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It's Cool Being Cool on Campus, Survey Shows

March 12, 1986|United Press International

SAN FRANCISCO — A survey of current slang on college campuses finds that the top accolades include cool, chill or chilly, although froody and hondo also get high marks at some schools.

Other compliments include fresh, hot and key, as well as the more familiar awesome, hip, wicked, bad and bitchin'.

At the University of Rochester in New York, a warmly regarded person is referred to as expired, as in "That guy is death."

At Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., a cool guy is ochin hip, ochin being the phonetic translation of the Russian word for "very."

The recent poll of affirmative slang was conducted at 17 colleges around the country for Levi Strauss & Co., the jeans maker, as part of a marketing survey that also included questions about fashions.

About 6,500 students responded at campus kiosks equipped with video monitors containing the survey questions. The survey was weighted to take joking and untruthful responses into account.

Going Beyond Cool

Rochester students came up with hondo to describe someone who is very attractive. "If a guy is better than cool, you say, 'He's really hondo' " a female student said.

The New York campus also favored frood and froody as superlative compliments, as in "She's a frood," and "He's really froody." The words come from the science-fiction novel, "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

Students were also asked to rate their favorite leisure activities from a list of 18 choices. Partying got the highest vote, with 70% of the students naming it the most popular campus event.

Runners-up Favorites

Next came listening to records, sleeping, going to movies, eating, dating, dancing, video games, watching soap operas, playing Frisbee, running and watching music videos.

Women favored dancing far more than did men (53% to 32%). The female students also gave higher marks to soap opera viewing (51% to 25%) and to eating (63% to 46%).

Southern students prefer soap operas more than their counterparts do in the rest of the country, 44% to 32%, and they gave dating a much higher rating than did students in the West, 56% to 34.%

Edward Keller of ASK Associates of New York conducted the poll in conjunction with Newsweek magazine.

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