Greek Language Blog

Make it small with Greek diminutives Posted by on Feb 5, 2015 in Grammar, Vocabulary

Tambako the Jaguar under a CC license on Flickr.

Tambako the Jaguar under a CC license on Flickr.

Diminutives (υποκοριστικά) are words that connote a smaller size. Their use is also related to affection and intimacy but also to contempt. There are many  suffixes that form diminutives are, but the most common are –άκι, –ίτσα, –ούλης, –ούλα, -άκης. They are very commonly used with food and drink (το ούζοτο ουζάκι,ouzo, η μπανάναη μπανανούλα, banana etc.) or with clothes (το παντελόνιτο παντελονάκι, pants, η φούστα η φουστίτσα, skirt). In this case, it is not always easy to find an equivalent meaning in other languages. Below there are some examples of the use of diminutives.

1. – άκι

It is used with nouns


η γάτα – το γατάκι: cat – kitten

ο καφές -το καφεδάκι: coffee

το κρασί — το κρασάκι: wine

Η γάτα μας έκανε τέσσερα γατάκια. / Our cat had four kittens.

Ορίστε τα καφεδάκια σας. / Here are your coffees.

Θέλεις λίγο κρασάκι ακόμα; / Would you like more wine?

It can be also used with feminine or neuter proper names


η Μαρία – το Μαράκι: Maria

η Σοφία – το Σοφάκι: Sophia

η Κατερίνα – το Κατερινάκι: Katerina

το Παρίσι – το Παρισάκι: Paris

Πολύ την έξυπνη δε μας κάνεις Μαράκι;/ You think you’re too clever or what, Maraki? (pejorative)

Γεια σου Σοφάκι, τι κάνεις; / Hi Sofaki, how are you?

Θα πάω στο Παρισάκι, επιτέλους! / I’ll go to Paris, at last!

2. -ίτσα

It is used with nouns


η σούπα – η σουπίτσα: soup

η φούστα- η φουστίτσα: skirt

“Πεινάω!” “Έχω φτιάξει μια σουπίτσα.” / “I’m hungry!” “I’ve made a soup!”

Τι χαριτωμένη φουστίτσα! / What a cute little skirt!

It is also used with proper names.


η Ελλάδα – η Ελλαδίτσα: Greece

Πόσο μας λείπει η Ελλαδίτσα μας! / We miss our (little) Greece so much!


3. – ούλης, -ούλα, -ούλι

It is used with nouns


η μάνα – η μανούλα: mum – mummy

Μανούλα, πότε θα γυρίσεις στο σπίτι; / Mummy, when will you come home?


It is also used with adjectives


γλυκός – γλυκούλης, γλυκιά – γλυκούλα, γλυκό – γλυκούλι: sweet, cute

ξανθός – ξανθούλης, ξανθιά – ξανθούλα, ξανθό – ξανθούλι: blonde

Η κόρη σας είναι τόσο γλυκούλα! / Your daughter is so cute!

Γεια σου ξανθούλα! / Hi blondie!

It can be also used with proper names


η Άννα – η Αννούλα: Anna

η Σοφία – η Σοφούλα

Γεια σου Αννούλα, τι κάνεις; / Hi Anna, how are you?

4. – άκης

It is used with masculine forenames


ο Γιώργος – ο Γιωργάκης: George

Πού είσαι Γιωργάκη; Καιρό έχω να σε δω. / Where have you been George? I haven’t seen you in a long time.

ο Δημήτρης – ο Δημητράκης: Dimitrakis

Βαρέθηκα τις δικαιολογίες σου, Δημητράκη, ακούς; / I’m fed up with your excuses, Dimitri, OK? (pejorative)

You can find the examples in the pdf:


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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. Inna:

    Great post! Thank you! I’m a big fan of the Greek language and culture. Your blog is very handy and interesing. I like it very much ))