The City (noun)
/the 'si-te/ rhymes with "pity"
Definition: phrase referring to New York City located in the state of New York
Attested: I first heard this phrase used in August 1999 by people in my dormitory who live in or near New York City and always refer to the area as "The City".
Example: When I went home for Winter break my friends and I went to a club in "The City".
Etymology: For the most part, only people who live in or near New York or New Jersey refer to New York City as "The City". Other parts of the country do not use this phrase to describe New York City because it is not the largest or most important city near them. I personally live in Massachusetts and the most important city near me is Boston and we donĚt refer to it as "The City". My friends and I would never refer to New York City as "The City" because it is not a place we speak of on a consistent basis and we also don't usually like or have in interest in the people there or in New York City itself.
- Lindsey R. McIntyre
trâing; rhymes with "praying" and "fraying"
Definition: sliding down Libe Slope when it is covered with snow, on a tray from one of the Cornell Dining Facilities.
Attested: I first came across this term in an AIM message from a friend of mine. It was January 23, 2000, a day when there was plenty of snow on the ground, and he invited me to go join him and a bunch of other people at Libe Slope for a great time of fun and excitement. I was a bit uneasy about doing this, but he convinced me to make use of all the snow that had fallen.
Example: "Hey, let's go eat at the Ivy Room for lunch today, so that we can take the trays from there and go traying for the rest of the afternoon. It'll be a blast!"
Etymology: This athletic term is unique to Cornell University because it is the only university which contains Libe Slope, a rather steep and annoying hill that the students from West Campus must climb up to get to class on a daily basis. Cornell University also has the most atrocious of winters: wind chills twenty to thirty degrees below zero, non-stop snowfall, heavy sleet, and below zero temperatures. Combining the precipitous hill with colossal amounts of snow, traying is a must-do activity at Cornell. It has been said that in order to get the real experience at Cornell, every student must have trayed" down Libe Slope at least once during his or her stay. Students who were drinking soup in a dining hall trying to warm up their bodies from being exposed to the falling snowflakes and whistling winds outside probably originated this word. While staring at the trays in front of them, these students were probably bored and wondered what to do. Not thinking too clearly about anything because their brains were probably frozen, these students accidentally walked out of the dining hall with their trays. As they were walking back to West Campus, they stopped at the top of Libe Slope to put on their gloves, hats, scarves, and ear muffs that one of the students dropped the tray they were carrying. The tray slid all the way down Libe Slope and how a world of excitement opened up for them. They decided to go sledding down Libe Slope! But how does one go sledding without a sled? These students improvised a bit and went sledding down on the trays. Place the tray on the snow at the top of the hill, sit down on the tray, give a little push, and hold on tight. What a rush and oh, so much fun! They would walk up Libe Slope again and repeat the process. This activity became so enjoyable that the students told more and more students. Soon enough, sliding down Libe Slope on trays became "traying."
- Heather Wang
tra-ing; rhymes with "braying"
Definition: Sledding on a tray taken from one of Cornell's dining halls.
Attested: I first heard this term used by a Cornell tour guide when I visited in the summer of 1998.
Example: "Let's steal some trays from Jansen's and go traying on Libe slope."
Etymology: I have not heard this term used anywhere but Cornell. The tradition of traying seems to of arisen from a lack of real sleds. Stealing a tray from Oakenshields (Cornell's dining hall at the top of the hill traditionally used for traying) and sledding down the hill must of seemed like a good way to get home to some student. The word itself is simply a substitution-instead of using a sled to go sledding, you use a tray-therefore it is traying.
- Sarah Plowright