Home | Store | About | Progress | TNP | Videos | Visit | Links Main Menu TMRC Store About TMRC Progress About the TNP Videos Visit the Clubroom Links
Dictionary

Abridged Dictionary of the TMRC Language

The words defined in this dictionary are the property of the Tech Model Railroad Club of M.I.T. and all rights to use and define these words are strictly reserved.

This dictionary is derived from one originally written in 1959 by Pete Samson. It was put on the net by Mark Stiles who added some entries. The online version was improved by contributions of several others, including Larry Allen, Richard Polis, Joe Onorato, Mike Patton, and others. Then this Web version was converted by Mike Patton. Finally it was converted yet again by Steve Weiss. Please send any comments, suggestions, or additions to the TMRC WWW team.

The original 1959 and 1960 editions of the TMRC dictionary are available online at Pete Samson's web page.


Aaron Burr, The
TNP crack(ed) express passenger train. Denoted by zorch.
Abandon MITCo Now
cry of friction fans as opposed to traction fans.
Acquistion
a means of getting something for nothing. There are many of these:
Acquistion A
you dials your number, and you gets your/his train.
Acquistion B
you dials your number, and you gets the Outside Line.
Acquistion C, D, etc.
see an ancient FOB (vol. IV, no. 3).
Adjusting Tool
when in doubt, use a larger hammer.
Administraton
1) Government typesetter's error; 2) Quantum particle of bureaucracy.
Advance
that which if you don't have, you stop until you have.
AFROTC
not to be confused with a FROTSUS.
ARRC
(pronounced: Arrgh!) the Automatic Railroad Runner Computer in the same ancient FOB. (See also Kotok's Calamity.)
A.S.A.P.
as soon as possible.
Auto-play
(spider term) "Many hands make light work" ala TMRC.
Bag Biting
a moby lossage.
Bag Byting
using the TMRC PDP-11.
Bassex and Rowrfolk Counties Railway and Steam Navigation Company
1) is dead; 2) was a spectacularly large test track.
Benedict Arnold, The
counterpart to the Aaron Burr. As prompt as it is patriotic.
Blinking Sickness
a malady of the Old System. Signalled by a great thrashing of relays. Suppressed by "Reverse twice, call on, and go!".
Blocks 32, 33, and 34
at once subterranean, subaqueous, and sub-etheric. See Subway.
Blurb
public enlightenment.
Box
1) a group of small cardboard boxes under the layout, labelled from A1 to BB6 bearing electrical refuse; 2) a larger wooden enclosure, under the east end of the Tower, labelled with railroad heralds, bearing member's goodies.
Bridge
1) a span between two points not directly connected by ground; 2) a card game played in three phases: 1. bidding 2. play 3. recrimination.
Broderick
a station on the TNP. See Freddy.
Bunky
1) that or he who is ridden; 2) a small wheeled cart for moving about under the layout. The prototype had 5 wheels.
Burns, Prof. S.K.
The Club's fa(c)ulty advisor.
Bylaws
articles of governing literature at TMRC.
Cabeese
defined plural of caboose.
Capable of Sustained Flight
try it and see.
Change Machine
1) see that old FOB under "Changed Fund"; 2) a former service of SNB&TCo; 3) a large green box hanging on the wall, which does not give change (directly).
Clod
beneath our feet.
Coca-Cola
1) sine qua non 2) subject of discussion and confusion, mostly consumption.
Coca-Cooler
a cooler for Coca-Cola.
Coca-Coolie
a coolie for the Coca-Cola Company.
Coke Fund
abolished June 2, 1959. Replaced by Emergency Fund and Coke Machine Fund.
Coke Machine
large red and white object that dispenses goodness of various flavors (in both senses).
Coke Machine Fund
a demonstration of the Club's railroading talent: an example of Machine legislation; replaced by the PCMF, another example thereof.
Comm.
short for COMMITTEE, or red tape.
Committee
long for COMM..
Constitution
1) governing article. 2) (capitalized) Historic memoribilia and tourist trap near City Square, Charlestown.
Constraint
restraint. See KOTOK.
Coolie
one who does menial labor; always in demand.
