13 July 2017

The Greeks have
a word for it (17)

Not every word in the Greek dictionary can fit on a T-shirt (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2017)

Patrick Comerford

There is a character in the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Gus Portokalos, the father of the bride, who seeks the Greek root of every imaginable word, and then deduces that Greeks have been responsible every beneficial invention in civilisation.

He is the sort of character who might have inspired a T-shirt I saw on sale in Rethymnon a few days ago, listing a series of words with Greek roots.

During these last two weeks in Crete, I have been posting a series of blog essays on familiar Greek words and – often with a sense of humour – sharing the thoughts that come to mind when I hear or read these words, with references to classical, Biblical and theological themes.

In the present political and economic crisis that continues to eat into the hearts of many Greeks, some of the words I did not use in this series include drama, tragedy and politics itself. Nor did I use the words comedy, climax, apocalypse and abyss.

But this is a list of the words I mused on in this series, with a link to each word:

1, Neologism, Νεολογισμός.

2, Welcoming the stranger, Φιλοξενία.

3, Bread, Ψωμί.

4, Wine, Οίνος and Κρασί.

5, Yogurt, Γιαούρτι.

6, Orthodoxy, Ορθοδοξία.

7, Sea, Θᾰ́λᾰσσᾰ.

8,Theology, Θεολογία.

9, Icon, Εἰκών.

10, Philosophy, Φιλοσοφία.

11, Chaos, Χάος.

12, Liturgy, Λειτουργία.

13, Greeks, Ἕλληνες or Ρωμαίοι.

14, Mañana, Αύριο.

15, Europe, Εὐρώπη.

16, Architecture.

17, The missing words.

18, Theatre, θέατρον, and Drama, δρᾶμα.

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