A freshman, fresher, fish, or frosh is a first-year student in an educational institution. The term "first year" can also be used as a noun, to describe the students themselves (e.x. "They are first years").

United States

In recent years, "first year" has gained popularity as a result of its more descriptive name and gender-neutral language. However, "freshman" is commonly in use as a US English idiomatic term to describe a beginner or novice, someone who is naive, a first effort, instance, or a student in the first year of study (generally referring to high school or university study). New members of Congress in their first term are referred to as "freshman senators" or "freshman congressman" to suggest their lack of experience at their new position, no matter how experienced they were in previous business of government positionscite web | author=Office of the Registrar | year=2006 | title=Glossary of Reporting Terms | url= | work= [ University of Wisconsin-Madison] | accessdate=12 August | accessyear=2007] .

United Kingdom

The term "first year" is commonly used in the British education system, although in schools it is no longer in official usage. In England and Wales a student's school career (not including pre-school nursery education) now begins with Reception, usually at the age of four, and continues up to either Year 11 or Year 13 depending on whether the student is going on to higher education. However, in informal usage the term "first year" is still very common. In Northern Ireland and Scotland, the first year of compulsory education is Primary 1 (P1).

Before the introduction of the "Year [number] " system around the early 1990s, the first year or "first form" almost always referred to the first year of secondary education.

In Scotland, the first year of secondary school is known as "S1" and also "first year". In Northern Ireland, the first year is known as either "Form 1", "First Form" or "Year 7".

In UK universities, first-year students are also referred to as "freshers", although not "freshmen" or "freshwomen".


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  • freshman — [fresh′mən] n. pl. freshmen [fresh′mən] [ FRESH1 + MAN] 1. a beginner; novice 2. a student in the first year of college or the ninth grade in high school ☆ 3. a person in the first year, term, etc. of some enterprise [a freshman in Congress] …   English World dictionary

  • Freshman — Fresh man, n.; pl. {Freshmen}. A novice; one in the rudiments of knowledge; especially, a student during his first year in a high school, college, or university. Syn: frosh. [1913 Webster] He drank his glass and cracked his joke, And freshmen… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Freshman — ist die Bezeichnung für: Studenten des ersten Jahres (also 1. und 2. Semesters) an einem US amerikanischen College. Schüler der 9. Klasse in den USA, also der ersten Klasse an einer High School. eine 1989 gedrehte Filmkomödie mit Matthew… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • freshman — index amateur, neophyte, novice Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • freshman — mid 16c., newcomer, novice, from FRESH (Cf. fresh) (1) + MAN (Cf. man) (n.). Sense of university student in first year is attested from 1590s. Related: Freshmen …   Etymology dictionary

  • freshman — [n] first year student beginner, frosh*, greenhorn, novice, rookie, underclassman, undergrad*, undergraduate; concept 348 …   New thesaurus

  • freshman — ► NOUN ▪ a first year student at university or (N. Amer. ) at high school …   English terms dictionary

  • freshman 15 — n. The number of pounds that many students gain in their first year of college; the often observed phenomenon of weight gain among first year college students. Also: Freshman 15, Freshman Fifteen. Example Citations: Yolanda Davis heard about the… …   New words

  • freshman — freshmanship, n. /fresh meuhn/, n., pl. freshmen, adj. n. 1. a student in the first year of the course at a university, college, or high school. 2. a novice; beginner. adj. 3. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a freshman: to outgrow one s… …   Universalium

  • freshman — noun Freshman is used before these nouns: ↑Congressman, Congresswoman, ↑enrolment, ↑seminar, ↑year Freshman is used after these nouns: ↑college, ↑high school …   Collocations dictionary

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