Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pulled muscle

θλαση - thlassee on Greek Webmd

I always hear this word when sports injuries are announced on the news. I think it's related to θλίψη, grief...
Θλίψη (thleepsee) comes  from θλίβω  (thleevo) < θλῶ (σπάω, συντρίβω) + φλίβω (σπάω, πιέζω)
two words break and pressure... break under pressure is the verb to grieve! So interesting.

It remains to be found out whether Θλαση is related. 

Monday, January 23, 2012


ατενίζω (ah - ten- EE --zo)

I'm still not sure the Greeks distinguish gaze from stare... more research required. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012


How did I live all these years without knowing how to say hinge in Greek? Found it on the Greek-words-from-Turkish forum:

μεντεσές (men dess ESS)< turkish menteşe < persian بندگشا bandguşā


μενεξές (meh-neh-XES)

I always knew it was some kind of flower but now I looked it up...


Tuesday, January 17, 2012


σκαθάρι (ska -- tha -- ree)  from the song above, "Masks"


  • {A} arrogant, haughty, magisterial, cocky, imperious, overbearing
a - yeh - roh -hos... from the song above, JUDAS WAS AN EXCELLENT KISSER. Excellent is rhymed with haughty.

Monday, January 16, 2012


μυγιάγγιχτος -- mee--yahng-eech-tos... literally, "fly-touched" ... means touchy, hyper-sensetive, in the definition below "one who frequently interprets the comments of others to be insulting"

που θίγεται εύκολα, που συχνά θεωρεί προσβλητικά λόγια ή συμπεριφορές των άλλων απέναντί του

mouse trap, the one that is like a little cage

φάκα  FAH-KA, from the Turkish fak, trap. The second definition is "to be caught red-handed"

η [fáka] Ο25 : η ποντικοπαγίδα, ιδίως αυτή που μοιάζει με μικρό κλουβί, μέσα στο οποίο παγιδεύεται ζωντανό το ποντίκι. ΦΡ πιάστηκε (σαν τον ποντικό) στη ~: α. παγιδεύτηκε (χωρίς δυνατότητα διαφυγής). β. πιάστηκε επ΄ αυτοφώρω, αποκαλύφτηκε, ενώ σχεδίαζε ή πραγματοποιούσε κτ. κακό.
[τουρκ. fak  θηλ. κατά το παγίδα]

prick / sting

αγκυλώνω (an - ghee --LO --no)... I was looking up μαδώ and found this one... I knew that αγκύστρι angistri was the hook used in fishing... apparently there's a verb, which doesn't mean to hook but to pinch/prick.

wild / native / uncultivated plant

αυτοφυές plant... afto-fyes... the parts of the word make it mean self-planted, and google translate suggests not only the above listed adjectives but also spontaneous and even "volunteer" ... picture the seed saying, with a sigh, I guess I'll grow here on a volunteer basis, without anyone giving me any water or fertilizer... I found this word while looking up the Greek translation of tragacanth (from my Carob searches)


This isn't a new word, but I was journalling and the word came into my head in English and I noticed that three words, γεγονός, δεδομένα, πλήροφορία, could all be facts. Really those three are fact, data, information respectively, but in this case as I was journalling about how to fit all the facts about carobs into my essay, I realized that the third one fit better....


νούφαρο το [núfaro] Ο41 : πολυετές υδρόβιο φυτό με μεγάλα στρογγυλά φύλλα και λευκά άνθη που επιπλέει στο νερό των λιμνών.
[μσν. νούφαρο < νενούφαρο με απλολ. [nenu > nu] < αραβ. nenūfar -ο]

I heard the word NOUFARRO in this song: "A Deceptive Dream" and had no idea what it could possibly be (the song compares the lost dream of love to a ship that got shipwrecked and a noufaro that was plucked/moulted.... not much context. The reason I couldn't decode the word was chiefly that it's not originally Greek, but borrowed from the Arabic "nenufar" which is also the word for waterlily in Spanish. So, that's it for the Greek word for waterlily. Let's see if I can remember it. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012


κοψοχολιάζω -- kopsoholiAzo -- literally, "cut the bile" ... my friend Vasiliki says this when she's shocked/startled, and I never thought about it until today. As evidenced in the word melancholy, Greeks beleive that bile has a lot to do with emotion. 

