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Des Moines, Iowa


You can't haze our pledges, only we can haze our pledges

Geoff Wood

I was so inspired by Paul Shirley's use of the word "fratter" in his column yesterday that I decided to do a quick Google search and see how pervasive the word had become.

One website I hit upon was Hmm, interesting website idea. I've never used the term "fratty" but I like where they are going. It's basically amplifying Greek stereotypes but is humorous to me as an alumnus of a fraternity. It fits the sociological concept that it's amusing when a contemporary makes a joke about you but the same joke made by an outsider is offensive. Academics refer to this concept simply as: "You can't haze our pledges, only we can haze our pledges."

A lot of the sits embellishment of the frat lifestyle post dates me (I've been out of college 5 years already!?!) especially the fashion. Don't get me wrong - we had our uniform of the time. It was never spoken of directly but usually boiled down to some sort of plaid button down, untucked, with carpenter jeans. None of this "collars up" nonsense.

Anyway, the best page of the site has to be frat lingo. Its a little surprising but almost every word on here was part of my social circles lexicon in college. A few words show up still today but its been awhile since I uttered the word "sorostitute". Some would say its been too long. ;)

As I said before we never used "fratty". Not a good word, IMO. I also never used "total frat move". A few of the words seem to be synonyms for ISU colloquialisms: "late night" = "after hours" and "Grab-a-date" = "date dash" though that term was out before I came of age.

I'd be remiss if I did add a few others failed to mention:

fratter (frat-tur) : 1.) A fraternity member He lives the life of a fratter. 2.) A fraternity house. You guys going to meet for lunch back at the fratter?

fratastic (frat-taz-tik) : the state of being extremely frat and/or something that is extremely frat. Used as a positive synonym to the layman's "frat". "Stu was looking fratastic as he departed for the Nadas' show at People's"

fratter holiday (frat-tur hall-eh-dae) : The ability for a fratter to cancel class the day preceeding or following a large campus event. The Friday before Homecoming is a yearly fratter holiday.

frattoo (frat-two) : A small tattoo of a fratter's letters and/or initiation number. Usually found on an ankle but may in limited instances be found between the shoulder blades or on the arm. I've had this frattoo since the week following initiation.

All of the above were common speech in Ames except for the last. I really appreciate the term but didn't hear until I was at a conference down south the summer before graduation. A girl actually said "I like your frattoo". Impressive.