So Fratty: A Vocabulary Lesson

by Rachel on June 2, 2011

While I know I have a lot of Greek readers out there, I also know that a lot of you don’t know much at all about sorority/fraternity life. So I thought I’d start sharing some lessons on that!

First up…a vocabulary lesson! Some of the definitions are inspired by urban dictionary, but most of the new words are straight out of the Spartanette blog that I wrote while I was a sorostitute at Michigan State.

Sorostitute (n.): A girl who absolutely lives for her sorority. She usually carries a pink cell phone and talks very loudly into it about details of what happened at the bar last night — at least what she remembers — or the latest Greek Week drama. On Facebook, she has a minimum of 800 friends and is tagged in twice as many pictures, usually wearing a slutty costume, because no matter the season, a sorostitute loves a theme party. If you spot a young woman driving through campus in a black SUV blasting a 50 Cent song or see her waiting in line outside a bar in sub-zero temperatures wearing stilettos and a mini-dress, it is very likely you are dealing with a sorostitute.

Fratty (adj.): 1. The quality of enjoying relaxing activities like tailgate, texting, skiing, golf, bronzing at the beach or lake, shopping for new polo shirts, day drinking, and exuding unmistakable confidence at all times while denouncing sketchiness and douchebaggery. 2. Wild, insane, or otherwise completely over-the-top behavior induced by the consumption of alcoholic beverages and done by Greeks. Also commonly used as verb — to frat.

GDI: A college student who is not in a fraternity or sorority. Origin: “Goddamn Independent.” Contrary to popular belief, it is possible for Greeks and GDIs to be friends. Dating is another story.

Chapter: A specific sorority. Also referred to as a “house.”

Recruitment: Formerly known as “rush,” the period when sorostitutes put on perfectly coordinated outfits, open their houses to non-Greeks, and pretend to all get along.

PNM: Origin: “potential new member.” Any uninitiated girl going through recruitment. One must refer to every girl as a PNM, even if she has absolutely no potential.

Standards: A chapter’s judicial board. A sorostitute is sent to Standards for breaking the chapter’s rules, where she is judged by a small number of chapter members who also regularly break the chapter’s rules.

Closed Rush: A mixer between one frat and one sorority that happens in a public place such as a club or party boat; gives Greeks something to talk about for at least four weeks (three leading up to it and one following it) until another social event comes along to replace it.

Courting: The process sororities and fraternities use to choose which house they will partner with for events like Greek Week and Closed Rush. Usually involves the frat guys offering the sorostitutes gifts in the form of alcohol or attention, which is basic Greek currency.

Formal: A sorority’s formal dance at the end of spring semester, usually held at a country club. Formal is like prom, but with a bar. Usually follows an intense period of over-tanning, over-dieting, and over-exercising just up to the point at which one’s hair and skin would start to look really bad.

Shacking: Spending the night in a frat house.

Shacker: One who shacks. Related: Shame, Walk of.

Shack-righteous: An attitude adopted by a sorostitute who does not want to spend the night with a frat guy but will stay as late into the night as possible, provided she doesn’t sleep at his place. Like the “everything-but” girl of slumber, she gets indignant when a guy asks her to spend the night because she’s not “like that.” She will insist on laying her head elsewhere (although she’ll probably give head first).

Bangover: The unpleasant physical effects following a night of sex.

Standing Room Only Dress: A dress that is so short it does not allow the luxury of being able to sit down. The sorostitute’s LBD.

Stumblers: Usually characterized by tall, spindly heels or blister-inducing pointy-toes, these are the are the stilettos that are so high, the sorostitute appears incredibly drunk, regardless of the actual amount of alcohol she consumed. When wearing stumblers, the she adopts a limping, stumbling gait in order to cope with her inability to stay balanced or walk comfortably. Frat guys often respond by attempting to take advantage of the wearer of the stumblers based on what they think is a reduction in judgment or a lack of inhibitions. Stumblers are a sorostitute’s favorite party shoes.

Fluck: This common date between a frat guy and a sorostitute involves him inviting her over to watch a movie with no intention of actually watching the movie. Origin: a flick for when one needs an excuse to fuck.

In Be-tweener Wiener: A sexual rebound for when a girl needs to get over her last relationship.

The Dichter Scale: A way of measuring how bad of a dating faux pas a Greek has committed.

