fufuðion

By: | Post date: 2018-01-12 | Comments: 9 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek, Modern Greek

In my time at the TLG, there was many a mediaeval Greek word that was not in the main dictionaries—Lampe, Trapp (which was not yet complete at the time), and Kriaras (ditto); and I would expend pleasant and assiduous effort in trying to track those words down elsewhere.

One such word was the Byzantine Greek word for brocade, φουφούδιον. It’s in Trapp’s dictionary now that Vol. VIII has appeared (after the end of my time at the TLG):

φουφούδι(ο)ν, τό. Brocade. -ιν TestBoil 23, 131. -ιν AIv 47.37 (a. 1098). -ια APantel 7.12. -ιν 18 (a. 1142). -ιον OktoEng 40.15. -ιν 19. φοφόδην FalkSing 450.6.—Car[acausi], TestBoilP 157, ByzAD.

φουφουδοτός (corrct to: -ωτός) Decorated with brocade. DucApp I. s.v. ῤένδα: Cod. Reg. 2437 (= Par. 156).

φουφούλιον, τό. Brocaded garment. -ια EpBib 5,2. φουρουλ( ) (?) μετὰ σταυρίου ὀξέου “with a purple cross” Typ.Kechar 152,28.—LexPont -ιν; cf. Φουφούλης Car, φουφούλα Stam[atakos].

So we have fufuði(o)n, in one text fofoðin, 1 attested in various monastic texts of the 11th through 13th century. We have the related adjective fufuðotos, attested (mispelled) in the appendix to DuCange’s 1688 Glossarium ad scriptores mediae et infimae Graecitatis (presumably from a manuscript no longer available). And we have the variant fufulion, attested in the 10th century Book of the Eparch of Leo the Wise, as well as the 12th century typikon of the mponastery of Theotokos Kecharitomene. The latter word survives in Pontic Greek as fufulin, and in standard Greek as fufula (Stamatakos is a Modern Greek dictionary): per the Triantafyllidis dictionary fufula refers to “the lower hind part of islander breeches (vraka), which is puffy and has folds; breeches by extension; pantaloons for women and children, held up by suspenders”.

Trapp’s volume wasn’t out at the time I came across the word in the TLG. But other sources had already published fufuðion.

Such as Girolamo Caracausi’s Lessico Greco della Sicilia e dell’Italia meridionale (secoli x–xiv), a dictionary of the monastic documents of southern Italy, where it is glossed as “a kind of cloth”, with Falkenhausen’s example and two others, and with the contemporary Latin phrases from the same region, fuffude rossa et citrina (1065) and uno fuffudi citrino et nigro (1088). I had in fact gone through Caracausi for words for the TLG, but for some reason I had missed φουφούδιον.

A source I did come across when researching φουφούδιον was ByzAD: Artefacts and Raw Materials in Byzantine Archival Documents, which has an extensive article on the garment and its attestations, and renders it as “silk fabric, samite (?)”. The article posits that the name is “doubtless of Iranian origin”, and associates it with Leo VI the Wise’s fufulion, where the editor believes it is a kind of baggy pants. It also notes that fufula has survived into Modern Greek ByzAD is an online database, so I did eventually find it there.

That isn’t where I first found it either though.

I first find it through the word’s transmission into Russian. The word shows up in Old Russian as fofudja; and because of the delay in getting the lexicography of Byzantine Greek up and running, the only source Vasmer had access to in his etymological dictionary of Russian (where it is glossed as “precious fabric for imperial clothes”) was the 1688 attestation of fufuðotos.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say abut the Russian version of the word:

The word was quite obscure and was not included in several editions of orthographic dictionaries either in Ukraine or Russia.

According to the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary, fofudja (Russian: фофудья, Greek: φουφουδότης) [which is presumably a distortion of DuCange’s φουφουδοτός] is an oriental precious cloth woven with gold thread and often used in ceremonial garments in the Byzantine Empire during the time of Kievan Rus and similar to an ephod. Fofudja was was mentioned as a form of payment in the 12th century birch bark documents found in the Veliky Novgorod excavation. Fofudja was mentioned in the Radziwiłł Chronicle in the 13th century when Leo VI the Wise rewarded Oleg of Novgorod with gold, fofudja and other items. The term is mentioned again when Vladimir II Monomakh distributed fofudja, among other goods, to the people on their way to the church.

Note that Leo VI the Wise was the 10th century emperor to whom the Book of Eparch was attributed, which had fufulion. The fufuðion was expressly mentioned as Byzantine in the Russian sources, and is mentioned over the same period it appears in Byzantine sources, 11th through 13th centuries.

Fofudja/Fufudin passed out of use in both the Greek-speaking and the Russian-speaking world, though the related fufulin clearly survived in Greek. There are two paradoxical survivals of Fofudja/Fufudin though.

There’s a reason I was able to find mentions of fofudja online so easy:

Fofudja (Russian: Фофудья [fɐˈfudʲjə]) is an internet and social phenomenon in the Ukrainian segment of the LiveJournal community. While its name denotes a piece of religious clothing, it has been used lately as a satirical protest against Russian imperialism, xenophobia, ukrainophobia, antisemitism and religious intolerance. By application of reductio ad absurdum this phenomenon involves people assuming comically exaggerated xenophobic and antisemitic views with the aim to mock them. As such, members of the Fofudja community sarcastically purport to be members of the supposedly oppressed Russian-speaking minority in Ukraine suffering from nationalist and Zionist oppression.

[…]

The theme of this phenomenon can be traced back to another widely popular Ukrainian Internet creation — a novel “The City of Lvov”. [started 2006–02–20] This satirical Internet novel written by “Professor” Ivan Denikin (a pen name of an unknown joker) deals with a few Russians traveling to Lviv and on their way encountering “unspeakable suffering” of the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine brought on by Ukrainization.

[…]

The main symbol of this phenomenon is the fofudja itself. In the view of some observers the name was probably selected because of a number of factors: because of its obscurity, because it sounds similar to a piece of clothing called fufaika, and also due to its Byzantine origin and orthodox symbolism. Members of the community sarcastically position themselves as semi-underground Russian minority in present-day Ukraine, proud Russian patriots and devout Orthodox Christians.

[…]

Fofudja as a piece of religious clothing is meant to be a symbol of Russian Orthodoxy and of Russian culture. Participants believe that they will be persecuted by Ukrainian authorities for wearing it in public as a piece of national Russian costume. In fact, the leader of Ukrainian communists Petro Symonenko was asked in an Internet conference the following question:

“Hello, I am from Kherson oblast and I am an ethnic Russian. My daughter was prohibited from wearing a fofudja at school, a symbol of Russian culture — on the grounds that the state language is Ukrainian. I just wanted to ask you, Peter Nikolayevich, for how long [will it last]?

Unsuspecting of being a victim of a practical joke by members of the fofudja community and willing to profit on the sensitive inter-ethnic question Mr. Symonenko promised to “look into it”.

[…]

The symbol of “fofudja”, the catchphrase “доколє” (“for how long” “until when”, an archaic question word), the Russian-Ukrainian letter mix and the Imperial Cyrillic — these are the distinctive features of this Internet phenomenon that spread beyond the Live Journal blog and into the wider community in Ukraine.

Hence, the fofudja in its natural contemporary habitat, as a meme accompanied by the archaic and plaintive доколє “for how long”:

The Greek survival of fufuðion is somewhat less spectacular. On the other hand, if you’re a dialectologist, it’s arguably more spectacular.

