foot diameter kiddie pool kept in the laundry room bathroom. People haul it out to the back courtyard late at night, fill it with warm water, take off their clothes, and sit in it. Pool happens throughout the year, even when there is a few feet of snow on the ground, although the water is always warm. This often leads to odd formations of melted snow in the courtyard the following morning, which once made Cornell think there was a leak in the water pipes. Be sure to ask someone the rules of Pool.

Prudence Risley proper n. our patron deity. The woman who so graciously lets the building use (and perhaps unintentionally defile) her name.

RA (pronounced “are-ay”) n. [Resident Advisor] the people who unlock doors, sometimes help run activities, and don’t have to pay for their rooms in Risley.

RHD (also RCC or Rahood, both Olde Rislish) n. [Residence Hall Director] The person paid by Campus Life to spy on Risleyites. However, he or she really spies on Campus Life for Risleyites, and still gets paid.

RisAlum n. a former Risleyite. Usually, but not necessarily someone who graduated from Cornell as a Risley resident. Many return for the annual reading of Handel’s Messiah and/or Spring Faire, and some never leave.

Risanthrope n. a xeno who is violently prejudiced against Risleyites, believing them to be a bunch of perverts and social rejects. While this stereotype is to a large extent true, it is still viewed by the community as a prejudice.

Risbrunch n. a wonderful event which happens most Saturday mornings in Cowcliffes when a Risleyite buys or makes brunch for people in the building, using Risley funds of course. If you would like to make Risbrunch one Saturday, just ask the PA.

Risfit n. one who does not live in Risley but should, if only because they are too strange to live anywhere else. Most risfits who visit Risley like it and become Risloids.

RisLeaver n. a former Risleyite who has broken their association with Risley.

Risleazes n. Risleyites who exhibit their sometimes bizarre sexual practices in a very public (and very annoying) manner.

Risleech n. someone who comes to movie nights, Eat This!, and potlucks just to grab a handful of food, and then wanders away.

RisLegend n. a Risleyite of long ago who is still remembered in song and story.

Rislepers n. unwanted (and for the most part shunned) members of the Risley community. They tend to be referred to by the title “Citizen” followed by their last name. They are usually given Risleper status for actions (real or imagined) that are detrimental to the community. Sometimes, but usually not, Risleper status is unwarranted and the result of ignorance.

Rislexicon proper n. the document you are now reading. Traditionally, it is part of the big packet of schmutz that gets mailed to all Risley residents during the summer, but in recent years it has not been so. We are attempting to revive this tradition.

Risleyan proper n. [the (c.1987) student video of the same name, a parody of Aliens] either just a generic term for any Risley Resident or something close to Rislimaniac, but not what’s in between. Who we are is not as important as what we plan to do.

Risleyist n. an outside supporter of Risley and its programs; usually someone who is concerned with the promotion of the arts. Unlike Risloids, Risleyists do not spend a great deal of free time here, if any. Some people associated with organizations like Alpha Phi, Seal and Serpent, and JAM can be considered Risleyists.

Risleyite proper n. a member (either resident or non-resident) of Risley. This can either be just a generic term, or, more archaically, means one who is socially visible or is involved in programs (although not necessarily to the extent of a Risleyan or Rislimaniac.) Just wait, it gets more confusing…

Risley Mascot n. Originally, this was a local wanderlusted dog named ‘Fat Dog.’ Apparently, the humans at her other home call(ed) this beagle-like canine ‘Freckles.’ More contemporarily, the Risley Mascot is/was Nat Stern, a former Risleyite who was more recently a GSA.

Risley Theatre proper n. Risley's very own, in-building performance facility and the only student-run theatre space on campus. Yes, it really is spelled like that.

Risliar n. someone who faked a wonderful application so that they could live here. Risliars usually become InvisiRisleyans once they move in.

Ris-Life n. Risley's cleaning and maintenance staff. They are awesome and put up with so much from us crazy people, so please give them the thanks and respect they deserve.

Rislifer n. a Risleyite who spends their entire career at Cornell living in Risley. (note: a Risleyite who spends a semester away from Cornell but lives in Risley all the time they are physically in Ithaca can still be considered a Rislifer)

Rislimaniac n. someone involved in Risley programming to such an extent that they lose sleep or suffer nervous breakdowns. Examples of Rislimaniacs include staff and Kommittee members. Many Rislimaniacs are also RisVIPs, and a lot of these are destined to become RisLegends.

Risling n. an offspring of a Risleyite or RisAlum. If all the parents of a Risling are of current or former Risleyite status, then she or he is a purebred Risling.

Risliphile n. anyone who renews their contract to live in Risley another year. This term applies usually to people who stay on because they like the lifestyle, and not because the building is close to the Arts Quad.

Risliphite n. a frosh Risley resident. Those who aren't shocked by Pool during orientation week are usually the ones who become full-fledged Risliphiles. Regrettably, many Risliphites become Risleavers within the first couple of weeks.

Risliphobe n. a person who is afraid to set foot in the building for fear of being assimilated. This term usually applies to uninformed (or too well-informed) xenos, but it can apply to some residents, particularly those who have seen Pool as Frosh.

Rislirel n. someone in the immediate family of a Risleyite. This may or may not include Grups.

Rislish proper n. the language of the castle.

Rislivore n. someone who does not live in Risley, but eats in Risley Dining pretty regularly. Since these people are not eating here for the social contact with Risleyans, they are obviously here for the food alone. See Dangerously Insane and/or vegan.

Rislocusts n. members of a Risliphite clique. So called because they have a tendency to move together in swarms around the building.

Risloid proper n. someone who might as well be a Risleyite, but who hasn't paid the activity fee. They may or may not keep their personal belongings elsewhere. The opposite of an InvisiRis.

