Colloquial phrases in modern Greek Posted by Ourania on Jun 24, 2020 in Vocabulary
Γειά χαρά! Today we are going to take a look into some colloquial phrases we often hear in Greek but are quite difficult to understand.
Colloquial phrases are metaphorical expressions used in everyday speech. These are usually short, often incomplete, phrases, usually taken from a proverb or anecdotal incident, so it is difficult to discern their meaning if we learn Greek in an academic environment and they may impede our understanding or even cause confusion when we try to communicate in an informal level! Although there are such expressions for almost every aspect of oral communication, I am going to concentrate in some phrases we use to characterize a person or a situation.
- If a person fails in something: (i.e. He made a mess.)
Τα έκανε θάλασσα!
Τα έκανε σαλάτα!
Τα έκανε μαντάρα!
- If a person is fooled or deceived: (i.e. I’ve been had!)
Μου την έφερε!
- If someone wins undoubtedly: (i.e. He was beaten hands down.)
Τον έκανε σκόνη!
Τον έφαγε λάχανο!
- If someone is irritated or angry: (i.e. I’ve had enough!)
Μου την έδωσε!
Μου την έσπασε!
- If someone is tired or exhausted: (i.e. I’m beat.)
Τα έχω παίξει!
Τα έχω φτύσει!
- If someone is pleased or satisfied:
Την έχω βρει!
Την έχω καταβρεί!
Μου ήρθε κουτί!
- If someone is surprised:
Του ήρθε κεραμίδα!
Τί λες τώρα;
- Smart: Τα έχει τετρακόσια.
- Stupid: Δεν του κόβει.
- Ability: Τον έβγαλε ασπροπρόσωπο.
- Lazy, indifferent: Τα φόρτωσε στον κόκορα!
- Revelations: Το έκανε βούκινο!
- Worth: Είναι όλα τα λεφτά!
Even though the meaning of these expressions may not be evident at first sight, knowing how they are used or what they mean can help us keep up with what others are saying.
I hope that this entry clears up some confusion that can often occur in colloquial speech and encourage you to participate in everyday conversation, which is the cornerstone of making any language our own.
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