Nikolaos Pantelidis is a dialectologist at Athens University, and he has been researching dialects that have gotten short shrift in Modern Greek dialectology, notably Peloponnesian. In Το παλαιοαθηναϊκό ιδίωμα: Πηγές, μαρτυρίες, χαρακτηριστικά, he assembles all available sources to date on the Old Athenian dialect—which, thanks to two recently published 19th century plays, are a lot more sources than we used to have. The dialect has gone from almost unattested, to attested enough for him to extract a basic grammar. (And for me to formulate an impressionistic description of it as a Tsakonian-flavoured Cretan.)

Of the two plays, Gynaikokratia (1841) has a brief speech in Old Athenian, written by Dimitrios Byzantios/Hatziaslanis, the same playwright who wrote the renowned satire of Modern Greek linguistic diversity Babel. The second, with a more extensive speech, is Sotirios Kourtesis’ 1862 Ο Καρπάθιος ή ο κατά φαντασίαν ερώμενος “The Carpathian, or the Imaginary Lover”.

(You’ll find very few traces of Kourtesis online, but one trace you will find is that this particular play was an imitation of Molière. A second was that he was the first to satirise the Piraeus toughs, the Koutsavakis/Mangas, as far back as 1868.)

And in the very end of the old native Athenian woman’s plaint on modern female fashions in Kourtesis’ play, in the second last page of Pantelidis’ article, right before the use of που after a dubitative verb that I wish I had been aware of for my doctoral thesis (τιγάρις θάρρευγες που σε γέλαγα—cf. A Survey of Modern Greek Dialectal Complementation), she says:

Εµείς, τσυρά µου, τα ζιπούνια µας, τα σταµπόσιαλια, τα επαίρναµε προιτσιό, τσαι πάλι τα δίναµε στα παιδιά µας, τσαι εσάς δε σας φτάνουνε δυο-τρία φουστάνια το µήνα, τσαι για τούτο δε θα κάµετε προκοπή ποτές, µε τούνα δά τα φουφούδια που φορείτε.

My lady, our waistcoats, our Istanbul shawls, we received as dowry, and we handed them on to our children; and as for you, two or three dresses a month are not enough for you, and that’s why no good will ever come of you, with these fufuðia you’re wearing.

The word clearly does not refer here to pantaloons, but to fancy clothes; so in fact it is closer to the fufuðion than are the pantaloons and breeches of fufula, which we know survived in Greek.

Old Athenian was a notoriously archaic dialect; it’s almost too good to be true to find a Byzantine survival like fufuðion in Athens, which was isolated from the remainder of the Greek-speaking world by Albanian incursions in the 14th century—right after fufuðion is no longer attested. And maybe the word was used more widely after all.

A look at Google Books shows that it was. In Rhodes, fufui < fufuði refers to boils on childrenʼs heads; the form is reported by Agapitos Tsopanakis in an article in Hellenika in 1985, and he also reports that he had already derived it from *ὑποφῴδιον “under-blister” in 1940. So it’s unrelated.

This snippet from the journal of the Greek Philological Society of Constantinople journal (Σύγγραμμα Περιοδικόν, vol. 17) of 1882–83, on the other hand, very much attests the word: it’s a song lyric that goes

Κάποια Μέρισα, κάποια Μεροδοπούλλα,
εροθύμθησε πα’ ’ς τογ ’γιαλόν να πλύννη
τα φουφούδια της και τα μεταξωτά της

A Merisa (?), a Merodopoulla/Merodian (?) girl,
went down to the beach to wash
her fufuðia and her silken garments (p. 224)

Mercifully the Internet Archive has also digitised that volume; the song is from Symi, the next island up from Rhodes. (So that Rhodian word for boils might somehow be related to fufuðia after all.)

The word also shows up a fair way away from Symi, in Missolonghi, in the local paper citing Akakia Kordosis’ 1998 Μιλήστε Μεσολογγίτικα “Speak Missolongian” (which is available in an earlier edition here):

Αναφουφουδιάζω (απ’ την λέξη φουφούδια που λένε για τα φρεσκοπλυμένα ρούχα). Φρεσκάρω. Αναφουφούδιασα τα σκουτιά.

Φουφούδι, το. Καθαρό, ωραίο. Τα ρούχα γίνανε φουφούδια απ’ το πλύσ’μο.

anafufuðiazo (from the word fufuðia which is used to refer to freshly washed clothes). To freshen up. “I anafufuðiazo the clothes.”

fufuði neut. noun. Clean, beautiful. “The clothes have become fufuðia through washing.”

So the original Byzantine garment, the brocade awarded to the Rus, turns up in Symi, Missolonghi, and Athens, as a description of nice dress—clean clothes in Missolonghi, fancy clothes in Athens, precious clothes in Symi.

(I’ve also seen an instance of contemporary usage of fufuðia to mean “nonsense”, and some other scattered instances whose meaning I can’t work out; e.g. from a childbirth forum, εμενα μου την εβαλε γιατρος και μαια που με ειχαν στα φουφουδια που λεμε…με εξτρα ζελε και ξυλοκαινη-σουπερ περιποιηση “I had [the catheter] inserted by a doctor and a midwife, who had me, as the saying goes, “in the fufuðia“, with extra jelly and xylocaine: they were wonderful to me”.)

So the survival of fufuðia in Old Athenian is not as unique as I’d thought an hour ago; but it’s still a survival that (as far as I can tell) has not been linked to the Byzantine garment before.)

Kaliarda XXXIV: Miscellanea from Kaliarda

By: | Post date: 2018-01-05 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

The following words mainly illustrate the interesting ways Kaliarda implements its schematicism:

