Greek Terminology

  • Greek Alphabet


    Greek Vocabulary

    Active: an initiated member of a fraternity or sorority.
    An initiated member of a Fraternity who is no longer in college.

    Bid: An invitation to become a member of a fraternity or sorority.

    Brother: A term used by members of a fraternity when referring to one another.
    Chapter: a term used to describe the collegiate group of a fraternity and sorority.

    Dry Recruitment: The prohibition of alcohol at any chapter event where those seeking to join are or may potentially be present

    Formal Recruitment: The predetermined time span for IFC, Panhellenic and a few MGC organizations recruitment process which occurs each semester.

    Fraternity: A Greek-lettered fellowship of men fostering the common ideals of brotherhood, scholarship and service.

    Greek: a member of a fraternity or sorority

    IFC: The governing body of local chapters mostly from the North-American Interfraternity Conference member fraternities.

    Informal Recruitment: A method by which fraternities and sororities individually determine when they will extend bids to potential members. 

    Initiation: a traditional, secret ceremony which brings an individual into full membership.

    Intake: the process by which prospective members join an NPHC or MGC organization

    Legacy: a potential/new member whose grandparent, parent or brother/sister is a member of a Fraternity/Sorority.

    Line Brother/Sister: a member that was inducted into an NPHC/MGC fraternity/sorority together.

    MGC: the local governing body of the local chapters in the Multicultural Greek Council.

    National Board/Headquarters: The governing body and staff of each international fraternity or sorority.

    Neophyte: Newest members of an NPHC/MGC fraternity or sorority

    New (or Associate) Member: a person who has accepted a bid from an IFC fraternity or a Panhellenic sorority. Some organizations may refer to them as pledges.

    New Member Class: All potential members of a chapter who accept their bids to join the fraternity/sorority in the same semester.

    NPHC: The governing body of the local chapters of the National Pan-Hellenic Council member organizations.

    Panhellenic: The governing body of the local chapters of the National Panhellenic Conference member organizations.

    Philanthropy: a cause devoted to raising money/awareness for national charities/organization that has a personal meaning to the organization itself. 

    PNM (Potential New Member): a person who has shown interest but not yet been offered or accepted a bid into a fraternity/sorority.

    Prophyte: An older brother or sister in a fraternity or sorority who generally took part in the initiation of the organization's new members. This term is mostly used by MGC and NPHC organizations.

    Recruitment Counselor/ Pi Chi: an upper-class member of a Panhellenic sorority, chosen and trained to assist PNMs with recruitment

    Ritual: secret and inspirational ceremonies that are used to educate members about the importance and values of the organization.

    Recruitment: the time when fraternities and sororities sponsor activities seeking PNMs and PNMs seek fraternal membership.

    Sister: a term used by members of a sorority when referring to one another.

    Sorority: A Greek-lettered fellowship of woman fostering the common ideals of sisterhood, scholarship and service.

    Unaffilitiated: a student not in a fraternity or sorority.