Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 20, 2024

A guide to Hopkins lingo

By VICKY ZHU | August 29, 2023



Zhu gives incoming students a rundown of Hopkins vocabulary.

Once you join the Hopkins community, you will soon learn to speak the Blue Jay language. Below is a list of words whose meanings are unique at Hopkins and whose presence are woven into Hopkins students’ daily life. 


The JHMI, pronounced “Jimmy,” refers to the free transportation service that connects the Homewood Campus, Peabody Institute and Hopkins Hospital, with stops in between. While this is the shuttle route most students are familiar with, there are seven others that connect the Homewood campus to various other Hopkins properties and Baltimore neighborhoods. 

The blue JHMI shuttles are easily identifiable on the street. Students can track their live locations and upcoming arrival times through the TransLoc app, which also contains information about other free Hopkins transportation resources in different locations. 

The JHMI allows students to access opportunities across the city — some use it to get to Peabody for music minor lessons or performances, while others take it to the medical campus for research and volunteering. 


PILOT is a very useful peer-led team learning resource for undergraduate students. Classes supported by PILOT are usually different levels of STEM courses. If you have a PILOT-supported class on your schedule, you will receive a sign-up email at the start of every semester, and you will be able to register for a section. At weekly sessions, you will be able to work with classmates and PILOT leaders on problem sets that are customized to the material and pace at which those classes are taught. Though it is often not mandatory, many students enroll in the program because they find learning from peers and receiving extra resources outside of class a helpful source of academic support.


CharMar, short for the Charles Street Market, is a small grocery store located right across from the Homewood Campus’ east gate on N. Charles Street. It is one of the Homewood campus dining options; students with meal plans can spend both dining dollars and meal swipes at the store. CharMar has a great variety of food: a sushi and poke bowl bar, a deli, fresh produce and all kinds of snacks and drinks. CharMar also has a program called Meals-in-a-Minute through which you can spend a meal swipe on a sandwich or salad, a drink and a snack. In addition to food, CharMar also has dorm essentials ranging from personal hygiene products to cleaning supplies, so you can get what you need right on campus. 


HelWell is an abbreviation for the Student Health and Wellness Center located on E. 31st Street, in the same building as Homewood Apartments. Students can make appointments at HelWell and receive necessary medical support, including physicals, immunization and specialist referrals. HelWell also has a “wellness-to-go” medication vending machine for common over-the-counter medicines and contraceptive products that are sold at much lower prices than in normal drugstores. 

The Beach

The Beach is a large field right behind the main Hopkins sign. Tour guides claim that if you lie down on a blanket and close your eyes, the sound of cars passing by on N. Charles Street will sound like waves crashing on a sandy beach. It is a popular space on campus where students gather to study, hang out or take a break from their busy schedules. 

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