Mistaken pledgdentity: When an upper-class Greek sleeps with a pledge, believing he or she is an initiated member.

Re-fraternization: The central cultural doctrine practiced by all sorority girls who swear off frat guys at some point in their lives, only to later tell everyone a “frat boy” can totally become a “fraternity man.” They can forgive the fact he binge drinks, does weird hazing shit, and objectifies women because he really “gets it” when it comes to understanding why they act batshit crazy during Greek Week.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bridget June 2, 2011 at 10:25 am

What are some chapter rules that get broken?

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2 Rachel June 2, 2011 at 10:31 am

Ahhh….boys/drinking/writing about sorority life on the internet…I think these are all another post for another day!

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3 Caitlin @ The Caitie Experiment June 2, 2011 at 10:37 am

This just made me spit my coffee out laughing. All of the definitions are so, so true, especially the one for Standards ! Brought me right back to my college days… or what I remember of them.

Other faves:
House Project: A Greek who has hooked up with at least three members of the same chapter. The definition of hooked up is flexible; in some cases it can mean straight sex, but can be adjusted to include other “prelude” activities. House Proj status can be desirable or disgusting, depending on the participating chapter and the raunchiness of members involved.
Whacks: An early-morning ritual reserved for the end of spring semester, in which a chapter’s graduating seniors make the rounds of their fellow opposing-sex houses, chanting as a group, screaming insults and straight telling it like it is. Ex: “Hey Frat Boy — ::clap clap clap clap::”, where said Frat Boy has a well-known case of syphilis, or “Hey Frat Boy, you do a lot of big talk for such a little man!”, etc.
Deck: A giant room in a sorority house, housing upwards of 15 sets of bunk beds, no insulation and requisite open windows (there are enough things to catch as it is; no need to add the flu to the list). There is a strict no-male policy on Deck; however, following cocktail (see: Formal), all bets are off. Frat boys will, upon raiding a house, attempt to deck crash, only to be saddened to find that there are less naked pillow fights, more saran-wrapping of bunks and poster of Bob Saget taped above one sorostitute’s bed.

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4 Rachel June 2, 2011 at 11:17 am

Oh this is AWESOME.

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5 Mel June 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm

We always called that the double or triple dip…until the frattiest TV show ever, “The League,” came around and introduced the term “Eskimo Brothers” for men who have shared the same woman.

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6 Summer June 2, 2011 at 10:54 am

As a GDI who has currently been dating a “fraternity man” (“you don’t call it a frat,” says J, “because you don’t refer to your country as your ‘cunt'”), I feel as if I’ve really been immersed in the culture that was so foreign to me in college. One of my favorite terms: a “frat trick,” in which a brother bangs three girls from three different sororities, preferably over a very short period of time.

Jonathan is a Kappa Alpha, and one of the main unbreakable rules I’ve learned over the last three years is this: Don’t talk shit about Robert E. Lee. Even if you’re joking. Or drunk.

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7 Rachel June 2, 2011 at 11:01 am

“…because you wouldn’t refer to your country as a cunt” — ohhhh how many times I heard that in college!

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8 Rachel's Mom June 2, 2011 at 9:40 pm

A “frat trick!” I love that!

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9 Sarah June 2, 2011 at 11:08 am

Standing Room only dress…basically, I just spit out a half chewed gummy bear from laughing so hard. Seriously…it was disgusting. And yet…you make me laugh my ass off consistently. No idea why it’s still so big…

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10 Liz @ IHeartVegetables June 2, 2011 at 11:30 am

Hahaha these cracked me up. I’m not familiar with greek like, but I could definitely relate to those terms. The bangover term is perfect.

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11 Mindy June 2, 2011 at 11:47 am

Very cute! What about a “shack prize” – the shirt or other garment which belongs to the shackee that one wears home from shacking.

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12 Brittney June 2, 2011 at 11:57 am

Hahahahaha, thanks for the flashback :) We had “Deck” at my house. Worst invention ever! Hated sleeping in there. I guess that’s why I pretty much moved in with my boyfriend!

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13 Mel June 2, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Hahahha Oh how hard I fratted only a few years ago (last year). Some of our terms are different. An Exchange is the social mixer (“an exchange of what? bodily fluids?”), a Dormer is the room with the bunks and a J-Board is the punishable offense ruled by Exec when a rule is broken.

