Your Guide to The Greek Alphabet

If you clicked on this article, then you probably struggle reading (or recognizing) greek letters. That was me, a year ago. I came to college with very limited knowledge of the Greek system, and an even more limited knowledge of the Greek alphabet. I had heard the words Alpha, Beta, Gamma, etc. in conversations before, but never in reference to sororities or fraternities. The only Greek symbols I really knew coming into college were Delta, Pi and Sigma, which was only due to high school math classes.

If you're like me, college can seem like an endless sea of students wearing T-shirts with weird quilted letters and symbols. Whether or not you're planning on rushing a Greek organization, it can be extremely useful to learn what all of the letters and symbols represent, and how to pronounce each letter! It’s almost like a secret code: Once you learn the Greek alphabet, you’ll have fun being able to recognize what letter each symbol represents!

 

Here is your guide to the Greek alphabet, to help you solve the current enigma of all of those weird letters and symbols you see around campus.

Alpha

Pronunciation: Al-Fah

Beta

Pronunciation: Bay-tah

Gamma

Pronunciation: Gam-mah

Delta

Pronunciation: Del-ta

Hint: Think Delta airlines. Or the delta that you learned about in math class.

Epsilon

Pronunciation: Ep-sill-on

Zeta

Pronunciation: Zay-tah

Hint: rhymes with beta, eta and theta.

Eta

Pronunciation: Ay-tah

Hint: Sounds like “beta” without the B. Or the phrase “ate a” just as in the sentence “I ate a pizza last Friday with Neil Kerwin.”

Theta

Pronunciation: Thay-tah

Hint: Sounds like “eta” and

Rhymes with: beta, eta, zeta

Iota

Pronunciation: Eye-oh-tah

Sounds like the phrase: “I owed a” (ex: I owed a lot of money to American University)

Kappa

Pronunciation: Cap-ah

Rhymes with: Napa as in Napa Valley

Lamda

Pronunciation: Lamb-duh

Hint: Mary had a little lamb, duh!

Mu

Pronunciation: Mew

Rhymes with: dew, hue

Hint: It is NOT pronounced “moo” like the sound a cow makes

Nu

Pronunciation: new

Rhymes with: Mu

Xi

Pronunciation: Zee

Rhymes with: Glee, he, tea, knee

Omiricon

Pronunciation: Omm-ree-con

(Think “omm” and “recon”)

Pi

Pronunciation: Pie!

Rho

Pronunciation: Roe

Hint: Liking rowing a boat.

Sigma

Pronunciation: Sig-mah

Hint: You probably learned about this in a math or physics class sometime in your life.

Tau

Pronunciation: Tow

Rhymes with: Cow, now, ow!

Upsilon

Pronunciation: Up-sill-on

Hint: Sounds similar to “epsilon” except starts with “up” instead of “ep”         

Phi

Pronunciation: Fye

Rhymes with: Eye, tie, buy

Chi

Pronunciation: kie

Rhymes with: Tie, lie, pie

Hint: The “ch” is pronounced with a “k” sound. It is NOT pronounced like “chai latte.”

Psi

Pronunciation: Sigh

Rhymes with: Chi, Phi, Pi

Omega

Pronunciation: Oh-may-gah

 

Photo Credits: 12, 3, 456, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1112, 13, 14, 1516, 17, 18, 19, 2021, 222324, 25, 26