Teachers Are Opening Up About Their Schools’ Cringiest Lingo

Like any profession, educators have their own language. And like any language, eduspeak has its own buzzwords, terms, and catchphrases that teachers can’t stand. In a Reddit post started by user dw1210, teachers have begun opening up about the silliest, cringiest lingo at their school.

What makes a term “cringey”?

When it comes to the descriptor “cringey”—an adjective meaning to cause acute feelings of embarrassment or awkwardness—it can be difficult to explain why a term has this effect. However, when it comes to school terminology, there are a few recurring reasons teachers might flinch when they hear a new (or commonly used) term at school.

The term might:

Often, principals and administrators decide on new terms without getting feedback from faculty. While this is understandable due to time constraints, it’s also understandable why a decision made in a small group might sound silly or not well thought-out when presented to a group of people with a wider range of experiences and knowledge.

Let’s take a look at what teachers are sharing as their school’s cringiest lingo:


“My school calls a Chromebook a ‘Chromie’ 🤮” —dw1210


“Students are ‘scholars.’” —dave78792000

Couglets and Head Cougar

“Okay, the mascot is a Cougar, the freshmen are ‘Couglets’ and the female principal doesn’t like being called The Head Cougar for some reason 🤔” —savemysoul72

It’s Cougar Time

“A school I used to work at had a very dumb 20-minute homeroom/tutor thing called ‘Cougar Time.’” —DangerousDesigner734

The Curiosity Center

“Our library is called ‘the curiosity center,’ our cafeteria is called ‘the connections cafe’ …” —MildMooseMeetingHus


“Retired college teacher here. Management at my college once wanted staff and faculty to start calling students ‘clients.’ Faculty laughed and ignored it. Time passed, and another stupid ‘new initiative’ went down the memory hole.” —WilliamTindale8

Family matters

“‘Family.’ We are ‘a family.’ The students, the staff, the parents. Everyone.” —Mountain-Ad-5384

Ramily matters

“Our mascot is a ram. They call us a ‘Ramily’ and all our PDs are called ‘Ram Camps.’” —ConsistentTune4406

Restore at the door

“‘Restore at the door’ = ‘do anything except send a rude disrespectful kid to admin.’” —ADHTeacher

Extended constructed response

“This is a state one, but I HATE calling an essay an extended constructed response. Are we trying to make things more confusing for students?” —InterestingPoint6

Mandatory after-school study session

“Detention is ‘mandatory after-school study session.’ Several of us have brought up that this equates studying with punishment, but they ‘haven’t found a better term yet,’ since detention has ‘negative connotations.’” —bencass

Blue point drill

“Sometime in the last few years, they changed ‘active shooter drill’ to ‘blue point drill.’ I hate this so much because I feel like by calling it ‘blue point’ instead of what it actually is waters down the severity of the situation at hand. So after ‘school shooting’ became more common, their choice was to change the name so it scares less kids. How about actually working towards STOPPING bullying and stuff like that that actually causes shootings? Goodness gracious. This is coming from a 10th grader btw I am NOT a teacher, I just like to observe this sub.” —Accomplished-Fall823

Lady ganders

“My high school mascot was a gander and all of the girl sports teams were called ‘Lady Ganders’ and it drove me crazy that they weren’t called geese.” —Pitterpatter35

Power walks and power zones

“Observations are renamed ‘power walks,’ and monitoring students by walking around is called the ‘power zone.’ I absolutely despise this practice. Some educational researcher renames a word that we already have in order to sell their program. Miss me.” —KingFlameFuoco

Pirate principal

“We’re the pirates and my principal leads every email with ‘ahoy me hearties’ and also refers to us as the ‘Krewe.’ Completely without irony.” —lnsewn12

Guest educators

“The district I used to work for calls subs ‘guest educators.’ I don’t know why we couldn’t just call them ‘subs’ like every other district around us does.” —shab00dle

Navigating the ever-evolving landscape of school terminology can be a challenge for educators. While language is dynamic and constantly evolving, some terms inevitably fall into the cringe realm. Whether it’s buzzwords that lack substance or clichéd phrases that have lost their impact, principals have the ability to foster more genuine and effective communication. By staying mindful of language choices, running new choices through a “focus group,” and prioritizing authenticity, those in charge can create a curiosity center—sorry, a school—where meaningful dialogue thrives.

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