Important is the nickname or term each chapter usually gives their house as a whole to represent their awesome-ness and intimidate less caliber houses aka “Incoming! Pike Nation!” or “Out with the lovely ladies of the Phi Hive”.

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14 jenna k June 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm

an exchange- that is hilarious. soooo many jokes potentials haha.
my best friend is in another chapter on the same campus as my chapter, and they call standards j-board as well (though we call it standards). i’ve also heard of other chapters calling their exec council by different names.

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15 Kali June 2, 2011 at 12:22 pm

I definitely still use “sorostitute” and “fratty” in my daily vocabulary. I think one of my favorites other than those two was “frat mattress” which urban dictionary describes as someone who gets around, and often sleeps with members of a fraternity. We definitely called a lot of girls that when I was in college. In other chapters of course :)

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16 [SMASH] at Sweat. Style. Swoon. June 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Love.

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17 Kiki June 2, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Out here on the west coast, our “formal” at the end of spring term we call “Barn Dance.” A term that is very near and dear to my heart. Instead of country club…. legit barn with cows and everything, and instead of dresses, ass-bearing cutoffs and flannels tied above the belly button. Corn bread and fried chicken provided to soak up any excessive alcohol before MOing in the hay stacks. The most anticipated event of the year.

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18 Mel June 2, 2011 at 2:27 pm

We had Barn Dance at my school as a date event in the fall (and eventually negotiated it to the spring) too! It was hands down everyone’s favorite event! The barn we usually went to was owned by this nice old lady named Loretta who handed out chex mix. Complete with beer truck and s’mores – what more could you want?

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19 Caitlin @ The Caitie Experiment June 3, 2011 at 8:16 am

We had “cock(tail)” at the end of the semester, although now that you mention it, we *did* once come home from one to find our lawn covered in hay with a giant plaster cow planted right in the middle of it (back in the day, our house might or might not have been known as “Cattle Delta”, which was pretty hard to shake considering the sheer amount of drunk nachos consumed). Now at homecoming I can explain to my sisters that we must have just had a lot of confused, west coast fraternity men in our midst! ;)

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20 Rachel June 3, 2011 at 9:27 am

As a former “Sigma Cattle”…I feel ya.

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21 jenna k June 3, 2011 at 6:34 pm

same.

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22 jenna k June 2, 2011 at 3:44 pm

hahahaha, having just went alum a month ago, i really appreciate reading all this. i don’t graduate until december, so i’m still going to the same bars and seeing the same people. greek life is so strange. everyone knows everyone but pretends they don’t.
i definitely served on standards this past year when about ten girls were called for drinking at our philanthropy event…. i felt like such a fraud bc i was definitely drunk at that event. oops.
we call a party between one fraternity and one sorority a “mixer.” interesting that you call it closed rush. we have formal each semester, though the fraternities are all a little different about their “formals”. we have date parties each semester as well- themed like a mixer, but bring a date like a formal, and booze just as hard.

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23 Lisa @ I'm an Okie June 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm

oh man how I loved this.

I was in a soroity for 2 years and while I loved it, I almost hated it just as much.

My suitemate freshman year dressed up as a “shacker” for haloween. slutty dress that is all messed up, hair everywhere, lipstick on her face, and condom wrappers stuck to her. good times.

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24 Ashley June 2, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Ahhh as somone who went to a very fratastic college I loved all of these! I wasn’t a sorsitute but one of the most common GDI’s on my favorite frat.. Delta Tau Delta. I was even the first GDI to be named the house queen!

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25 Ashley June 2, 2011 at 5:46 pm

OH and our social events were called exchanges too!

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26 Ella June 2, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I have a (possibly unfair?) major prejudice against Greeks/former Greeks, but I forget all about that when I read this blog because it’s so hilarious and well-written. However… this post reminds me why I am SO GLAD I didn’t go to a school where sororities/frats were at all important (sorry, as a former “GDI” I will always refer to them as “frats”). No. Thank. You!

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27 Kelsey June 12, 2011 at 9:49 pm

I never understood why it was called GDI. Weird.

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28 Molly L June 16, 2011 at 10:48 pm

HAHAHA this is hilarious AND sooo true. I love that we were in the same house (but different colleges) and so I can just totally relate. My fave by far is “fluck.”

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