aðelfula
cat: “little sissy” (gays identifying with cats)
anemoviva
soul: “wind life”
adikotos
distant: “un-seen”
astedupuros
director: “‘That’s how I want it!’ old man” < Arvanitika është dua “that’s how I want it” (also used in mainstream slang)
atsarðo
countryside: “houseless”
axatozo
interior, Greece: “here-ness”
axatobenama
gesture, signal: “here saying” (“hither signal”)
virdzinoskriva
stenography: “virgin writing”
ɣiðaru
wandering seller of greens: “goat chick” (since goats eat greens)
ɡuda dzorna
Good Day (English + Italian)
ɣorɣori
slap < “swift”
ɡrifopsipsizo
to scratch: “nail pussycat”
ɡrosokuakis
frog: “large quack” (note that the Greek onomatopoeia for frogs is koaks)
ɣuɣuloxalo
to bite: “wolf eat”
ɣrasiðopaɡru
cotton: “grass fleece”
ɣirozaru
casino: “go-around dice chick” (alluding to roulette)
ðantela
binding, knot < “lace”, hence ðanteliazo “to tie”
ðikelomantio
window, cinema: “looks oracle” (because seeing through window or cinema lets you know something far from your physical presence?)
iðolo
striking makeup < “idol”; iðoliazo “to portray”
zuzunosoɣi
candle: “bug light” (i.e. light using an insect product, wax)
imandes baka
sister: “our belly”, i.e. “from the same belly”
kanɡurosalo, kanɡurosoliasma
snot: “nose saliva”
kapaki
cap (headgear) < “cap, lid” (the conflation is alien to mainstream Greek)
kart-kaliard
photograph: “card ugly”, in pseudo-French, by analogy with kart-postal “postcard”, kart-vizit “calling card”
keriazo
to melt: “to candle”
kokaloviviazome
to die: “bone live” (cf. Standard meno kokalo “to stay bone = to be stunned”)
kokalomutsuna
pose: “bone face” (again, in the notion of someone stunned)
kolkana
coquettish: “arse leg” (from how she walks)
kolotsitsirizo
to torment: “arse singe”; hence kolotsitsiri “pest”
komatoksilu
card playing: “piece of wood”
kula de pari
bullshit!: “shit of Paris” (in pseudo-French)
kunelokreatakis
soft to the touch: “rabbit meat”
lakˈrimo
rain < ˈlakrimo “tears”
latsoðikelma
meeting again: “good seeing”; sto latsoðikelma “see you soon”
latsodup
massage: “good beating”
luaxatozo
abroad: “there-ness”
madam benavia
chat < benavo “to talk”
molomuxlo
vinegar: “mold water”
musandodup
threat: “fake beating”
mustakolesu
brush: “mustache filth chick”
mus-flori
nylon: “fake flower” (from plastic flowers)
baloɣuɣulfo
bear: “fat wolf”
balokarna
cow: “fat beef”
balofusfusis
elephant: “fat fus-fus” (onomatopoeia for trunk? fus-fus means “train”)
baloxorxora
bomb: “big fire”
dulotsarðo
mansion: “rich hut”, but basdulotsarðo “chief rich hit” = “bank”
bilokomondi
cherry: “tomato marbles”
bladosfinaki
mosquito, gnat, bedbug: “blood wedge”
bon kates
Mister (used as title), (rarely) sir!: “that good one”; fem. bon kate “Mrs”, (almost never) “madam!”
burobutoni
doorbell: “singing button”
butotekna
school: “very children”
damiradamis
blood brother, close friend: “hashish blood-brother” (both from Koutsavakika)
dikostos
teacher < dik “look!” or “opposite”
duranasama
courage: “hard breathing”
ksekifino
work: “un-drone”
ksekolupsa
farewell: “unstuck + byebye!”
ksenokudzinos
cousin: “stranger brother” (kudzinos comes from Italian cugino “cousin”, but means “brother” in Kaliarda)
ksinospiru
lemon: “sour seed”
paksimaðiazo
to soften: “to rusk” (because rusks were softened in water to make them edible)
pisketoɣutsa
second (of time): “kid hour” (literally “biscuit watch”)
plataxronos
the past: “wide, flat (?) time”
purke de skende?
why should that happen? Pseudo-French (pourquoi “why”)
presoɣotsaro
to delay: “to press the watch”; sbroxtoɣotsi “shove watch” = “delay”
rizotsarðo
foundations: “hut root”
rizofitros
deep: “rice planting”
rozofuska
tomato: “red balloon”
rosomolo
vodka: “Russian drink”
siðeromol
steam engine: “iron water”
sik ala tsai nanai
very politely (pseudo-foreign)
sik ranse
great dignity: chic rangé “dignified chic”
skampazokuto
tape recorder: “know-how box”
skiorampo
cimena: “shadow stage”
skilosvolo
worry beads: “dog ball” (Koutsavakika “dog” = “tough guy”)
skilosteki
café: “dog hangout” (Koutsavakika “dog” = “tough guy”)
sukrovaizo
chocolate: “black sugar”
sukrozuzuni
bee: “sugar bug”
suravli
cable: “flute”
susta
nerve: “spring” (springs proper are called sinda)
spasiba
expulsion: Koutsavakika spase! “break” = “get lost”, conflated with Russian spasiba “thank you”
staroafru
beer: “wheat foamer”
staromol
beer: “wheat drink”
stenoxoro
ring: “tight”
latsokazanto
fortune: “good ending-up”
stravokazantia
povery: “crooked ending-up”
strofolinga
translation: “turn language”
strofopensaro
to regret: “turn think”
sferoklaru
billiards: “balls twig” (i.e. billiard balls and cue stick)
sfina
“wedge”, extended to any sharp object (e.g. needle, key)
sfinofera
shovel: “iron wedge”
tapsi
mirror: “baking dish”
teknoɣutsa
minute: “hour child”
teknoskrivu
note: “writing child”
teknoskrudza
thumbtack: “screw child”
teroɣonia
step in staircase: “land angle”
dzornoɣiros
year: “day cycle”
dzornokiklos
watch: “day circle”
trixoberdes
cloth: “hair curtain” (?)
tsarukosok
hiccup: “larynx shock”
tsitoxaus
smile: “stretch mouth”
fiɣiozo
notebook: “leaf-full”
fonokuskus
telephone: “voice gossip”; hence fonokuskusolista “telephone list” = “phone catalogue”, fonokuskus komandaris “telephone commander” = “head of the telephone company”
xalematobomba
tin of food: “food bomb”
xorxorobladis
fever: “fire blood”
xorxorotrima
spice: “fire powder”
xrisospiru
orange: “golden seed”
*karnosfilatso
sinew, nerve: “flesh rope”

Kaliarda XXXIII: The Context of Kaliarda

By: | Post date: 2018-01-05 | Comments: 3 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

A number of Kaliarda words contain allusions to contemporary or older history and literature; Kaliarda speakers were clearly well-read:

