EtymologyFrom oppidum, "town."
- Of or pertaining to a town or conurbation.
- 1843, George Calvert Holland, The Vital Statistics of Sheffield http://books.google.com/books?id=57kHAAAAQAAJ, page 106:
- ... calculating the portions of the population, which are purely oppidan, suburban and rural, separately, ...
- 1982, Ion Miclea and Corneliu Bucur, An Ages-old Civilization http://books.google.com/books?id=QkwvAAAAMAAJ:
- In terms of socio-economic impact, it appears that the water mill was an oppidan development in the Roman possessions, including Dacia.
- 1984, Gerald Cornelius Monsman, Confessions of a Prosaic Dreamer: Charles Lamb's art of autobiography http://books.google.com/books?id=hd5rK-fXdM4C, ISBN 0822305968, page 78:
- The beggar whom Elia encounters... is an oppidan caricature of the old man in “Witches” who was conjured up in the demonic vision, a dark, irrational double that overwhelms and destroys innocence.
- rare obsolete A
- 1856, John Wade, England's Greatness http://books.google.com/books?id=KqguAAAAMAAJ, page 496:
- But money is all-potent, and wealthy oppidans soon found means to elbow the aristocracy in their choicest assemblies.
- A class of student in traditional English public
schools such as Eton; opposed to
colleger or King's
- 1983, Bridget Boland and Muriel St. Clare Byrne, The Lisle Letters http://books.google.com/books?id=WWeZogmqYooC, ISBN 0226088006, page 96:
- ... might conceivably imply that he did not live, as the custom had been for such boys, in the Abbot's own house, but lodged in the town of Winchester and perhaps attended the College as an oppidan, or townsman.
A King's Scholar is a scholar of Eton College, who has passed the College Election examination and is therefore admitted into a house, College, which is the oldest Eton house and comprised solely of King's Scholars. There are, at any one time, around 70 King's Scholars, and they are distinguished by the black gown which they wear. The other pupils at the school, more than 1200 of them, all boys, are known as Oppidans.
This gown is said to be the basis of the nickname "Tugs", from the Latin "gens togata", i.e. "toga'd people", although this particular slice of Eton argot has become less commonly heard in recent years.
As there are 70 King's Scholars, and they are in College for five years, approximately 14 are admitted per year (a "block" in Eton argot), and share every aspect of school life with the Oppidans (or Etonians who have entered Eton via Common Entrance), including lessons and school sport. They also have the privileged position of eating all their meals in College Hall, the old central hub of the school which has seen many distinguished diners in its long history including Elizabeth I. One other difference is that Collegers usually play the wall game in the winter term for the full five years, while Oppidans tend only to play it in their last year.
They also live in the central area of the school off School Yard, the fulcrum around which the school revolves, where both Eton College Chapel and Lupton's Tower are situated. The boarding house in which Collegers live includes New Buildings and Chamber. Chamber, the older section, includes rooms which look out onto School Yard, while New Buildings is on the reverse side and contains the majority of the boys' living spaces.
King's Scholars have the letters KS attached to their surnames in the school lists. Oppidans who have distinguished themselves academically are called Oppidan Scholars — they receive no financial benefit, but have OS attached to their surnames in the school lists.
King's Scholars at King's College CambridgeThe term King's Scholar is also used for those who obtain firsts at King's College Cambridge, who receive a small prize. This is a historical hang-over from scholarships endowed by the college's founder. (King's College Cambridge and Eton College were both founded by Henry VI, and are sister colleges.) At King's it is rumoured that the right to use K.S. after a name is a privilege of King's Scholars, but the legal status of this is not clear.
The term King's Scholar is also used for scholars at Kings School Canterbury.
Famous ex-King's Scholars
- Lewis Gielgud, intelligence officer and Red Cross worker
- Harold Macmillan (later 1st Earl of Stockton)
- Boris Johnson MP, Mayor of London
- Eric Arthur Blair (pen name George Orwell)
- Aldous Huxley
- Douglas Hurd (Baron Hurd of Westwell)
- John Maynard Keynes
- Sir Robert Walpole
- Lord Hailsham
- Michael Beloff (Barrister)
- Julian Huxley
- Alfred Ayer
- J. B. S. Haldane
- Peter Warlock (composer)
- Richard Porson
- Cyril Connolly
- Cuthbert Ottaway (first England soccer captain and all-round athlete)
- Martin Taylor (businessman)
- James Arbuthnot (politician)
- Jamie Borwick, Lord Borwick, industrialist
- Charles Moore (Journalist)
- Noel Malcolm (writer)
- Pico Iyer (novelist)
- Arthur Rhys Davids D.S.O., M.C. With bar.(First World War flying ace)
- Ralph Dominic Gamble M.C. (Army Officer)
- Robin Milner FRS (Computer scientist)
- John Paul Morrison (Inventor/discoverer of Flow-based programming)
- James Kenneth Stephen (Poet and suspect in the Jack the Ripper case)
- Stephen Wolfram (creator of Mathematica)
- Robert Armstrong, Baron Armstrong of Ilminster (originator of 'economical with the truth')
- Ferdinand Mount (journalist)
- Timothy Gowers (Fields Medal-winning mathematician)