Date: Thu, 28 Aug 1997 09:09:57 -0400 From: Jesse T Sheidlower Subject: Re: Rat=Freshman; Football Terms > > RAT=FRESHMAN > > Perhaps VMI didn't start this. This is from Scholastic Magazine, Oct. > 26-31, 1942, pg. 32, col. 2: > > If Richmond beats William and Mary, freshmen may abandon their "rat > caps" for the rest of the year. Then again, perhaps it did: 1863 in Stanard Letters 9: I felt quite lonesome, there being only a few Rats left as a guard. [in reference to VMI] And in what appears to the the 'freshman' sense, OED2 has an example from 1850 in Louisiana. Jesse Sheidlower