Greek Language Blog

Mythical creatures and common words Posted by on Jul 30, 2018 in Vocabulary

What is common between mythical creatures and common words? If you are interested in the origin of words and how some words are related to Greek mythology, this post is for you.


#1.chimera (χίμαιρα): This is the less common word of the list. Ιt is used to mean something unreal. It Greek mythology, Chimera (Χίμαιρα) was a monster.It exhaled fire and its body was composed of different animal parts. In modern Greek, the word chimera is an allegory of unreachable goals.

Ο Γιάννης πιστεύει ακόμα ότι μια μέρα θα γίνει δήμαρχος. Δεν θα σταματήσει ποτέ να κυνηγάει χίμαιρες.
Yannis still believes that one day he will be mayor. He will never stop chasing chimeras (i.e. having unreal goals).


#2.erotic (ερωτικός, ερωτική, ερωτικό): it comes from Eros (Έρως). In Hesiod’s Theogony, Eros was one of the three primary gods. He did not have offsprings but he united other gods.

Κάθε μέρα ο Βασίλης γράφει στην Ηλέκτρα ερωτικά email .
Everyday Vasilis writes Electra love emails.


#3.aphrodisiac (αφροδισιακός, αφροδιασιακή, αφροδισιακό): Aphrodite (Αφροδίτη) was the goddess of love.

Πολλοί πιστεύουν ότι το μοσχοκάρυδο είναι αφροδισιακό.
Many people believe that nutmeg id aphrodisiac.


#4.chaos (χάος): In Hesiod’s Theogony, Chaos (Χάος) was one of the three primary gods. The other two were Gaea (Γαία) and Eros (Έρως).In modern Greek, the word χάος is used to mean disorder.We also use the adjective χαοτικός (chaotic).

Η Υβόννη είναι πολύ ακατάστατη. Στη ντουλάπα της επικρατεί ένα χάος.
Yvone is very messy. In her closet, chaos prevails (literally translated).


#4.panic (πανικός): from the mythical god Pan (Παν).
Pan was connected to fauna.He had the legs and horns of a goat and resided in mountains, forests and caves. He was very noisy and created uncontrollable fear. This is were the word panic (πανικός) derives from.

Σε τέτοιες στιγμές πρέπει να μένουμε ψύχραιμοι και να μη μας πιάνει πανικός.
In such moments we have to stay calm and not to panic.


#5.titanic (τιτάνιος): Τhe Titans (Τιτάνες) were second generation deities born by Uranus (Sky,Ουρανός ) and Gaea (Earth, Γη).They had a battle (Titanomachy, Τιτανομαχία) with the Olympian gods and were defeated. In modern Greek, the word τιτάνιος (titanic) is used to mean huge.

Οι γιατροί έκαναν τιτάνιες προσπάθειες να τον κρατήσουν στη ζωή.
The doctors made huge efforts to keep him alive.


scym via Pixabay

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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. Andressa:

    Very good. Thank you. I read all your posts.

    • Ourania:

      @Andressa Thank you! I’m glad you find the posts interesting.

  2. Helenr:

    As usual, always so interesting to read Rania’s blogs!

    • Ourania:

      @Helenr Ευχαριστώ πολύ 🙂