Crawl-Away
should have.
Crock
1) a KLUDGE that doesn't work; 2) something which fails the purpose of its design from the moment of its conception on; 3) something which by normal or accelerated decay is utterly worthless; 4) the typical TMRC undergraduate bridge player.
Crud
cruft.
Cruft
1) a naturally occurring phenomenon at TMRC; 2) that rubbish which accumulates around the Clubroom; attacking it with a broom only produces more.
Cupboard
a drawer with a door.
Data General
home for wayward DEC members; sometimes appearing with INC., as the opposite of DEC.
Deburr
preventitive maintenence for the Aaron Burr.
DEC
1) home for wayward TMRC members; 2) a DEC PDP-11 decrement instruction 3) kind, gracious benefactor to us all.
Dike
to attack with dikes (diagonal cutting pliers).
Disaster
common occurrence at operation sessions.
Dismal
1) without steam; 2) the weather in Boston.
Dispatcher
Controls the routing of trains. Also called Little God. See crock.
Doorbell
A way of determining if someone is at the first-floor door. Usually doesn't work. Last one who can be proven to have entered the Clubroom must answer. Named "Roger Doxsey Memorial Doorbell" by Club motion on January 27, 1973.
Doxsey Spider
1) hairy eight-legged beast with nickel-silver legs living in block 31; 2) a version of Spider played on a two-by-four (on the two inch side).
Drawer
1) that in the Desk which holds miscellany; 2) those all over the place that hold members' equipment.
dt
time/infinity.
EAMOTFOSMIC
Elections And Motions Other Than Frowns Or Smiles Mentioned in Constitution. See Article 8 of the Bylaws.
Eccles' Hack
See Blinking Sickness. Eccles installed it, graduated, and will deny all knowledge of it.
Eclipse
darkens the sky and frightens the natives.
Emergency Fund
1) that which until June 2, 1959 was known colloquially as the Coke Fund; 2) that which after June 2, 1959, gains some obscure function of the profits from the Coke Machine.
Entripoppity
short for entropy, or inverse neatness. Is to be conserved at all cost.
Epoxy Journal
train with no conductor.
Ergo
therefore. E.g. the System: "Cogito ergo sum."
Exclusion
that which doesn't.
False Occupancy
false indication of real train or true indication of false train.
Fanta
short for "Fantastic Acid". Comes in several flavors.
Farzies
(pronounced FAH ZEES) A game played with Coke bottles.
Flavor
1) type (e.g. "What flavor of power does this kludge want?");
2) extreme goodness.
FOB, or Full Of Bull
The Club's newsletter (of sorts). Just as the name implies, we have to give them away. Always worth the purchase price.
Folly I
the first of a series of refrigeration devices.
Folly II
the second in a series of refrigeration devices.
Foo
the sacred syllable (FOO MANI PADME HUM); to be spoken only when under obligation to commune with the Deity. Our first obligation is to keep the Foo Counters turning.
Frazier Award, H. Clark
The Club's highest award.
Freddy
1) first name of Freddy Broderick, mentor of the club who lived in the basement of building 10 in years past; 2) a unit of electrical goodies, semi-infinite in extent.
Friodes
reversible diodes.
Frob
a protruding arm or trunnion.
Frotsus
See FROB. See also AFROTC.
Frown
a fall from the official faces.
Full Of Bull
see FOB.
Function of, a
post hoc, ergo propter hoc.
Fuse Alarm
a buzzer which goes off indicating a fuse is blown. Do not ignore or disconnect.
Gifford
the Club's first advisor.
General Operating Rules and Qualification Program
"Members whose duties are prescribed by these rules must provide themselves with a copy."
Government
1) the aglomeration of Officers. 2) a signed piece of paper associating names and duty numbers, as listed in the Constitution.
Governors
those who don't.
G.P.'s
general principles.
Grand Fils du Carton Noir
the grandson of the black box.
Green's Theorem
for any story, in any group of people there will be at least one person who has not heard the story. Mention of Green's Theorem is usually an example thereof.
