The Wacky World of Greek Expressions PDF Print E-mail
Share

If you grew up in Greek household, chances are you’ve heard your fair share of golden one-liners from your father, mother, papou, yiayia, and especially your crazy uncle or aunt. At a young age you probably wondered what in the heck they meant by some of the things they said, but at the end of the day you always somehow got the message.

Throughout the years these expressions have been shared over message boards and forums on the internet, and exchanged between people in everyday discussions. But we here at Greek Gateway have finally decided to set the record straight by providing you with an up-to-date organized list of some of the best expressions used in every day Greek dialogue. Along with each saying we have also provided you with a literal English translation, as well as an explanation for what the Greeks really mean when using these terminologies.

I hope you enjoy this reading this compilation as much as I enjoyed piecing it together.

Let us begin…

Greek Saying #1: “Τα μάτια σου δεκατέσσερα.”
Literal English Translation: “Your eyes fourteen.”
What the Greeks really mean: "Keep your eyes open at all times."

If you still don't get it, here it is explained further…we have 7 mental senses and 7 physical senses making 14. VERY INTERESTING LISTEN BELOW:

Greek Saying #2: “Όποιος βιάζεται σκοντάφτει.”
Literal English Translation: “Whoever hurries stumbles.”
What the Greeks really mean: "He who doesn’t think things through, stumbles in the end."

Greek Saying #3: “Η ζωή είναι σαν ένα αγγούρι, ο έναs το τρώει και δροσιστείτε, και ο άλλος το τρώει και ζορίζετε.”
Literal English Translation: “Life is like a cucumber, one person eats it and is refreshed, and another person eats it and struggles.”
What the Greeks really mean: "Life is simply what you make of it."

Greek Saying #4: “Ξεκωλιάστηκα..”
Literal English Translation: “Un-assed.” (Yes, we are fully aware that un-assed is not a real English word).
What the Greeks really mean: "I have over-exerted myself." (I know what you're thinking. Don't even go there).

Greek Saying #5: “θα σοu αλλάξω τα φώτα.”
Literal English Translation: “I will change your lights.”
What the Greeks really mean: "I will surprise you in a way you never thought imaginable."

Greek Saying #6: “πνίγεσε σ’ένα κουτάλι νερό.”
Literal English Translation: “You drown in a spoon of water.”
What the Greeks really mean: "You make even the simplest of tasks seem so difficult."

Greek Saying #7: “Θα φάs ξύλο.”
Literal English Translation: “You’re going to eat wood.”
What the Greeks really mean: "You’re going to get a beating!"

Greek Saying #8: “Ο διαβολος δεν ειχε δουλεια και εκατσε και γαμισαι τα παιδια του.”
Literal English Translation: “Τhe devil had nothing to do, so he screwed his kids.”
What the Greeks really mean: "He/she has nothing better to do".

Greek Saying #9: “θα σου χέσω το γάιδαρο.”
Literal English Translation: “I will shit your donkey.”
What the Greeks really mean: This phrase is used as a threat when you’re really angry with someone.

Greek Saying #10: “θα σου πιω το αίμα.”
Literal English Translation: “I’m going to drink your blood.”
What the Greeks really mean: This phrase is also used as a threat when you’re really angry with someone. That's right. The Greeks are crazy blood-sucking S.O.B's.

Greek Saying #11: “Θα μου κλάσεις τα αρχίδια.”
Literal English Translation: “You'll fart on my testicles.”
What the Greeks really mean: "You can't do anything about it."

Greek Saying #12: “Τα πολλά λόγια είναι φτωχια.”
Literal English Translation: “The many words are poor.”
What the Greeks really mean: "Talk is cheap."

Greek Saying #13: “Tο εχουν παραχέσει.”
Literal English Translation: “They have overshitted it.” (Again, yes, we are fully aware that overshitted is not a real English word).
What the Greeks really mean: "They have overdone it."

Greek Saying #14: “θα σου βάλω τα δυο πόδια σε ενα παπουτσι.”
Literal English Translation: “I will put your two feet in one shoe.”
What the Greeks really mean: "I will put you in your place."

Greek Saying #15: “Σηκωθήκαν τα πόδια να βαρέσουν το κεφάλι.”
Literal English Translation: “The feet got up to hit the head.”
What the Greeks really mean: "I'm onto you."

Greek Saying #16: “Αν η γιαγιά μου είχε αρχίδια, θα τη φώναζα παππού.”
Literal English Translation: “If my grandmother had balls, I would call her my grandfather.”
What the Greeks really mean: "The entire situation changes once you start throwing 'ifs' into the scenario."

Greek Saying #17: “Δεν ειναι Γιάννης, ειναι Γιανάκης.”
Literal English Translation: “It's not John, it's Johnny.”
What the Greeks really mean: "It’s one and the same." Like saying “po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe” in English!

Greek Saying #18: “Έφαγα τον κόσμο να σε βρω.”
Literal English Translation: “I ate the whole world to find you.”
What the Greeks really mean: Just an exaggerated way of saying “I tore this place apart looking for you.”

Greek Saying #19: “Να μου τρυπήσεις τη μύτη!”
Literal English Translation: “Pierce my nose!”
What the Greeks really mean: This phrase is usually used in the context of a discussion where you’re so sure about something that you’re willing to “pierce your nose” if you’re wrong.

Greek Saying #20: "Χεστικαι η κοντη!"
Literal English Translation: "The short woman shit herself!" 
What the Greeks really mean: "Big deal!"

So there you have it: a comprehensive list of popular Greek sayings and their complete literal English translations.

You must admit, the Greeks have some of the most original, hilarious, unique ways of expressing themselves through words. Don't they?

So the next time you’re in a situation that calls for any of these lines to be used, think back to what you read here today, and if the timing is right, toss in a quote from the list above.

Did we miss any popular Greek expressions? Probably. Add to the discussion by throwing in a few lines of your own in the comment section below!

By Staff Writer – Jonathan Bliangas

Follow Jonathan on Twitter @jbliangas

Share