ANSWERS: 28
  • From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P.E.O._Sisterhood Some members of the Sisterhood have suggested publicly that "P.E.O." stands for "Philanthropic Educational Organization."[3] This explanation for the acronym has been used by many mainstream news outlets and organizations, including other colleges and universities not affiliated with the groups. Multiple published sources, however, state that "P.E.O." stands for "Protect Each Other". Other sources reporting this meaning are not as conclusive.
  • Well, I'll tell you... but then I shall have to terminate you! :-) Seriously: when I was young I worked at the California P.E.O. home for about 18 months as a maintenance aide (repairing things, etc.) All the employees I met speculated endlessly about the meaning of it, but nobody seemed to know. We had some rather offensive phrases we invented, but I doubt any are correct. It's a well -guarded secret, and I still don't know to this day.
  • The actual meaning is unknown to those outside of PEO. While there are many who speculate, it's all just rumoring, since there is a strict rule against ever writing or printing the meaning.
  • Only sisters know the real meaning of the acronym, since it is never written. Sisterhood in no way represents a threat to anyone. And "BIL" does not stand for "brother-in-law."
  • Oh, I just love to rile up the "sisters". OK, B.I.L. could also stand for Boy I Love or Brother in Love. If you don't believe the P.E.O.'s represent a threat to anyone try being a man and wanting to join the club. Can't be done. And yes after the guard ensures that everyone present at a meeting is a card carrying P.E.O. each sister whispers into the next sister's ear "protect each other".
  • Publicly it means Philanthropic Educational Organization per their website. Privately, it means Protect Each Other, but if you ask a member, they will deny it, because when everyone knows the secret, it's not as much fun. A lot of women became disillusioned with the favoritism and discrimination and started a group of their own. Edit: I checked with my source of that last statement for specific references, and discovered it is rumor only, no references offered.
  • I just got back from a state conference. It simply stands for People Educating Others. It uses three letters like other organizations like DKG which is another woman's organization that is an honorary teachers group. PEO does offer a lot of scholarships, loans and grants to women to help them successfully finish their education. They also support a woman's 2 year college. Great things can happen when people join together to support a cause. What better cause then the education of someone? The "secret" is not really a secret...just a part of the closeness of those who are PEOs...People Educating Others. Maybe you would like to apply for $9,000 loan at only 4% or receive a $2,000 grant...just ask a PEO
  • Dare we try to respond to folks who have already made up their minds? the P.E.O. sisterhood was begun by serve Methodist college students for deep friendship. As we have evolved, the primary purpose of our organization is to support women in education. We are not a cult; any woman who is invited to become a part is asked to affirm faith in God. A woman can be Buddhist, Catholic, Jewish, Protestant-- Thank you. Pastor Pam
  • Hi Katie, It's interesting that a year after your question, you're still getting answers! Wikipedia has their hands full with this one, since people keep putting up the secret meaning (protect each other) and others, (members, I presume) keep taking it down. The Wiki article is currently protected so they can't remove any of the info. As one who is married to a PEO, I can confirm the secret meaning and also that I don't much care for the group. Supposedly revealing the name "spoils the fun" for the members - figure that one out if you can! Supposedly a nice little womens group but it's actually an anti-christian, predominantly white, female supremacist cult. They believe in "God" but not necessarily the Triune God that all Christians believe in. Their opening ode/prayer states that by following their 5 principles (one for each point of their star) the secret places in your heart are made holy! Their foundation has millions of dollars that is used for grants and loans for women only - men need not apply. According to another source, the only two secrets they officially have are the meaning of PEO (see above) and the password that they say to the guard (and yes they actually do have a guard!!!!!!) before the meetings. This password is the french word for sister - soeur or something like that. They want to be part of the mainstream civic club community, but they want to retain their ways from the late 19th century at the same time. Since members are sworn to never speak the meaning out loud - the only confirmation can come from those who have dropped out of the group.(The Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod "strongly cautions" women to be wary of this group. Cultbuster
  • The PEO organization is clear that it does not come before family or church. Family and church obligations are always the priority in any christian woman's life. As for it being a silly organization, there are many out there, as there are lots of silly people. Generalities in any form are ignorant and should not apply to PEO.
  • A friend of mine and her daughter (as well as her mother) are all a part of this group. They speak very secretly about it when discussing it - which is annoying in itself - and they have never really told me "how" one becomes a member or "who" is "invited" to join? That is the part that I find particularly bothersome because it's as if the members are "above" other women and unless you are considered worthy enough to be part of their secret little society, you are not welcome to join. I can say that these three women who I know, are all very "well off" financially and that has continued down through the generations of their family. I'll be bold enough to ask - does ones income level and social stature have anything to do with being "invited" to join this seemingly snobby group?