Gronk
to cut, sever, smash, or similarly disable. Gronking parties are held at random intervals.
Gronkee
something which gets gronked.
Gronker
something which gronks, also any of the Club's tools.
Grumph
expression of mild disgust. Can be produced with a Queen of Spades.
Grunge
1) that which fills the Cambridge atmosphere; 2) to fill the Cambridge atmosphere.
Gunch
to push, prod, or poke at a device which has almost produced the desired result. Implies a threat to mung.
Hack
1) an article or project without constructive end; 2) work undertaken on bad self-advice; 3) an entropy booster; 4) to produce, or attempt to produce, a hack (3).
Hacker
one who hacks, or makes them.
Hair
complication without end. Gives "hairy" or utterly deep.
Hearts
another card game with three phases: 1. the pass 2. the play 3. the lament ("I got scrod!")
HNO3
nitric acid.
HOn3
three foot narrow gauge in HO scale.
HOn8
rewrite of HOn3.
I.E.
means i.e.
JOTTO
a guessing game of skill. Try "crwth" and see what happens.
Killianport
a station on the TNP made uninsurable by flying Budd cars. A hack on Killian Court.
Kludge
a crock that works.
Kotok
1) hereditary treasurer; 2) the ALAN KOTOK AWARD FOR FISCAL CONSTRAINT; 3) astronomical unit of refrigeration.
Kotok's Calamity
disaster which "be fell" the ARRC, clearing the way for the Windshield Wiper.
Kotok's Folly
see FOLLY I and FOLLY II.
LER
light emitting resistor. Ohm's law was broken.
Lose
to not succeed; to not win. To miss one's station. To not get advance. To get into someone else's advance.
Loser
chronically succumbs to Domine non sum dignus.
Magnetic Storm
magically amputates trains in two, or three, or ....
Ma Roto
amazing automation. Public enemy number one.
MBTA
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
Meeces
occasional furry visitors who are not urchins.
MITCo
transit (sic).
Minus
predecessor of ZERO.
Moby
universal adjective.
Mount Fungus Timber Company
1) has operating right over TNP track 2) operates all non-standard equipment.
MTA
the Metropolitan Transit Authority.
MTBA
Mean time between accidents.
Multiflush
stop-all-trains-button. Next best thing to the red door button. Also called FOO. Displays "FOO" on the clock when used.
Multischlunker
changes bei Eisenbahn into marsch, und schnell!
MUNG
recursive acronym, Mung Until No Good.
Murphy's Laws
  1. If something can go wrong in a (the) system, it will.
  2. There is always something to go wrong.
  3. When things go wrong, they do so in the manner that yields the most difficulty.
Nova
bursts from obscurity into blinding brilliance, then disappears into even greater obscurity.
Occupancy
indication of presence of a train. See FALSE OCCUPANCY.
Officer
  1. head of a committee (usually of one).
  2. person responsible for listed duties in the Constitution
  3. one who is officially in charge.
  4. (capitalized) member of the local constabulary.
  5. co-signer of government
Old System
system which preceded the new system. Famous for its infirmities, among them the blinking sickness.
Open House
pleases the Institute, sells lots of Coke, and occassionally has trains moving.
Operating Session
12 members versus 1200 relays.
Operators versus Hackers.
The Dispatcher versus the World.
Outside Line
formerly the line to East Campus, has been perverted in recent years to mean the Institute Extension.
PCF
Pseudo Computer Fund. Useful for buying parts for our Pseudo Computer.
PCMF
Pseudo Coke Machine Fund. Where the Pseudo Coke Profits go. See Coke Machine Fund.
Pessimal
the worst possible result. Opposite of optimal.
Pile
a vile of which is usually referred to.
Plywood Womb
(archaic). See WOMB BOX.
Principle of Maximum Inconvenience
Murphy's Third Law.
Psiton
elementary particle carrying the sinister force. These particles emerge from the eyes of espectators, and even remote and future viewers (therefore, the number of psitons out of a video camera can be huge!). Since psitons carry the sinister force, then:

