Never Ask Google to Translate these 22 Funny Greek Expressions (and how to use them)

Different cultures tend to produce their own phrases, and meanings aren’t always the same across borders.

Here we collected 22 phrases only Greeks use that if you try to literally translate in English they won’t make sense to you.

Don’t worry, we translated them properly for you so you know how to use them in your next vacation to Greece:

1. A Greek doesn’t say “I have no idea what’s going on”…she says “I’ve lost my eggs and baskets” (ἐχω χἀσει τα αυγἀ και τα καλἀθια).

2. A Greek doesn’t just “make your life hell”…he “makes your life a roller skate” (σου κἀνει την ζωἠ πατἰνι).

3. In Greece, a situation doesn’t just “get out of hand”…it turns into “a whore’s fencepost” (της πουτἀνας το κἀγκελο).

4. A Greek isn’t just “doing nothing”…he’s “swatting flies” (βαρἀει μὐγες).

5. A Greek house isn’t just “messy”…it’s a “brothel” (μπουρδἐλο).

6. A Greek isn’t just “very busy”…she’s “running without arriving” (τρἐχει και δεν φτἀνει).

7. A Greek doesn’t just “irritate you”…she “breaks your nerves” (σου σπἀει τα νεὐρα).

8. In Greece, something isn’t “unbearable…it “can’t be fought” (δεν παλεὐεται).

9. Greeks aren’t just “exhausted”…they are “in pieces” (κομμἀτια).

10. A Greek person isn’t just “high and mighty” or a “diva”…she is “astride a reed” (ἐχει καβαλἠσει καλἀμι).

11. In Greece, people don’t just “turn you down”…they “throw you an X” (σου ἐριξε Χ).

12. A Greek person isn’t just “stupid”…he’s a “brick” (τοὐβλο).

13. A Greek person doesn’t just “cheat on you”…he “puts horns on you” (σε κερατὠνει).

14. A Greek is not told to “go jump in a lake”…he is told to “go see if the boats are moving” (πἠγαινε να δεἰς αν κουνιοὐντε οι βἀρκες).

15. Greeks don’t just “get into a fight”…they “become yarn balls” (γἰναμε μαλλιἀ κουβἀρια).

16. A Greek isn’t just “fit”…she is “slices” (φἐτες).

17. Greeks that are really drunk aren’t “wasted”…they are “pie” (πἰτα).

18. Also, they are “pie” because they “drank their horns” (ἠπια τα κερατἀ μου).

19. In Greece, a place isn’t “really far away”…it’s “by the devil’s mother” (στου διαὀλου την μἀνα).

20. A Greek doesn’t get “beat up”…he “eats wood” (τρὠει ξὐλο).

21. A Greek doesn’t say something incomprehensible is “all Greek to me”…instead, it is “like you are speaking Chinese” (εἰναι σαν να μου μιλἀς Κινἐζικα)

22. Greeks won’t ask you to “leave”…they will tell you to “take road” (πάρε δρόμο)


*The witty author of this post, Joanna Kalafatis, has her own blog (take a look here) and also writes on Matador where a version of this story initially appeared.