aɣiosaviatiko
crab (Agios Savvas’ cancer hospital; Greek karkinos “cancer” and Latin cancer both originally mean “crab”)
vavelo
someone knowing foreign languages < Babel
varavotekno
criminal: “Barabbas child”
venizeloðosmeni
Constantinople: “given away by Venizelos”
ɣerako
bracelet: from the folk song Gerakina, with the chorus “drung drung drung, her bracelets clang”; ftinoɣerakines “cheap bracelets” are handcuffs
ɣi eliniki
soldier: “Greek soil”
juðas
policeman, informant, spy: “Judas”. Hence juðu “Judas chick” = “police”, juðaðiko “Judas shop” = “Ministry of Public Order”; juðaro = “to betray”
ɡodoafiona
religion: “God opium” (Marx: “Religion is the opium of the people”)
etruska
Kaliarda: “Etruscan”
zuzunosailok
ant: “bug Shylock” (i.e. thrifty insect)
ilioɣaza
light: “sun gauze” (according to Petropoulos, from Varnalis‘ verse “O saffron-coloured gauze of dawn”)
iraklopriko
spices: “woman dowry” (spices used to be expensive enough to use as dowry)
iexoviazo
refuse to bear arms: “to Jehovah” (Jehovah’s Witnesses were the best known class of conscientious objectors)
kazeini
malicious gossip; tuberculosis: “casein” (strong glue: gossip and TB both stick to someone)
keaðas
brothel: “Kaiadas, the gorge where Spartans threw their disabled children”
kaliostrato
to enchant (18th century magician Cagliostro)
kameliodona
tuberculosis (allusion to Alexandre Dumas fils’ La Dame aux Camélias, whose protagonist died of TB)
katelanos
tough man: “Catalan”, from the persistent negative memories in Attica of the 14th century Catalan Company, which Petropoulos indicates had been revived in Athens as a gang name
kukuvaɣia
undercover policeman: “owl” (nighttime bird, and regarded as foreboding death); also Ancient Greek ɣlauks and derived ɣlaukos
katsikes
left-hand: “goatish”, and provates right-hand: “sheepish”: from Matthew 25:33 “And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.”
kerveru
trustworthy, trust: “Cerberus”. Hence kerveropuros “Cerberus old man” = “trustworthy” and kerverotekno “Cerberus twink” = “trustworthy young man”
kuasimoda
hunchback: “Quasimodo”
lanaradzis
worker: Lanaras factory, or lanari “carder”
libro d oro
police record: Libro D’Oro, the catalogue of Venetian nobility
luivraxnos
radio announcer: “Louis hoarse”, alluding to marathon runner Spyros Louis (so someone who talks as fast as Louis ran, and who is hoarse). The proverbial expression “become Louis” = “disappear by running fast” survives today.
markomixelu
madness: from Markomichelakis’ clinic in Neo Faliro
bairakrarizo
to punish (Bairaktaris, the notorious police chief of Athens)
bairon
polite, well-dressed, well-bred gay: Lord Byron; also filelinas “Philhellene”, which is how Byron is known in Greece
bakoloneslonakis
admiral: “ship Nelson guy”
batistakis
butler: Battista is a stereotypical Italian butler name
biskototekno
supporter of dictator Papadopoulos (from Papadopoulos biscuit factory)
blakis buropombonaris
Louis Armstrong: “black player of brass/wind instrument”
boðoseika
public toilet: from Bodosakis fertiliser company
nemroði
hunting: “Nimrod”
davelakis
criminal: robber Christos Davelis (died in 1856, remained renowned in folklore) (But davelo also means “to take” in Kaliarda.)
doɣis
deceased friend: “Doge”
okioluis
hare: “ears Louis”, alluding to marathon runner Spyros Louis (so someone who runs as fast as Louis, and has big ears). The proverbial expression “become Louis” = “disappear by running fast” survives today.
oktaris
member of parliament: “eight-er” (allusion to salary of 8000 drachmas a month)
oriental
luxurious, magnificent
piuso
bread, from epiousios “daily, supersubstantial” in the Lord’s Prayer (“Give us this day our daily bread”). Hence piusopuros “bread old-man = baker”, piusotrima “bread shavings = flour”, piusotsarðo “bread hut = bakery”
posiðonitsa
twenty drachma coin: “little Poseidon chick” (Poseidon being depicted on the twenty drachma coin between the World Wars)
puki
fairy: “Puck” (formerly rendered in Greek translations of A Midsummer Night’s Dream orthographically as Puk, now rendered phonetically as Pak)
rampa tu mola
Karagiozis, shadow puppetry: “Mollas’ Stage”, alluding to Karagiozis-puppeteer Antonis Mollas (1871–1949)
renotsarðoruna
gendarme: “queen hut cop”, since the palace was guarded by gendarmes
rovespakis
republican < Robespierre; hence rovespu “republic”
rozorovespakis
communist: “red republican, red Robespierre”
sailokiazo
to be a miser < Shylock; sailakumba “Shylock put-down [money]” = “money deposit”; sailokoboksas “Shylock bundle” = “jewelry box”; sailokopuro “Shylock old man” = “old miser”, sailokotsarðo “Shylock hut” = “Postal Savings Bank”; sailotezoriazo “to Shylock treasure = “to save up”
siðeromol tu lui
express train: “Louis steam engine”, alluding to marathon runner Spyros Louis (so a train which runs as fast as Louis ran).
skrudzo
miser: Scrooge
solonakis
prudent, wise: “little Solon”
dzasrovespakis
fascist: “away with republicans” (Robespierre)
dzidzis, dzidzikis
carefree, bohemian: “grasshopper”, from Aesop’s tale of the Ant and the Grasshopper
fariso
hypocrite: “pharisee”
fula
fat prostitute: proper name Foula; Petropoulos proposes as its referent the wife of Dimitris Athanasopoulos, who murdered him in 1931 in a notorious criminal case
frosaropuri
shrew, malicious woman: “Frossard old woman”, Frossard being the protagonist of Les Deux Orphelines (1875) by Adolphe d’Ennery
xitleropulo
goose: “Hitler bird” (alluding to goose-stepping, and punning on similarity to mainstream xina “goose”)
xristomol
vinegar: “Christ drink” (since Christ was given vinegar to drink on the cross)
*nifokukula
Turkish coffee: “bride hood” (allusion unknown, unless this is an allusion to the comical coinage nifokokozomon “sober bean juice” in the play Babel (1836), satirising in that instance pedantry)
*dzas dzuzis
Adolf Hitler: “away Jesus” = “Antichrist”

Some Kaliarda words involve derogatory attitudes towards other social groups. (Shared oppression has not traditionally led to notions of allyship—although the Roma do appear to have been exempted from venom, with the benign tsinganoromvia “Gypsy barrel organ = tambourine”:

ketseðomura
ugly old woman “felt face”
koen-sapuni
pogrom, persecution of Jews: “Cohen soap” (from the notion that Nazis made soap from Jewish corpses)
lakirovizu
TV anchorwoman: “speech boobs”
marioneta
paraplegic: “puppet”
olio koen
soap: “Cohen oil” (from the notion that Nazis made soap from Jewish corpses)
teknoxavro
crowd, jostling: “child synagogue” (mainstream Greek uses xavra “synagogue” < Hebrew chavurah to refer to jostling)

Geographic terms, referring to ethnicities or locations, are also often derogatory:

aðerfoxori
London: “sissy-ville” (from the reputation the UK had in the 1960s as a pioneer of gay rights)
asprokoli
Acropolis: “white-arsed” (soundalike)
vlaxoxilari
from Rumeli (Central Greece, mountainous): “hillbilly [Sir Edmund] Hillary”
vrakokopeli
Cretan: “breeches kid” (breeches are Cretan traditional dress; kopeli is Cretan for “lad, kid”)
ɣermanoɡreka
Syntagma Square, tourist haven: “German Greek”
ɡrekoturkemenos
Anatolian Greek: “Greek turned Turk”
ɣrekokaθiko
Athens: “Chamberpot of Greece” (Athens is in a geographic basin)
zimarosolinas
Italian: “dough tube guy” (i.e. pasta)
turkual, ismir-turkual
grotesque oriental jewelry: “(Izmir) turquoise”, with turquoise distorted to look even more like “Turkish”
ismir-patsul
heavy cheap perfume: “Izmir patchouli”
kanulu
Omonia Square: “Waterjet chick” (from the fountain there)
karaɡunotsarða
Thessaly: “Karagounides huts” (Karagounides were the farming population of Western Thessaly)
karamarmaru
Athens Stadium: “Marble (augmentative) chick”
karamudzu
[cis female] prostitute: “pussy (augmentative) chick”
katsikaðeros
from Rumeli (Central Greece); katsikaðero (neut): hillbilly, rustic < “goatish” (cf. Koutsavakika vlaxaðero “hillbilly” < vlaxos “Vlach; hillbilly”)
kuelorosola
Klafthmonos (“Lamenter”) Square: “tears”; the square was in fact named so for the protests of civil servants who were fired each elections—the square used to be the site of the Finance Ministry
marmaro-aθlopatsia
Athens Stadium: “marble athletics-square” = “marble stadium”
misofesu
Thrace: “half fez” (i.e. half-Turkish)
blakobubulo
black race: “black crowd”; xionobuluko white race: “white crowd”
musandopalikaru
Crete: “fake brave place” (from Cretan pride in their bravery)
mudzotopos
Paris: “Cunt-ville” (renowned for beautiful women, opposed to London)
deska
Germany < Italian tedesco “German”
kseroskatu
Epirus: “dry [your own] shit place” (proverbial attribute of misers, who would dry their own shit to eat as rusks later)
pitsun siti
Peristeri (“Dove”), suburb of Athens: Italian piccione “pigeon” + English city
protopresvira
Thessalonica: “First Elderwoman”, because the archbishop of Thessalonica is addressed as His All-Holiness, like the Patriarch of Constantinople is
renoɣlastra
Athens Royal Gardens: “Queen’s Flowerpot”
romanas
Roma, Gypsy; romano kilibe was a kind of belly dance done by gays in their tavernas
simito
Epirus: Bagelland (from proverbial notion that newborn boys in Epirus are slapped on the neck and told “may you be a bagel-seller in Constantinople”, άντε και στην Πόλη σιμιτζής)
sfazofesas
Armenian: “massacred by fezes (= Turks)”
terogamila
Central Greece: “land camel” (because it is mountainous)
teromudza
Peloponnese: “land moudza” (insulting gesture with spread palm)
dzinavotopos
London: “in-the-know (i.e. gay) place”
dzordzis o kavalitos
Lycabettus Hill: “George (English) the rider”, after the church of St George there and the rhyme of “rider” with Lycabettus.
tiraxosevas
Sevastakis shoe store: “Shoe Sevas(takis)”
tiraxostoun
Petridis shoe store: “Shoe Stone” (Petridis < Petros “Peter” is derived from petra “stone”)
turistovraxos
Hydra, Mykonos (often), Spetses (occasionally): “tourist rock”
turistofaka
The Acropolis: “tourist trap”
turkokutrukelo
Smyrna, Izmir: “Turk ?”
faflatoθalasoskatas
Cretan: “poltroon sea shit”
felaxoblakoskinis
black: “fellah black skin”
fesas
Turk: “fez wearer”; fesovakuli “Turkish church” = “mosque”
fterokapakis
Italian: “feather cap”, referring to the uniform of bersaglieri and other units in the Italian army
xionu kustoðia
white race: “(snow-)white guard”
*adzemakis
Persian < adzemis < Turkish acem
*grandabota
Italy: “big boot” (from the shape of the country)