The probability of success of an action/demonstration is inversibly proportional to the number of psitons falling on it.
Punt
  1. small boat with flat ends.
  2. Spider move of last resort.
Reverse Twice, Call On, and Go
universal pallative for illnesses of the Old System.
Rule G
liberation (pun).
Samson
Peter Samson, former member, perpetrator of the original Dictionary of the TMRC Language.
S-Board
A Greenblatt product for better living. See KLUDGE. The Greenblatt S-Board was replaced by a computer driven one by Patton in the last hours before an open house, when the old one failed finally and catastrophically.
Scale Time
measured by the clocks on the D-Board and Coca-Bubblie. Ten times faster than real time.
Scalps
woven into the block forest by elves.
Scrounge
1) to search for, or find, equipment previously without a good home; 2) to acquire; 3) one who scrounges; 4) function of TMRC.
Scrounge Cart
a battlewagon used to cart back booty. Often part and parcel of the booty.
SED
smoke emitting diode. A friode that lost the war.
Sixty-Nine
reset to zero.
Smile
rarely given, almost never deserved.
Snarf
to grab something spontaneously or without permission.
SNB&TCo
an institution serving TMRC members for many years.
Spider
solitaire extraordinaire. For 2 or more persons. See also DOXSEY SPIDER.
Subway
Blocks 32, 33, and 34. A convenient way to make a train disappear.
Supervisor to Worker Ratio
approaches positive infinity.
System, The
unnecessary; after all, we could all make model airplanes.
S&P
source of signals? and power?.
Tarantula
hairy spider.
Temporary Committee
TMRC's only permanent sitting committee.
Three Hole Punt
dying gasp. See Punt.
TMRC
The Midnight Requisitioning Committee. Other known alias: Tech Model Railroad Club.
TMRC Standard Time
five minutes ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
TMRC Standard Tool Butter
all tools at TMRC are made from this losing material.
TNP
Tech Nickel Plate Railroad.
Tool
1) to set one's brain to the grindstone; 2) a human edge; 3) implements for work that don't.
Track-Cleaning Car
another Greenblatt product for better living. See KLUDGE.
Tucker, Carleton
our second faculty advisor.
Two Hole Punt
act of desperation. See PUNT.
Urchin
chief product of Cambridge and our Nation's first line of defense. Also our Nation's first line of offense.
Verzuh
1) a mythical place under the mountain; 2) Professor who built the Whirlwind computer.
WECo
source of electrical goodies.
WECo Card
scrap paper regularly mailed to us by WECo.
Whale
a large hill, thoughtfully provided by Nature to separate Berkmannville from Sawyer Junction. Collapsed in earthquake of 1974.
Win
opposite of lose.
Window Siding
1) true test of locomotive mettle. 2) ramp on which rolling properties of cuts of cars are often tested.
Windshield Wiper
ask JEM about plunger line switches.
Winner
one or something that wins; very rare at TMRC.
Womb Box
from PLYWOOD WOMB. Storage space for equipment.
Zero
1) a turkey; 2) one whose sum total is zero.
Zorch
1) to attack with an inverse heat sink; 2) to travel, v approaching c.
9TH, The
a level of communication attained most eminently by L. van Beethoven.

TMRC Standard Units

these units are on par with the farad for capacitance, i.e. they are so incredibly large that they are almost never achieved.
Allen
the unit of pessim.
Augean
the unit of B.S. Equivalent to 30,000 Bull Years.
Bennett
the unit of overdesign. Measured in capacitor clamps.
Blatt
the unit of GREENBLATT.
Comuzzi
the unit of crockitude. Alternate spelling Confusi.
Doxsey
the unit of sarcasm.
Eggers
the unit of parsimony.
Emery
the unit of miss-spent energies. Equals one if all energy wasted. Approaches two at TMRC.
Freddy
a unit of electrical goodies.
Gorin
a unit of raucous noise.
Herbie
a unit of scrap germanium.
Kotok
the unit of refrigeration.
Kotok Points
the unit of coke bottle collection.
Nelson
a unit of hackery.
Patton
the unit of delay.
Purbrick
the unit of over-construction.
Russell
the unit of trivia.


Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT
MIT Room N52-118
265 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

+1 617 253-3269
x3-3269 (on campus)
Email: tmrc-web@mit.edu
Generated Tue Jul 22 07:21:18 2014
in 0.0 secs