Greek Language Blog

Speed expressions in Greek Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Vocabulary

One of the most common expressions is “σιγά σιγά”: it means that things will be done in no rush, at one’s own convenience. Literally, it means “slowly slowly”. In this post there is a list of expressions which mean the opposite: at once, promptly, in no time.

By Swiss James under a CC license on Flickr

By Swiss James under a CC license on Flickr


άρον άρον: it is a phrase from the Gospel:Άρον άρον σταύρωσον αυτόν which means “Take Him away! Take Him away! Crucify Him!”

Με σήκωσε άρον άρον από το κρεβάτι για να δω το καινούριο φόρεμά της. She made me get up in a rush in order to see her new dress.

μάνι μάνι

Η Σοφία σιδέρωσε τα ρούχα μάνι μάνι. Sophia ironed the clothes in no time.

τάκα τάκα

Όταν του είπα ότι τον χρειάζομαι ήρθε στο τάκα τάκα. When I told him I needed him he came in no time.

άψε σβήσε

Μαγειρέψαμε το παστίτσιο στο άψε σβήσε.We cooked the pastitsio in no time.

πι και φι

Θα φτιάξω τη βρύση στο πι και φι. I will fix the faucet in no time.

τσακ μπαμ

Πήγαν στο περίπτερο τσακ μπαμ. Σε πέντε λεπτά ήταν πίσω. They went to the kiosk in no time. In five minutes they were back.

πατ κιούτ

Πήραν την απόφασή τους πατ κιούτ. Δεν σκέφτηκαν καθόλου. They took their decision in no time. They didn’t think at all.

σε χρόνο ντε-τε: from the initials of differential time

η Κατερίνα έλυσε την εξίσωση σε χρόνο ντε τε. Katerina solved the equation in no time.

μέχρι να πεις κύμινο: literally it means “until you say cumin”

“Πήγαινε τώρα στο σούπερ μάρκετ και μην αργήσεις!” “Μέχρι να πεις κύμινο θα έχω έρθει.” “Go to the super market now and don’t be late!” “I will be back in no time (before you say “cumin”).

στο φτερό: φτερό means “wing” and “feather”.

“Είσαι σίγουρος ότι θα σου δώσουν 200 ευρώ;” “Ναι. Θα τους πείσω στο φτερό.” “Are you sure they will give you 200 euro?” “Yes. I will convince them in no time.”


Μάζεψέ τα πράγματά σου σβέλτα, δεν έχουμε χρόνο Έρχεται το ταξί. Pick up your things quickly, we have no time. The taxi is on its way.

By archer10 (Dennis) OFF under a CC license on Flickr

By archer10 (Dennis) OFF under a CC license on Flickr


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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. Sean:

    Can you explain the origins of some of those expressiins?Some don’t sound like they are originally from the Greek language.

  2. Lou:

    Hi Ourania, thanks for your speed expressions post.

    Do you know where the expressions πατ κιούτ and τσακ μπαμ come from originally? They sound a bit like foreign words or names (Jack bam? Pat cute??)

    Cheers, Lou