Petropoulos said there were around forty words for gay (bottom) in Kaliarda; this is what I found:

anemi
mincing gay: “spinning wheel”
anemomilos
mincing gay: “windmill”
vlaxodana
provincial gay: “hillbilly whore”
ɣiðoteknosintiriti
provincial gay: “upkept by goat children”
ðiapompu
gay surrounded by young men: “publicly ridiculed”
ðiskos
switch: “LP record” (having two sides)
epitafios
gay surrounded by well-dressed young man: “Epitaphios” (funeral procession ritual on Good Friday, when churchgoers put on their best clothes and walk around the church)
zuɡlolubina
out gay: “jungle queer”
kapa
gay, from kappa, first letter of kori “maiden”
karalubu, karalubo
malicious gay: “queer (augmentative)”
kek
uninitiated young boy, courted by a top: “cake”
kluva
street quean: “police van”
kotula
young top who occasionally is a bottom: “young chicken”
kof mesik
notorious gay < kofa < kufala “hollow” (i.e. “slut”, of woman) + me sik “chic”
krifi
closeted gay: “hidden”
krotalo
street quean: “noise chick” (she is accompanied by outcry)
laterna
made-up gay: “barrel organ” (because barrel organs were heavily ornamented)
leði
bottom: “Lady” (as title of British nobility)
lubina
gay < Romani lubhni “whore”; variants: luba, lubesko, lubunia, lubo
misoɣunu
gay who has done hair removal: “half fur chick”
modernotekno
young gay: “modern (= anal sex) child”
bairon
polite, well-dressed, well-bred gay: Lord Byron; also filelinas “Philhellene”, which is how Byron is known in Greece
bidzanu
starving gay
dovas
hated and repulsive gay
kseskismeni, kseskistra
street quean: “ripped apart woman” (referring to sex)
ksefonismeni
poor gay: “shouted down”
plen lubinia
notorious gay: “full queer”
sikia
gay: “fig tree” (derogatory mainstream Greek term)
siko
underage gay: “fig” i.e. immature counterpart of sikia “fig tree” = “gay”
tarafoluba, tarafolubesko
out gay, clearly initiated gay: “guild queer”
teknitsa
young girl; young gay, twink: diminutive of tekno “child; twink”
dzazkarabazu
mincing gay: “unscrewed”
ipsometru
provincial gay: “altitude” (alluding to them being from the mountains)
fiongos
bottom presenting like a top: < dzidzifiongos “dandy”, lit. “pretty ribbon”; having sex with a bottom presenting like a top is called “binding a ribbon” (ðanteliazo, ðeno, avelo fionɡo)
fransi
gay: French français “French”?
psoraðerfi
poor gay: “louse sissy”
*karabines
outrageous gay: “queer (augmentative)”
*lutrokabines
gay owner of an apartment: “toilet and bath” (from wording of to-let notices)
*neroxitis
gay employee of straight brothel: “kitchen sink”
*damdelari
gay cruising the streets: French dame de la rue “lady of the streets”
*ksekoliθra
horny gay: “arse-out socket”

These are the remaining words to deal with sex and sexuality that I have gathered:

