- Cargo and personal items dropped from an airplane. Morale booster for winterovers.
- Where all the telescopes live.
- Those geeky, demanding science folks.
- Blue Building
- Big, blue prefabricated buildings that are cropping up all over the place at Pole (and
at the Astro site). Supposedly, very cozy.
- When the (anti-Santa?) airdrops care packages in mid-winter.
- The center of activity at Pole. Kitchen, communications, pool room, living quarters for
the winterovers, etc. are all located in a single structure that resembles an ice-age
- Dome Slugs
- Those who live and work in the central Dome at Pole, and can therefore trade their
parkas for t-shirts most of the time.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables, either from the local hydroponic garden or the outside
world (relatively rare, esp. for winterovers).
- Ham Patch
- Popular ham-radio phone patches to the States.
- Storm, as in, sorry, no flights.
- House Mouse
- Helping out around the kitchen.
- Metaphysical South Pole
- A McMurdo landmark and bus stop. Please keep off the grass.
- Race around the World
- Popular race around the Pole marker on Dec. 25, with t-shirts to match.
- Summer Camp
- Where tent-dwellers can fashion their own "room" out of left-over navy
blankets. Savy residents know to keep an empty bottle under the bed.
- Sunday Science Lecture
- A show-and-tell tradition, with a captive audience.
- "The Thing"
- Great paranoia flick to see on the Ice. The older version features great beaker lines
like "science is more important than life". John Carpenter version boasts cool
special effects and more flame throwers per capita than are actually to be found at Pole.
- As in, degrees Fahrenheit. Roll naked outside, then hit the sauna.
- Burned out. Get me outta here.
- Those who spend the long, dark winter at Pole. There are currently about 30 winterovers,
who stay from February thru to October. No planes can land.
Some more (mostly McMurdo) terms from a Nature article are below...
(From Nature , March 28, 1991)
Talk like a Beaker
Antarctic researchers, like any isolated group, have developed their own home-brewed
vocabulary, for all the usual reasons as well as to spot the 'fingies' (see below). The
derivations of the following Antarctic idioms are speculative at best, and their meanings
tend to change somewhat with time, but the list can be considered relatively up to date.
- Scientist (as opposed to support personnel).
- Black Tie
- No NSF-issue red clothes.
- [Unprintable] New Guy on Ice, FNGI.
- The Ice
- Hey, It's a Harsh Continent
- Stop Griping
- Unpopular NSF-issue flotation coat with flaps that button-up between the legs
- Antarctic 10
- A person of the opposite sex who might be considered a "5" elsewhere.
- Bunny Boots
- Huge inflatable boots that are reported to explode on airplanes if not deflated.
- Frozen chicken, an Antarctic staple.
- Frozen hamburgers, another Antarctic staple.
- Chicken Cookies
- Frozen chicken patties, sometimes mistaken momentarily for dessert.
- Chinese Landing
- A phonetic pun, based on the unusual aircraft angle when landing in stiff Antarctic
cross winds: one wing low.
- Hollywood Shower
- A Navy term, derisively used to describe showers of longer than the alloted two minutes
- Bag Drag
- The routine of carrying one's NSF-issue bag of plar clothing to the airstrip, only to
find that the notoriously unpredictable Antarctic weather has once again halted all
flights for 24 hours.
- Country Mice
- Scientists and their assistants who get to travel to camps around Antarctica.
- City Mice
- Support personnel whose duties force them to remain at McMurdo Station.
- House Mice
- Personnel on periodic janitorial duty.