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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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What’s your wildcat?

Students+demonstrate+the+four+fightin+Texas+Aggie+Wildcats
Photo by Photo Illustration by: Vanessa Peña

Students demonstrate the four fightin Texas Aggie Wildcats

Wildcats are expressions that identify class pride. They originated back in Old Army and are used to identify oneself as a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior. Students are prompted to say their wildcat after yells, after hearing their class year, while introducing themselves with the howdy greeting or when something exciting happens. Students who add a lot of enthusiasm to their wildcat are considered to be “redass,” while those who do not are considered “two percenters.” It is considered “bad bull” to “pull out” — or say a wildcat that is above your class year. For underclassmen, if you are “redass” and draw enough attention to yourself, upperclassmen can give you junior or senior privileges to do their wildcat. These expressions are called wildcats based on a story that took place in Old Army when there was a wildcat problem on campus.

When to wildcat: “Students usually wildcat at the end of yells or when they hear their class year. Since juniors and seniors have the privilege of ‘whooping,’ they try to exercise that right as often as possible and will often just ‘whoop’ when something exciting happens.” – Zachary Lawrence, psychology senior and Head Yell Leader

“It’s okay to do the freshman wildcat, even if you’re telling everyone in the room that you’re a freshman. Eventually you’ll get to a different class, and you realize that that’s how you associate with your class. You and every other [person in your] class year have that in common.” – Courtney Shuttlesworth, literature senior and Aggie Orientation Leadership Program family track coordinator

Freshman wildcat

‘AAAAAAAAAA’

How:

“The freshman wildcat involves extending your arms straight up and yelling out a long ‘aaa’ like we do during football games.”

– Zachary Lawrence

Why:

“Back in Old Army — and Old Army is a term we use when we don’t know exactly when — there was a wildcat problem on campus, and the cadets figured they were going to do something about it. So one of the freshmen wanted to show off and he went and grabbed a rifle and ran out to the wildcat, picked up that rifle, looked down the scope and got scared and ran away going ‘AAAAAAAAAAA!’ with his hands in the air.” 

Courtney Shuttlesworth

Sophomore wildcat

‘A-A-A-A-A!’

How:

“A sophomore wildcat requires you to make a ‘pistol’ with each of your hands — pointer finger and thumb pointing out with the other fingers curled in like fists — leaning to your right side, and pointing your ‘pistols’ to the ground as you make a shorter ‘AAA’ sound five times.”

Zachary Lawrence

Why:

“So the seniors were like ‘okay, since the freshmen are too lame to do this, I need you sophomores to do this.’ So the sophomore goes up to the armory and says ‘I’ve got this I got my two pistols — I can do this because I’m so much older. I’ve spent a whole year here.’ So he goes up and shoots five times to the ground, ‘A-A-A-A-A!,’ but misses all five times.”

Jennifer Niederstadt, mathematics junior and Aggie Orientation Leadership Program tour guide leader

Junior wildcat

‘A-A-A-Whoop!’

How:

“Juniors put the individual ‘pistols’ together with the thumbs and pointer fingers parallel, while resting your left middle, ring, and pinky fingers over the top of the same fingers on your right. With this single ‘pistol’ in the same motion as the sophomore wildcat you ‘aaa’ to the ground three times and whoop down.”

Zachary Lawrence

Why:

“So the junior is like, ‘I’m so much cooler than you. I’m the best. I can do it with one pistol.’ So he grabs his one pistol and when he comes up to that wildcat, goes ‘A-A-A-Whoop!’ and ‘whoops’ on the last shot because he hit him. The problem was he only winged him which really pissed off that wildcat.”

Jennifer Niederstadt

Senior wildcat

‘A-Whoop!’

How:

“With a senior wildcat you position your hands the same way as a junior, but you interdigitate your fingers. You ‘aaa’ to the ground one time and then lift your ‘pistol’ up high as you ‘whoop.’ As you ‘whoop’ you put your left foot behind your right knee.”

Zachary Lawrence

Why:

“Now the senior being the biggest and baddest of them all, [he was] like ‘Okay step to the side and let me take care of this problem.’ So [he] shot it once, and the wildcat was finally killed.”

Rashard Harris, civil engineering junior and Aggie Orientation Leadership Program assistant family track coordinator

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