atmokavlu
steam bath, Turkish baths: “steam horny”
afroðito, karafroðito
prostitute < Aphrodite, afroðisios “venereal” (kara- “augmentative”)
adzinavoto feɣi
third gender (in the 60s, referred to the conflation of homosexuality and trans gender): “unknown leaf” (pun on feɣi < French feuille “leaf”, Greek φύλλο, used for its homonym φύλο “gender”)
axarnoeleni
old prostitute: “Helen of Acharnon St”
vatikano
gay brothel: “Vatican”
vekogrekiotiki partuza
switching in gay sex: “Ancient Greek gangbang”
vromadroðo
syphilis: “stinking venereal”
ɣamias tis pinas
pimp: “hunger fucker”
ɡazoza, ɡaza
enema: “lemonade”
ɡazozu
nurse, maid in brothel: “enema chick”
ɡuniota
lesbian < French?
ðelta
vagina: “delta”
ðiakopes sto portofino
stay at Syngrou hospital for venereal diseases: “holiday at Portofino”
ðiplo batimani
lifting legs during sex; sexually experienced gay: “double battement” (ballet move involving lifting one leg); batimaro is “to kick”
ektrosi
anal douche after sex: “abortion”
elko-afroðo
syphilis: “ulcer venereal”
iraklota
“feminine”: supine, face up
kalderimi tis xaras
cruising by top: “cobbled street of joy”
kaloɣeroɣlikes
horniness: “monk’s sweetness”
kaloɣerokendima
masturbation: “monk piercing”
kapiazo
to feel up < kapi “spoon” (English cup?); kutalia “spooning” means the same in both Kaliarda and Koutsavakika
normal
“normal”: prone, face down
karafroðitobaro
venereal disease: “prostitute penis”
karafroðitostasi
period: “prostitute pause”
karafroðitotsarðo
brothel: “prostitute hut”
katsikano
female breast < katsika “goat”
kavlokunimata
thrusting of top during sex: “erection moves”
kavlomaɣnitis
sex appeal: “erection magnet”
kavlomaksilaro
vagina: “erection pillow”
kavlopipilo
female breast: “erection suckling”
kelebia
condom: “jellabiya” (Arabic robe)
kontra-pombon
69: “opposite blowjob”
kumunoskeli
period: “commie thighs”
kupobeles
eunuch: “cut testicles”
kuraveltozumo
sperm: “fuck juice”
kuraveltopuriazo
to be impotent: “fucking old-man”
kurunes
cockteasing: “crow”
krevatoðeksiosi
night-long anal sex: “bed reception”
kolotsitono
to have forceful anal sex: “arse stretch”
laxaniazozumo
sperm: “panting juice”
lukia
slut (not whore): “Lucy”; possibly related to Koutsavakika luki “drainpipe = anus”
madam ɡu
lesbian < guniota
matiazo
to peep (in standard Greek: to single out something by glancing)
modernizo
to have anal sex: “to be modern”
modernosixliazo
to become impotent: “to shrivel while being modern (= having anal sex)”
munopasxa
period: “cunt Easter” (which in Greece features red easter eggs)
musandoperno
to flirt: “to fake take (= have sex)”
musandopasas
sexual aggressor: “fake pasha”
mudzokontratempo
deflowering: “cunt pressure”
mudzomusafiru
service staff at brothel: “cunt guest chick” (because she is a guest at the brothel, rather than core staff)
mudzotsarðo
brothel: “cunt hut”
bagazi
bulge in pants: “baggage”
bamia
small penis: “okra”
barosimo
venereal disease: “sickness stamp” (allusion to stickiness of VD)
beliera
jockstrap: “testicle holder”
bulkume, purkume
sperm, ejaculation
bulkumeðotsarðo
brothel: “sperm hut”
brateliazo
to feel up < bratelo “hand” (cf. mainstream Greek vazo xeri “to put hand” = “ibid.)
naziazo
to have sex < nazi “flirt, coquettish behaviour”
dap
masturbation (older Kaliarda: to beat up)
dezaro, avelo dezi
to be horny, dezi “desire, horniness” < deziraro “to desire”
dezoðikeliazo
to peep: “horny looking”
dezolaxtaras
sadist: “horny yearner” (only in the masculine)
dezobula
penis wart: “horny ball”
dezodupu
masochist: “horny beating chick” (only in the feminine)
dezoplenis
sensuous: “horny full”
dezoxorxora
idiosyncracy (= fetish, kink?): “horny fire”
desapote sermelia
penis without foreskin: “uncovered penis” (lit. “hatless” < French de + chapeau)
perno
to have sex as passive partner: “to take (someone)”; hence *parθikame “we were taken” = “I was fucked”
paketo
bulge in pants: “package”
parateri
(cis) woman: “redundant” (to gay relationships)
parke
blowjob: “parquet, flooring”
partuza
group sex (now mainstream Greek) < French partouse
pentikosti
married woman (or gay man): “Pentecost” (originally: fiftieth [day]), by analogy with mainstream slang sarakosti “Lent” (originally: fortieth [day]), used with the same meaning, alluding to Lent being a period of deprivation
piasman, piasmande, piastiko
groping: < piasimo “holding”
pipiloɣamulis
tender lover: “darling fuck” (lit. “suckling fuck”)
pipiloɣatulis
tender lover: “darling kitten”
plejaro dap
to masturbate: “to play wank”
plenobeles
horny: “full testicles”
pombon
blowjob < bon-bon “lolly”; pombino frape “ibid.”
pulomusafiro
enema: “anal guest”
presvia
public urinal: “embassy”. “Embassy of the United Arab Republic” = “Athens Town Hall public toilet”; “Embassy of Great Britain” = “Syntagma Square public toilet”, named for the Grande Bretagne Hotel nearby; “Embassy of Free States” = “Field of Mars public toilet”; “Embassy of the United States” = “Omonia Square public toilet”.
ruzoskelo
period: “red legs”
sarmela, semelia, sermela, mela, melitsa
penis
sarmelozumo
sperm: “penis juice”
sarmeloxamoɣelo
coitus: “penis smile”
sarmuta
female prostitute: Koutsavakika: “fat woman”
safrans tuzur
the twink has come looking for money: Pseudo-French
semelonome
to get married to a man: “to be dicked”
semnaðerfi
lesbian: “modest sister”
sividzilu, sividzo, dzivdzilu
lesbian < dziv dziv
dziv dziv
lesbian sex: probably onomatopoeic
soloflokiazo
to masturbate: “to cum solo”
spanokukula
condom: “beardless hood”
sikafra
cancer, syphilitic ulcer: “fig (= faggot) venereal”
sfera
small penis: “bullet”
teknadzu
someone into twinks (fem., with queer referent); has passed into mainstream Greek, as woman into toyboys, cougar
teknokalierɣistra
sperm: “child cultivator”
teknorokanadzis
“pederast”, top: “chews twinks”
teknodezopsino
to deprave, to lead into prostitution; “child horniness bake”
tekno tis violetas
client of gay prostitutes: “money twink”
dzasaro flokia
to ejaculate immediately: “to expel sperm”
dzinavokosmos
gay community: “in-the-know world”
dzinavopoltos
vaseline: “in-the-know (i.e. gay) jelly”
dzinavoxirokrotis
gay ally: “applauder of those in-the-know (i.e. gay)”
dzus-pulomusafirizome
to cleanse one’s anus of sperm: “to drive away the anal guest”
turloliɣuris
top: “longing for the swollen” (i.e. anus)
tutafe
hedonist < French tout à fait “absolutely”
tutu, tuta, tutuka
small penis: “whistle” (nursery word)
tremozumo
sperm: “trembling juice”
trombies
thrusting motions of top during sex: “pumping”
tsapela
someone whose anus is tense: “string of dried figs”
fakiropipiza
erect penis: “snake charmer flute”
feɣi de roza
anus: French feuille de rose “rose petal; analingus” (cf. rosebud)
fistiki
small penis: “peanut”
floki
sperm < “lint”
fsi fsol
coitus: onomatopoeic, possibly influenced by German Ficki-Ficki
fotoɣenia
bulge in pants: “photogenic”
xorxoriazo
to be horny, to burn with desire: “to be on fire”
psamoskelu
horny: “excited thighs”
psixotraɣopuros
top: “soul priest”; Koutsavakika psixopapas has the same meaning
psolaraɣma
vagina: “dick haven”
psolovrondi
masturbation: “dick beating”
*aðerfomana
supporter of gays: “sissy mother”
*lamno
to fuck: “to row”
*sapo
glans: French chapeau “hat”
*suɣlaro
to fuck enthusiastically: “to skewer”
*dzivanostasio
hangout for effeminate gays: “in-the-know station”
*sfraɣiðiazo
to have a permanent relationship: “to be sealed”

 

Kaliarda XXXII: The Wit of Kaliarda

By: | Post date: 2018-01-05 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

Kaliarda has a couple of puns:

kolombos, xristoforos
top: “Christopher Columbus” as soundalike of kolombaras
dubloðikeliazo
to be diplomatic: “double looking”; Standard Greek ðiplomatis “diplomat” sounds like “double-eyed” (dipl-ōma: “folded (document) < “doubled thing” read as dipl-omma “double eye”)
*papi
document, certificate: “duck”, but puns on German Papier “papers”, often demanded during the Nazi occupation