  • My mother has been in PEO for at least 50 years. Her chapter is a group of middle class women who get together twice a month to have lunch in each other's homes. Like many fraternities, they have some "secret" rituals that bond them together. Nothing sinister about that. Like many other women's clubs, PEO gives women the opportunity to develop public speaking, leadership and organizational skills in a supportive environment of friendship. Although college educated, my mother was a stay-at-home Mom and PEO gave her a way to get out of the house and socialize while my father was at work. BIL stands for Brothers In Love aka husbands. Once a year my mother's chapter would have an evening party and they would invite their husbands. Many organizations and clubs require that a potential member be invited to join by a current member. Most women who show interest in joining a chapter are invited to join, unless they are obnoxious.
  • protect each other
  • YOU MIGHT TAKE A LOOK AT THE FOLLOWING LINK, TO SEE IF THE "COVEN" REALLY DOES MEET THERE. http://www.peointernational.org/
  • It can mean lots of things. Philanthropic Educational Organization, Promoting Educational Opportunities, Papa Eats Out (from when my mom went to PEO meetings when I was little and we got to go out with daddy for dinner) There aren't any secrets any more like there were when I was little. There definitely was snobbery involved then and even my mom felt like some others thought they were better than her, but I guess she thought the purpose of the organization (Women's education) was worth it. In the 1860s and beyond, women's education was not a popular subject. Now it is and PEO promotes it with lots of money and no strings attached. Check out www.peointernational.org There are still some remnants of snobbery, but if the organization is going to be able to keep supporting educational opportunities for all women, those people need to get off their high horse and deal with real life. They need to bring in vibrant women of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles that can help with the goals of education for all women.
  • My mom is a member and she told me the secret meaning. Ready for it? People Eating Onions. And then she laughed and laughed. Curses! Foiled again.
  • P.E.O is a wonderful organization that helps promote women in education. The guesses about the name, though entertaining, are off the mark, as are the guesses for B.I.L.s. Nice try though. If you know a member, have her take you to a meeting as a guest and find out what it is all about. The members are wonderful women with big hearts.
  • There are many meanings to PEO but the most signficant is "Philanthropic Educational Organization". Today it is far more than an organization to allow housewives time out of the house. Its members for the most part are highly accomplished women with unique talents. While they care deeply about their fellow sisters, they are as deeply committed to helping as many women as possiblie with a vast array of educational needs. It is friendship with a purpose. There is no justification for a comparsion to any religious sect, certainly not Mormons. There is no religious creed involved although some of the great principles of the world's religions are encompassed in their actions.
  • To compare PEO to a religious sect or to a cult is ridiculous. The commitment to it is in not anyway the same as one's commitment to the LDS Church. There is no dogma or ideology involved. The primary activity is fund raising to provide educational grants and loans for often needy and always deserving women. A sincere commitment to help others is the tie that binds and brings out the best in most people.
  • it means piss every one off get it??????????
  • PEO stands for Protect Each Other. Not surprising given the societies feminist nature.
  • PEO stands for Protect Each Other. Not surprising given the feminist nature of the society.
  • I find it interesting that the meaning behind a word that is "secret" makes for so much curiosity for often once finding the answer, the seeker drops his or her quest like a hot potato. This kind of sophomoric indulgence and frivolity to try to "find out" is a waste of time. Accept that it is "unknown" to those not members and believe it is not sinister or restrictive. Do something productive with this "urge to know" that will stimulate curiosity to find answers to questions that serve the welfare of the world better. As a Jewish sister, P.E.O. is open and transparent. The women involved do not look at standards of wealth or class division to embrace its inclusion of women into its membership. The work they do is dedicated to women of all ethnic, religious, racial, or sexual orientation. It is important, sincere, directed and effective. P.E.O. sponsors women through education around the world and create an environment of communication that is open about everyday issues at the local level. Their open door policy is indicative of their nature. The meaning behind P.E.O. is dear and seeped in its history of inception. Sometimes it is worth the wait to know by joining and keeping it close to your heart.
  • At the risk of sounding a little sappy, what P.E.O. meant for me was a way to pay for my seminary education. For others it has meant a way for displaced women to get an education or women involved in research that will make this a better world to get a grant to help with their educations. Why do people who are not even really involved get so heated about the meaning of the letters?
  • If anyone told what P.E.O. means it would no longer be a secret would it. Now what's the fun in that? My daughter has been a member for twenty years and when I asked her about it she just smiled and said 'it's a secret Mom, I can't tell you." When I asked her how I could join (living in another state than she) I was told I had to be invited to a meeting by a member. I don't know any members in my state. Maybe it means "Prince, Emanuel, Omnipotent" Probably not but probably closer than others have guessed.
  • Don't know what it means, but snobbery is the game!
  • This Sisterhood is not a cult, that is so ridiculously funny! P.E.O. stands for Philanthropic Educational Organization and it is a Christian group of ladies supporting the education of women today. One of the main things they support is Cottey College which is a women's college in Nevada, Missouri. No funny business, you can check it out online, its perfectly ligit. They also have a loan and other ways of helping support women who want to further their education or go back to college. And it is full of highly accomplished women giving back to make the education for women better.
  • Why question? Why challenge the integrity of an organization whose members take their cause and committment seriously? If you want to know become a member.

Copyright 2018, Wired Ivy, LLC

Answerbag | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy