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  #1  
Old 09-04-2012, 10:03 PM
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ADPiEE ADPiEE is offline
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Hand signs

I'm sure this topic has been addressed but I couldn't find it. I know we've had our hand sign (the diamond) for decades and I remember Theta having one also when I was in college 20 years ago...and maybe Tridelt too. Has everyone always had one or are some of them kind of new? Seems like every group has one now and I don't remember that back in my day. Just curious
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2012, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ADPiEE View Post
I'm sure this topic has been addressed but I couldn't find it. I know we've had our hand sign (the diamond) for decades and I remember Theta having one also when I was in college 20 years ago...and maybe Tridelt too. Has everyone always had one or are some of them kind of new? Seems like every group has one now and I don't remember that back in my day. Just curious
I don't remember anyone outside the Divine Nine having hand signs back in my day (30 years ago). If any NPC orgs did have them, then I have to think they weren't commonly used where I was. I had never seen any of them prior to Greek Chat.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:48 AM
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We didn't have them when I was in college. (20ish years ago)
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:53 AM
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AnchorAlumna AnchorAlumna is offline
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I was a regional officer back about 13-14 years ago. I noticed that at campuses with a big Divine 9 presence, NPC chapters were beginning to use hand signs. Those at campuses with a small Divine 9 presence, no.
So hand signs are very recent.
In that job, I did a LOT of reading - constantly - of various handbooks, and discovered that Delta Gamma has an official whistle and even an official signal with your handkerchief. I doubt that hand signs have been officially recognized, but ways to note your membership or recognize sisters go back 100+ years!
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:11 AM
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In that job, I did a LOT of reading - constantly - of various handbooks, and discovered that Delta Gamma has an official whistle and even an official signal with your handkerchief. I doubt that hand signs have been officially recognized, but ways to note your membership or recognize sisters go back 100+ years!
Love the hankerchief sign! Can it be shared or is it secret?

Based on the reading I've done, whistles and calls were once very common for both sororities and fraternities. I think most if not all groups had them, and may still, even if they're not used much anymore.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:18 AM
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Kappa has a whistle. I couldn't whistle it, but I know there is such a thing.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:23 AM
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What is the divine nine?
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:28 AM
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What is the divine nine?
Divine nine = NPHC.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:22 AM
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Love the hankerchief sign! Can it be shared or is it secret?
I doubt it or the whistle is secret - it was in a non-secret officers handbook. I don't remember the handkerchief signa exactly...it was something about how and where you held it to your face.

LOL at somebody doing that today. My mom left me several very pretty handkerchiefs, elaborately embroidered or festooned with lace, and thinner than Kleenex, with orders to use them at her funeral instead of tacky Kleenex. At the time, though, it was the last thing on my mind.
I'm sorry, Mom.

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Based on the reading I've done, whistles and calls were once very common for both sororities and fraternities. I think most if not all groups had them, and may still, even if they're not used much anymore.
You're correct - I remember reading that along with the explanations.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:29 AM
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Here are some of the whistles:

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Old 09-05-2012, 12:19 PM
honeychile honeychile is offline
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^I was going to say that I once posted an old page of whistles!


We did the <> when I was in school, and as far as I know, we were the only ones with a handsign.
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:47 PM
naraht naraht is offline
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For Alpha Phi Omega, the hand sign is official, it is the same as the Boy Scout sign (right hand, thumb joined to pinky, other fingers straight.)
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:09 PM
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For Alpha Phi Omega, the hand sign is official, it is the same as the Boy Scout sign (right hand, thumb joined to pinky, other fingers straight.)
In what context would you use that?

I think there may be various things that can be meant by "handsigns." It seems to me that handsigns can be broken down into three different kinds of signs:
  1. Handsigns made in photos or similar situations that serve simply to say "we are members of ΑΒΓ";
  2. Signs made only in a ritual context with ritual meaning; and
  3. Recognition signs used to quietly identify other members, similar to a challenge and response.
It seems to me that in this thread we've mainly been talking about the first category. Obviously we wouldn't know about the second category for any GLO but our own, and the third category would also likely be secret (if still used). I'm guessing that whistles also originally functioned like the third category of handsign. (You can see in the chart above that some whistles actually have challenges and answers.)

I wouldn't be surprised of lots of GLOs have signs of the second and third kind, though in these days when it's easier to identify members in other ways, those of the third kind may have fallen out of use. It's those of the first kind that I think have only fairly recently been appearing outside the Divine Nine, and I would guess it is a Divine Nine influence that has given rise to them elsewhere.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:31 PM
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I love the whistles--i've never seen that!
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  #15  
Old 09-05-2012, 01:33 PM
honeychile honeychile is offline
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I love the whistles--i've never seen that!
It was in one of our publications - maybe Sisters? Did you note the "Alpha Delta Phi"?!
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