Archive for 'Culture'

Funny place names in Greek

Posted on 13. Nov, 2014 by in Culture, Vocabulary

by watz under a CC license on Flickr

by watz under a CC license on Flickr

Words like εστιατόριο (estiatorio, restaurant), or καφενείο (kafeneio, café) are taught to Greek learners at a very early stage.Besides the place names used in formal language, there are other terms used in oral speech. Some of those terms are generation specific and in some cases they are not even understood outside the generation. Those of you who have experienced the Greek nightlife might be familiar with some of these terms.

Μπουγατσατζίδικο (bougatsatzidiko): the place where μπουγάτσα (bougatsa) ,the famous breakfast pastry from Macedonia, is made and served.

Ξενυχτάδικο (kseneehtadeeko): ξενυχτάω (kseneehtao) means to stay up late. Ξενυχτάδικο is a club which is open up to the early-morning hours.

Ορθάδικο (orthadiko): from όρθιος (orthios) which means standing up (not seated). It’s a very small bar with no chairs where people stand up and listen to Greek music. There are only few stools around the bar, lots of smoke and poor air-conditioning.

Ουφάδικο (oufadiko): the ancestor of the internet-café, the Greek version of amusement arcades. In the early 80’s it was the place where teenagers met up and spent their pocket money in the arcade game machines. Some people still miss those places. Ουφάδικο derives from ούφο (oufo), the English UFO.

Πεθαμενατζίδικο: from πεθαίνω (petheno) which means “to die”. It means funeral office.

Ρεμπετάδικο (rebetadiko): from ρεμπέτικο (rebetiko) the urban Greek music originating from Minor Asia. It’s a ταβέρνα (taverna) with live rebetiko music.

Ροκάδικο (rokadiko): a club with live rock music. The word derives from the English word rock.

Σκυλάδικο (skeeladiko): from σκύλος (skeelos, dog). There are many theories about the origin of this name. Σκυλάδικο is a pejorative which is used to define a night club with live Greek music with bouzoukia, electric guitar and drums and usually non-famous singers. It can be found everywhere in Greece, especially in the countryside. It was very popular in the 80’s.

Τσιπουράδικο / ρακάδικο (tsipouradiko, rakadiko): a Greek restaurant where tsipouro, ouzo, raki and similar beverages containing more than 40% alcohol by volume are served. Traditionally, people do not order main dishes but share appetizers. From τσίπουρο (tsipouro) and ρακή (rakee).

Φαστφουντάδικο / χαμπουργκεράδικο (fastfoodadiko / hambourgeradiko): a fast-food restaurant. It derives from the words fast-food and hamburger.

Χοροπηδάδικο (horopeedadeeko): a dance club similar to ορθάδικο. From the verb χοροπηδώ (horopeedo) which means “to hop”.




by SantiMB under a CC license on Flickr

by SantiMB under a CC license on Flickr

Pas kala? Exrpess anger in Greek!

Posted on 04. Nov, 2014 by in Culture, Videos, Vocabulary

Beegee49 under a CC licence on Flickr

Beegee49 under a CC licence on Flickr


One of the stereotypes about Greeks is that they get angry very often and that they use bad language. Although it’s true that the Greek language is rich in slang and idioms that we use when we get angry, cursing is socially acceptable only in football fields or in places where teenagers hang out.
Below, there’s a list of the most standard expressions that we use when we get angry. Do not read this post if you don’t like inappropriate language.

Μαλάκας / μαλάκω  (malakas, malako): jerk(masculine and feminine).  It’s one of the most common Greek words. We use it when we are angry with someone: «Φύγε από δω ρε μαλάκα!» (feege apo do re malaka)=  Go away jerk! We also use it to express disbelief, astonishment or admiration:  «Η Μαρία κέρδισε 100000 ευρώ.» «Τι λες ρε μαλάκα;» (Ee Maria kerdise ekato heeleeades evro. Ti les re malaka)=  “Maria won 100000 euros.” “What are you talking about, jerk?”

Μαλακία, μαλακίες (malakia, malakies): bullshit.  E.g: Δεν αντέχω άλλο τις μαλακίες σου! (Den anteho allo tees malakies sou)= I can’t stand your bullshit anymore.


