Your Guide to Sorority Terminology


Joining a sorority is a fun experience that opens you up to many new friends and opportunities. However, for the first few weeks, as you hear words such as bid, initiation and pledge tossed around, you may feel like your new sisters are speaking another language! Sororities use a lot of “insider” language, and by learning a few terms, you'll understand more about sorority life and save yourself a lot of confusion. 

Sorority Terms for the Potential New Member Process

At the beginning of the semester, you may hear these terms as you prepare to join a sorority:

  • Bid: A bid is when a sorority member gives you an official invitation to join their sorority.
  • Bid Day: Bid Day is a specific day when all of the sororities on campus offer bids to potential new members.
  • Continuous open bidding: Some sororities have bids throughout the school year instead of only once.
  • Cut: A cut is when you are no longer invited to future rush events.
  • Preference night: Preference night is the last event in the recruitment process and is a formal party where potential new members will visit multiple sororities.
  • Preference card: After the preference night, the new members will fill out cards ranking which sororities they want to join.
  • Rho Chi: A Rho Chi is your guide during preference night and is typically a sister from one of the sororities.
  • Quota: A quota is how many invitations a sorority can extend to potential new members and depends on how many sisters are currently in the sorority.

Greek Terminology for the Pledge Process

After accepting a bid, you will start the pledging process. Pledging is often one of the more fun parts of joining a sorority, as it is when you learn more about your future sisters. Some terms you may hear during pledging are:

  • Big: A Big is a current sorority member who mentors a potential new member.
  • Big/Little Night: As a potential new member, your Big's identity is a secret until Big/Little Night.
  • De-pledge: A de-pledge is when a potential new member decides they no longer want to join a sorority.
  • Initiation: Initiation is the official ceremony where the potential new member joins the sorority.
  • Little: A Little is the potential new member that the Big mentors. 
  • Pinning: A potential new member has two pinning ceremonies. The first is at the start of pledging, and the second is when the new member officially joins the sorority.
  • Pledge: A pledge is a potential new member who has started the process of joining a sorority. 
  • Pledge Mom: A Pledge Mom oversees all new sorority members and acts as a mentor and teacher as she educates new members about the sorority's history during weekly meetings.

    Put Your New Vocabulary to Good Use by Shopping at Sorority Shop

    Once you start the bidding process, you'll quickly learn many new Greek terminologies and the history of your specific sorority. One of the best ways to celebrate joining a sorority and all the new knowledge you're gaining is by treating yourself to one of the many items at Sorority Shop. From Big and Little Gifts to jewelry and accessories, there's something for everyone and plenty of sororities to explore. Shop our selection to find the perfect item for you and your sisters today!

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    • Miah Deutsch