Risloiterer n. RisAlums that still hang out in Risley, to the point that one would swear that they still live here. In some cases they do: making beds in the CLR, the practice rooms, or whomever's room in which they happen to pass out.

Risloner n. someone who has been forced to leave the building, usually for monetary or political reasons (see Uncle Ezra), but still maintains the spirit of the hall and visits whenever possible.

Rislouse n. someone who lives here and hates it. Rislice (hopefully) become RisLeavers.

RisOC (pron. "riz-ock") n. A Risley Orientation Counselor, a Risleyan who gets in the building early to assimilate the frosh. RisOCs are just like campus OCs, except they are infinitely cooler and, as you probably noticed, they make a few alterations to those red shirts. They make those name tags for your doors. Recent translations of ancient Risley scrolls reveals that these people used to be called "Risley Guides."

RisOL (pronounced ris-awl) proper n. a common corruption of RisOC due to Campus Life’s recent renaming of the new student orientation program. There are many such corruptions of RisOC, due to the ever-changing whims of Campus Life.

Risquirer, The International proper n. the weekly Risley schedule and informational newsletter usually produced by the PA. Any Risleyite can submit something for publication, and the deadline is usually by the end of each week’s Kommittee.

RisRave proper n. the new spring sequel to Masquerave. No costumes, just good music and dancing. Involves glowsticks.

rotunda n. the big round open area on the first floor that connects the Great Hall, the lower Guest Suite, the RHD's apartment, the stairs to the mezzanine and basement, Tammany, a kitchen, and the main hall.

SCA (pron. "ska" or "essie-ay") proper n. [Society for Creative Anachronism] not to be confused with the form of music, the SCA is an organization that tries to preserve the better aspects of the Middle Ages. They hold meetings Tuesday evenings in the Great Hall, and beat each other up on the front courtyard each Sunday afternoon. (aka Society for Creative Adultery / Society for Consenting Adults, etc)

SCAdian (pron. "skay-dee-un") n. a member of the SCA.

scooper n. the people who serve frozen desserts and caffeinated beverages in Tammany. They get to eat for free during their short shifts, and are trusted to keep track of money. Be sure to ask one about the odd fact that Tammany consistently never makes a profit.

sketchifoam n. [skechy foam] The brownish foam that collects on top of the water in the gorge. Believe us, this is not something you want to be involved with. See also foamy.

sneakret adj. [sneaky and secret] like a secret, but more cloak-and-dagger-esque. "Only I know this sneakret shortcut to RPU."

Spring Faire proper n. Risley's annual end-of-the-school-year bash. It is held the day after Slope Day/the last day of classes, and provides free food and entertainment for the hangovered masses. Although it has waned slightly since the year the Ithaca Mayor proclaimed Risley Spring Faire Day, and started a parade through town ending in the Risley courtyard, it is still a fondly held tradition and occasionally involves spontaneous jello events.

sub-basement, the proper n. the dungeon beneath the building. The area is condemned for anything except storage, the writing of graffiti, and occasionally photo shoots. The sub-basement contains many very strange things, even what is rumored to be a crematorium. Risley Theatre storage is also down here.

t. exclamation An expression of intense happiness or frustration, usually repeated and accompanied by spastic arm gestures. See Ludo.

Tammany proper n. the coffee house and frozen dessert parlor located off of the rotunda. Tammany is open Friday and Saturday nights and sometimes offers live entertainment. Scoopers always eat free.

Theatre sub [Risley Theatre sub-Kommittee] proper n. the body that governs Risley Theatre. Meetings are Sundays at 19:00.

tower proper n. the entire fifth, sixth, and seventh floors, and the two doubles near the stairs and behind the fire door in the center of the building on the fourth floor. There is no Eschervator service to the tower, but there is a 'secret' spiral staircase in one of the turrets...

True and Firm proverb yet another inscription to be found around the building. It is said to describe Prudence Risley, but we are not sure which part.

Truck proper n. [Hot Truck] a west-campus grease distributor. not to be confused with Louie's, since Bob is in charge of this one (not that Louie is alive anymore, but whatever...)

The Truth Will Make You Free proverb Risley's motto, which once emblazoned Risley's coat of arms, but the crest was banned by Uncle Ezra because it looked too much like CornellTM’s logo. This phrase is not to be confused with "The truth is out there."

TV Room proper n. The room to the right and west of the CLR with the giant TV. Shows in progress have priority, except for constantly-running things like news or the Weather Channel. If a show has not started yet, then the majority decides what to watch. TV also has precedence over videos or games, unless the TV room has been specifically allocated by Kommittee for such a purpose. Luckily, there is a portable TV/VCR available to residents – just contact the RA on call.

Uncle Ezra proper n. is watching.

unka-tunk (also unka-tunka) adj. If A goes out with B, and B goes out with C, A and C are unka-tunk. Some uses also are directional with respect to time. In this rarer usage, if A went out with B before B went out with C, then C is unka-tunk to A, but A is not unka-tunk to C. Also, the meaning of "goes out with" is very nebulous and variable. (Popularly defined by swapping bodily fluids). Beware of unka-tunk 'trees.'

VC proper n. [Virgin's Corridor] the corridor on the first floor that is inhabited solely by women. Coincidentally, the building's only women's lavatory is located here. See also monk's corridor.

vegan n., adj. someone who does not consume any animal products: a stricter vegetarian. They exist in Risley to make any event with food very complicated.

xeno n. someone who isn't a Risleyite, RisAlum, or a Risloid. Be careful, they're everywhere.

Zeta Psi proper n. The fraternity located across the street from Risley. Traditionally the inhabitants of the two buildings are arch-rivals, but feuding has subsided somewhat in recent years. Ask about the fish-in-dryer incident.