Παράτα μας (parata mas): bugger off. Literally it means “abandon us”.


Χέσε με (hese me): leave me alone in bad language. Literally translated it means “shit on me”. We also say χέσε μας (hese mas) which means “shit on us” and is more emphatic.

Ρε (re): it’s an interjection. We use it in different contexts with people we know well to show different emotions. It could be translated as “hey”, “you”, “man”, “dude” etc. When we use it to express anger it’s rude. E.g:  “Δε μας χέζεις ρε μαλάκα;» (de mas hezeis re malaka)= Why don’t you shit on us (re) jerk? (in direct translation).

Μου τα ΄πρηξες (mou ta preexes):  I had enough. Literally, “you have swollen my balls”.

We also use many compound words formed by:
Κωλο- (kolo): from κώλος (kolos), which means “ass”.
Σκατο- (skato): from σκατό (skato), which means  “shit”.
Βρομο- (vromo): from βρόμικος (vromikos), which means  “dirty”.
E.g.: Φύγε από ‘δω κωλόπαιδο / σκατόπαιδο / βρoμόπαιδο! (Feege apo do kolopaido / skatopaido / vromopaido)= Go away  shity / filthy child!

Άντε στο διάολο! / α στο διάλο! (Ande sto diaolo / astodialo): go to hell. We use it when we are angry but also to express disbelief.

Πας καλά; (pas kala): are you out of your mind? E.g.: «Τι έκανες; Πας καλά;» (Tee ekanes? Pas kala?) “What have you done? Are you out of your mind?”


There’s also a gesture that we make, the famous moutza (μούτζα): the palm is facing the other person’s face and the fingers are extended.  This is the most insulting gesture to make.


Examples of moutza:


YouTube Preview Image



Show your emotions with Greek interjections

Posted on 22. Oct, 2014 by in Culture, Vocabulary


Greencolander  under a CC license on Flickr

Greencolander on Flickr under a CC license

The Greek language is rich in interjections. They are short words or phrases which are invariable and are accompanied by the appropriate extralinguistic characteristics, such as body language and facial expressions. They are used in oral speech and also in literature.

Α! (ah) : it is used to show exclamation or amazement. We also use it when we are scared.

Αμάν! (aman): a word of Turkish origin. It can be used to express indignation or frustration.

Άντε! (ade): we use it when we are pleasantly surprised. It can also be used to express anger.

Απαπα! (apapa): it is used to express a strong disapproval.

Άου! (aou): we use it when we are in pain.

Άουτς! (aouch): the same as “άου!”

 Αχ! (ach): it is a sound produced when we are in love, in pain, or when we feel sorrow.

Γιούπι! (youpee): we use it to express joy.

Ε; (e): it is a sign that we don’t understand what our interlocutor says, when we need them to repeat what they said (although it is rude) and when we need them to agree with us. It can be translated as “what?” or “isn’t it?”

Ε! (e): we use it when we want to call someone, when we are angry or when we want to express disapproval.

Επ! (ep): we use it when we see unexpectedly someone we know very well or when we catch someone doing something wrong.

Εύγε! (evge): it is used to express praise.

Μακάρι!(makaree): we use it when we wish for something to happen.

Μπα! (ba): it is one of the most common Greek colloquialisms. It can be used to express admiration, amazement, refusal and sarcasm. It can be very rude depending on the context and the tone of the voice.

Μπράβο! (bravo): it is an Italian word but it is always invariable. We use it when we praise someone. However “άντε μπράβο!” (ande bravo) is used to express anger.

Οέο; (oaio): it is used at the end of the sentence and it means “where?”

Ου! (oo): it can be translated as “boo” and it is used to express disapproval.

Ουφ! (oof): we use it when we are tired or sad.

Ποπο! (popo): another common word. It is used when something bad happens and it can be very dramatic. It can be also used to show admiration.

Χμ! (hm): we use it when we hesitate.

Ωχ! (och): we use it when we hear something unpleasant or something unexpected.

Tambako the Jaguar under a CC license on Flickr

Tambako the Jaguar under a CC license on Flickr