liar / fake / poser

γιαλαντζής ... yalanDZIS ... I'd only heard the word as referring to dolmades (rice and lamb-stuffed grape leaves) which had no meat in them. People would say to me during Lent, you can eat these, they are yalandzi. The word randomly popped into my head this morning and I couldn't remember at all what it meant, so I looked it up and discovered that it means FAKE / LIAR... the meatless dolmades are posing as real (meat inclusive) dolmades!! Ηere you can see the second word is γιαλαντζί, meatless/ fake

I looked up the Turkish and sure enough yalan is "lie" and yalanci is liar!
Source: http://www.slang.gr/lemma/show/gialantzi_9610

life raft on a ship

Having been on Greek ships before, I had seen this word (LEM-voss) on the rafts, but now I heard it for the first time on the News about the Italian cruise ship that ran aground on a sandbar. I'm fascinated with all the English possiblities for small boat--didn't know all of them...

  • {N} boat, gig, canoe, gondola, cutter, yawn, dinghy, row-boat, shallop, skiff
δερμάτινη λέμβος των εσκιμόων (leather eskimo lemvoss)
  • {N} kayak
ελαφρά λέμβος (light lemboss)
  • {N} cockboat, coracle
λέμβος εσκιμώου eskimo lemboss
  • {N} oomiak
λέμβος πλοίου ship lemvoss
  • {N} gig, pinnace
  • {N} boat house
μεγάλη λέμβος big lemvoss
  • {N} launch
μεγαλύτερα λέμβος πλοίου even bigger lemvoss
  • {N} longboat
μικρή λέμβος small lemboss
  • {N} scull
μικρή λέμβος πλοίου small ship lemvoss
  • {A} dinghy
  • {N} jolly
ναυαγοσωστική λέμβος saving lemboss
  • {N} life boat, lifeboat

Friday, January 13, 2012

get riled up

φουρκίζομαι (fourkizomeh)

This was in the story we read from the Anthology with Iwanna G. yesterday--she (age 12) defined it as "get mad in a puffed up way." According to the synonyms listed below, she was dead on with her definition!

The big question is: why does it sound just like φουρκέτα (fourketta), barrette, in an earlier post? I was able to learn that the barrette word is likely from the French fourchette, fork--so they may be false cognates.

rilevtr(annoy, anger)εκνευρίζω, εξοργίζω ρ.μετ.
frustrate sbv(exasperate, annoy sb)εξοργίζω, εκνευρίζω, ενοχλώρ.μετ.
 καθομιλουμένητσατίζω, φουρκίζω, φουντώνωρ.μετ.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

στουπί -- I always knew this meant "drunk," but while reading about the hurricane lamp, I saw something about using it while patching up a tent with "stoupi" which apparently means, in addition to "drunk," oakum, tow, wad, wadding!!


μπουλούκι (boulouki) from the same song, (Zeimbekiko for Nikkos).
Boulouko is the Cypriot word for stuffed animal--according to google translate,  bölük  means company in Turkish..the etymology makes more sense for the Greek word than the Cypriot except that one does use a stuffed animal to keep one company. In the meantime, SCRUM from the definition of boulouki is new to me...

Furthermore, from looking up the Turkish boluk, I learned that Maniple (Latin: manipulus) was a tactical unit of the Roman legion adopted from the Samnites during the Samnite Wars (343–290 BC)!!! Andrea, my only known reader, are you smiling?

herdn(of people) άνθρωποιόχλος ουσ.αρ.
 καθομιλουμένημπουλούκι ουσ.ουδ.
scrumnUK, figurative (disorderly crowd) ΗΒμπουλούκι ουσ.ουδ.
 μεταφορικάστριμωξίδι ουσ.ουδ.
multituden(people: crowd)πλήθος ουσ.ουδ.
 καθομιλουμένημπουλούκι, τσούρμοουσ.ουδ.
multituden(large number)πλήθος ουσ.ουδ.
 καθομιλουμένημπουλούκι, τσούρμοουσ.ουδ.

hurricane lamp

λάμπα θυέλλης... lamba thiELlis... I didn't even know this was a thing in english, but I heard it in a song and looked it up... in Greek it also means "lamp of storm" ... it's in a song I just heard, but it's also a title of another song! 


τριζόνι (trizOni) -- I thought it was some kind of bird, but clearly not-- it's a cricket. Cricket is also called γρύλος, and a few google searches have given no evidence that the synonyms refer to different subspecies of cricket. I was reminded to look up the word when fellow Greece Seminar prof Christopher Bakken posted this song (which I've loved for many years) http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DEQnJ1BInoL8&h=MAQGVhPqqAQE0ClFata1f4UaoLCrAkytT42h_0ajBdGI5bg