Greek Language Blog

Greek idiomatic expressions describing feelings and mood Posted by on Sep 18, 2013 in Vocabulary


When someone asks «τι κάνεις» (ti kaneis, how are you) the answer they get is «καλά» (kala, well).  This is one of the first words that people learn in Greek. The Greek language is very rich in idiomatic and slang expressions used when we talk about our mood. Below, there’s a list of some non-standard expressions , which are commonly used in casual conversations. The translation of the examples into English is not always accurate but I think you’ll get the meaning.

  • Πήζω (pizo)

a. to jell, to coagulate

b. It can be used to mean: I’m very busy, I have a lot to do.

Ex. «Πάμε σινεμά;» «Δεν μπορώ.  Δίνω οργανική χημεία σε τέσσερις μέρες. Πήζω…»

(Pame sinema? Den  boro. Dino organiki himeia se tesseris meres. Pizo./ “Do you want to go to the movies?” “I can’t . I’ll sit an Organic Chemistry exam in four days. I’m really busy.”


  • Τρέχω (treho)
  1. To run
  2. It can be used to mean: I’m very busy, I have a lot to do

Ex. «Τι κάνεις;» «Έχω πολλή δουλειά στο γραφείο αυτές τις μέρες και τρέχω.»

(Ti kaneis? Eho poli douleia sto grafeio aftes tis meres kai treho./ “How are you?” “I have a lot of work at the office these days and I’m very busy.”


  • Τα παίζω (ta paizo) / Τα ‘παιξα, τα ‘χω παίξει (ta paixa, ta ho paixei)
  1. Παίζω (paizo, to play)
  2. This expression is used to mean: I’m exhausted

Ex.  Πήγα στο κέντρο με τα πόδια και τα ‘παιξα.

(Piga sto kentro me ta podia kai ta paixa. / I walked down town  and I’m exhausted)


  • Τα πήρα (ta pira) / Τα ‘χω πάρει (ta ho parei)
  1. Παίρνω means to take
  2. The expression τα πήρα (ta pira) is used to mean: I’m angry

Ex.  Η Μαρία τα ‘χει πάρει με το Νίκο γιατί έχει τρεις μέρες να την πάρει τηλέφωνο.

(I Maria ta hei parei me to Niko giati ehei treis meres na tin parei tilefono./ Maria is angry with Nikos because he hasn’t called her for three days.)


  • Τρελάθηκα (trelathika)
  1. Τρελαίνομαι (trelenome) means to go crazy.
  2. It can be used to mean: I got very worried or I really liked something.

Ex.  Όταν είδε ότι το μωρό της δεν ήταν στο καρότσι του τρελάθηκε.

(Otan ide oti to moro tis den itan sto karotsi tou trelathike./ When she realized that her baby was not in his pram she got very worried.)

Αν δεις αυτήν την ταινία θα τρελαθείς!  (An dis afti tin tenia tha trelathis! If you watch this movie you will lose your mind, you ‘ll really like it)


  • Δεν έχω όρεξη (den eho orexi)
  1. Ι have no appetite
  2. It can be used to mean: I’m not in the mood

Ex.    «Πάμε για ποτό;» «Δεν έχω όρεξη. Πάμε αύριο.»

(Pame gia poto? Den eho orexi. Pame avrio/ Do you want to go for a drink? I’m not in the mood. Let’s go tomorrow)


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About the Author: Ourania

Ourania lives in Athens. She holds a degree in French Literature and a Master’s degree in Special Education for Children. Since 2008, she has been teaching Greek to foreigners.


  1. Jennifer:

    Great site!

  2. Susan:

    Very interesting, lived in Greece for 37 years but still learning!