It has a much larger number of calques from mainstream Greek and Greek slang—the wit lying in recognising Greek expressions in Kaliarda garb:

amitsopuru
Philopappou (“Friend of Grandfather”) Hill, calqued as “Friend Old Man”
asprokangela
platinum: “white metal”, calque of lefkoxrisos
axalos
repulsive: “uneaten” < ðen troɣete “cannot be stomached”
ɣlutokarnu
thigh: “hip meat” (calque of colloquial kolomeri lit. “arse portion”)
ðorkakis
cuckold < “gazelle guy” (who has horns), calqued from keratas “horned”. Hence, ðorkakoviðomenos “screwed-in gazelle guy” = “someone repeatedly cuckolded”
kangelokrosos
Iron Cross (Kaliarda “metal” < “rail” + English cross)
karvunomakiastra, karvunomako
coaldust (standard karvunoskoni)
karnoxalos
carnivore: “meat-eating” (standard sarkofaɣos)
klinarolinga
Puristic Greek: “clean language”, calque of Katharevousa
koza tempo avelis, koza dzornoɣiro vuelis
what time is it? “what time do you have?”, calque of ti ora exis?
latsaveles
welcome: < latsa aveles “well you do/come” (standard kalos irθes); latsavelo “to welcome”
latsolinga
Puristic Greek: “good language”, semi-calque of Katharevousa (cf. klinarolinga)
latsotempa
summer: “good weather” (standard kalokeri)
letrostampa
postage stamp: “letter stamp” (standard ɣramatosimo)
mesodzorna
midday (Italian + Greek, standard mesimeri)
midlanota
midnight (English + Italian, standard mesanixta)
musikapoxis
conductor: “music fishing-net guy”
mus-paɡro
white lie: “fake hairs” (calque of mainstream trixes! “hairs” = “bullshit”)
baks ke latsi
once and for all (calque of mainstream mia ke kali, with Puristic apaks for “once”)
natura floki
fresh juice: “nature jizz” (calque of mainstream fisikos ximos “natural juice”)
duramol
vitriol: “hard water”, calque of Italian acquaforte
ostrakopoðarakis
cancer: “shell foot guy” (i.e. description of crab; Greek karkinos “cancer” and Latin cancer both originally mean “crab”)
pulopirɣono suandes
I am indifferent towards you: “I shit on you”, mainstream se xezo
sekretoðulia
mysticism: “secret job” (mystikos in Greek literally means “secret”)
sekretoxalema
Last Supper: calque of mistikos ðipnos
sketo kaprikente
very clever: “lone match”, calque of mainstream spirto monaxo
dzazo ta tiraxa
die: “thow away shoes”, calque of mainstream tinazo ta petala “fling off horseshoes” (cf. kick the bucket)
dzazo ti linga mu
to loosen one’s tongue: “to get my tongue out”, calque of mainstream vɣazo ɣlosa
ipomona
pumpkin seeds: “patience”; in mainstream Greek, they are called pasatempo < Italian: “pass the time”
ipsometro
hillbilly, provincial: “altitude” (alluding to them being from the mountains)
fresokarno
tenderloin: “fish meat”, calque of psaronefri lit. “fish(-coloured) kidney” (i.e. grey meat around kidneys)
xasobaltas
lawyer: “lose trial”, calque of mainstream slang xasoðikis
xumsovivi ðantela
life sentence: “prison life knot”, calque of isovia ðesma “life-equalling bondage”
psixotraɣopuros
top: “soul priest”; Koutsavakika psixopapas has the same meaning
oxroblada
leukemia: “pale blood” (standard lefxemia “white blood”); hence musandoxroblada anaemia: “fake leukemia”
*staɣonakis
doppelganger: “waterdrop guy”, allusion to expression that two people are as alike as two drops of water

I’ve erred on the side of inclusion in counting forms as witticisms:

aðikokuti
coffin: “unjust box”
etna, tna
pimple: “Mt Etna”
anemodzasaro
sacrifice: “wind expel” = “throw to the winds”
animatsurnos
Death: “soul thief”
astakomeno
armoured vehicle: “lobstered” (“armoured like a lobster”)
afantos
God: “invisible”
vivopalamaro
octopus: “live palm”
vivosermelo
snake: “live penis”
vivosermelo but piasman
boa constrictor: “snake very grope”
vlakopsaliðu
censorship: “stupid scissors chick”
ɡodorelia
wind: “god fart”
ðrakodzastis
cross: “drives out ogres” (i.e. vampires)
enzimiazo
to rot: “to enzyme”
zalistra
radio: “dizzy-maker”
zuzunovarvari
naphthaline: “savage to bugs”
inðofiðiazo
to charm: “Indian snake” (alluding to snake charmer)
kavɣaðokutu
radio: “argument box chick”
kangelopartuza
chain: “metal gangbang” (cf. sexual meaning of daisychain in English)
kangurosalo
snot: “nose saliva”; ful kangurosalo “full-blast snot” = “sneeze”
kaðro
ugly: “picture frame”
kaimozumi
coffee: “sorrow juice”
kaimotsiftozumi
coffee: “sorrow cunning juice”
kaimokuto
bouzouki: “sorrow box”
kaimoburia
rebetiko songs: “sorrow songs”
kaimoxelono
baglama: “sorrow turtle” (so called because the baglama body was the size of a turtle, and some baglamas were made of turtle shells); also xelonoburo “turtle song”
kaliardo-mol
water: “ugly liquid” (as opposed to alcoholic drinks)
kanalovivu
fate: “channel of life”
karbonomilionaris
billionaire: “carbon-copy millionaire”
katolioiraklia
actress of melodramatic movies: “tears woman”, which was the nickname given to melodrama actress Martha Vourtsi (Petropoulos only gave her initials)
katoliotekno
actor of melodramatic movies: “tears twink”, which was the nickname given to melodrama actor Nikos Xanthopoulos (Petropoulos only gave his initials)
katsikanotsarðo
balcony: “house boobs”
kelaru
fountain, water tap < kelorosola “tears”
keravnos
toothless: “lightning”
keromusando
love-talk “candle (= melt) lie”
kifinas
monk: “drone”
kokorobuluki
theatrical troupe: “rooster squadron”
koniðokolora
miniature paintinɡ: “nit painting”
konikloxalos
vegetarian: “rabbit(-like) eating”
konderandza
stuttering: “lecture”
kontra-feɣi
cardboard: “counter-sheet (of paper)”, by analogy with kontra plake “plywood” < French contreplaqué
korakovlastimo
very fat woman or gay: “crow curser” (because “crows” = undertakers will curse when the time comes to lift them up to bury them)
koroiðorampo
shadow puppet theatre, Karagiozis: “mockery ramp”
kosmoalana
town square: “world/people alley”
kueloflokopalku
tragedy, tragedy production: “tears stage”
kueloflokorampa
tragedy, tragedy production: “tears ramp”
kulopapapa
urine bottle (in Standard Greek papia “duck” from its shape): “shit quack-quack”
kumunis turlu
Olivier Salad, Russian salad: “communist salad”
kuskusofeɣi
newspaper: “gossip sheet”
kiparisotekno
overly tall: “cypress twink”
koloklaklas
ambassador: “arse ??”, from their wearing a tailcoat
lakrimi
onion < lakrimo “tears”
levendomandra
prison: “pen for the brave”; cf. the song lyric “The irons of prison are for the brave” (Της φυλακής τα σίδερα είναι για τους λεβέντες)
lepi
filth: “fish scale”
lepiðofola
massacre, bloodshed: “knife-blade poisoned bait” (comparing a knifefight to the poisoning of animals)
lesi
filth: “corpse”
letra kakaka
telegram: “rat-rat-tat letter”
letra-karambola
correspondence: “letter collision”
letra plereza
rent bill: “mourning-veil letter”
liɣðoberdes
penniless: “hungering for money”
limoros
replusive: < limoðis “infectious (disease)”, or Italian limo “mud”
lutsolakrimo
candle: “light tears” (because melting wax looks like tears)
lisaɣman
dog: lisa “rabies” + pseudo-French -ment
maɣnitoberdes
debt: “money magnet”
mandotempo
future: “bread time” (because bread is something that becomes?)
mavrodavas
Death: “black pimp”
maxmurlokaro
road roller: “sleepyhead cart”
melisovroma
fly: “stinking bee”
ministeros tis axalis
Finance Ministry: “Starvation Minister”
molopalestis
shipwrecked person: “water wrestler”
molorufa
heatwave: “water suck”
munɡafon
record player: “mute-phone”
mu klinun simvoleo
I am being called in to be interrogated, lit. “they are finalising a contract for me”
mumia
elderly but well-preserved gay: “mummy”
musandoefe
gusto: “fake effect”
musandodavakis
scumbag: “fake pimp”
musandosermelia, musandosema
banana, cucumber, eggplant: “fake penis”
musandospiritoza
Pentecost, Feast Day of the Holy Spirit: “fake spirit-ful”
mudzantivaro
female breast: “cunt counterweight”
mudzonome
to marry a cis woman, of someone gay: “to be cunt-ed” (homonym with mudzonome “to receive the insulting gesture of the moudza“)
mutsemeni
the Virgin Mary: “deceived”
mutseftra
IOU: “deceiver”
baltas
judge: “axe”; hence balta “trial”, baltaletra “summons”: “judge letter”, baltadziðiko “court”: “judge shop”
babakovutiro
finicky: “cotton butter”
batane
heavy makeup < batanas “whitewash”
benavoɣarɣalo
jokester: “talk tickler”
biz ke dzaz
police emergency services: “strike and run”
biseloɣipsos
dead: “sleep plaster”
biskototekno
conscript: “biscuit child” (i.e. sweet child)
bodofriɣanu
sunburned: “body toast”
buka stafilitis
silence: “mouth uvula, stuffed (up to the) uvula”
bukostafiliara
dictatorship: “silencer”
bubuni
fart < bubunito “thundering sound”
budala xalkas
wedding ring: “fool ring” (xalkas is both a ring and a nosering; the comparison of the wedding ring to the nosering of a bull is a Greek commonplace)
buroksexilo
accordion: “singing overstretched”
buropita
LP record: “song pita”
mirmingobala
the globe: “ant ball”
nekroxartu
photograph: “dead paper”
neroksilo
crystal: “water wood” (crystal looks like water frozen stiff as wood)
nisestorela
rag: “cloth fart”
nisestosuravlo
rope: “cloth flute”
davadzokonsoma
ugly: “pimp consumption”
damiroklusma
injecting drugs: “hashish enema”
damiroxalastra
drug squad: “hashish ruiner”
diloðokaro
toothpick: “tooth beam”
dilokolie
denture: “tooth necklace”; hence dilokoliazo “to bite”
dupopatata
fist: “beatings potato”; “potato” in turn is called bunia “fist”; the plural dup-patates means “boxing”
kserobaksu
straw: “dry garden”
ksinasvestis
yoghurt: “sour whitewash”
ksirafia
heart attack: “razor blow”
pangrolavi
braid, ponytail: “hair handle”
palamarokanis
tall: “arms and legs” (allusion to expression aftos olo xeria ke poðia ine “he is all arms and legs = he is tall”)
panses
gendarme: “pansy”
pandokulura
zero: “all donut” (kulura “donut” for “zero” is used by students)
papiros
licence, diploma: “papyrus”
papirodravo
driver’s license: “driver papyrus”
patriðopresa
duty: “fatherland pressure”
perlokrokaða
oyster, mussel: “pearl yolk”
petsovunu
callus: “skin mountain”
pixopiasman
arm: “cubit groper”
piselokapniazome
to dream: “sleep smoke”; piselokaporampa dream: “sleep smoke theatrical.stage”
pulman
Vice squad van: “bus”
puloviðonome
to sit squarely down: “to screw one’s arse in”
pulomusafiro
enema: “anal guest”
pulopirɣi
faeces: “anal tower” (Koutsavakika kuraðoθimonia “turd bale” has the same sense)
puroxtikiasma
old man falling in love: “old man tuberculosis”
presveftu
calling card: “ambassadress”; xartopresveftu “paper ambassadress” = “ibid.”
prikokuskusu
wedding: “dowry chat”
protosiðeru
official appearance: “first ironed”
renovlastos
prince, heir to the throne: “queen sprout”
runosarostra
patrol: “cop sweep”
sangosfungara
liver: “blood sponge”
sarkisti me sik
live, orally: “in the flesh, with chic”
sarkoðomi
bone: “flesh structure”
svuru
alcohol: “spinning top chick” (i.e. dizzying), svuriazome “to get drunk”
sielokapnila
clouds: “sky smudge”
sielokuelofloku
rain: “sky tears”
skatopresa
draconian law: “shit press”
skatofaɣu
undercover cop: “shit eater”
skinolatsaris
sensual: “skin beautiful”
skotsara
skirt suit (ταγιέρ): “Scottish” (i.e. kilt)
soɣi kuravelte
dim liɡht: “light for fucking”
solodapis
bachelor: “one who masturbates alone”
suvafatsa
horrid makeup: “plaster face”
sustokolo
luxury car: “spring arse” (because they had suspension)
stamnosterno
female breast: “chest pitcher”
stavrolekso
embroidery: “crossword”
strosomasela
piano: “laid-out dentures”
solinaki tis xaras
hashish cigarette: “little tube of joy”
solinokanguros
elephant: “pipe nose”
solinokanguru
proboscis; big penis: “pipe nose”
tavliazo
to kill: “to table (i.e. lay out flat)”; tavliazome “to be tabled” = “to die”
talirokatara
moudza (insulting gesture with spread palm, and five fingers): “five-drachma curse”
taraxoproties
track and field: “tumult firsts”
taraxotremuliaris
poltroon: “tumult trembler”
tapsodaniazome
to admire oneself, to be narcissistic: “to act like a whore in a mirror”
teknozalistra
lecture: “child dizzier”; teknozalistra tu mus-dzusi “Jesus lecture” = “sermon”
teknozembilo
elevator: “child basket”
teknokilistres
rollerskates: “child rollers”
teknobalevo, teknobalono
to impregnate: “to make a child ball” (i.e. pregnant belly)
teknobiɣa
porter: “child crane”
teknoxtikiazo
to fall in love: “twink tuberculosis” (i.e. become consumptive for a twink); teknoxtiko “love”
tebelosteko
café: “hangout for the idle”
tebeloferis
road roller: “lazy iron”
terokseratomolu
water spring: “earth spew water”
dzazberdepuros
national benefactor: “old man throwing away money”
dzasprovia
hair removal: “away fleece”
dzeslutekno
new mother: “insane (for) child woman”
dzurovalviða
kidney: “urine valve”
timokutela
forehead: “honour forehead”, alluding to expression “having a clean forehead” = “having a clear conscience”
tiraxoɣrilos
heel: “shoe car-jack”
titlokavala
ownership: “title riding” (alluding to slang use of “riding” to mean “arrogance, pretension”)
tulosa
dictatorship: “silent”
turkosupa
coffee: “Turkish soup”
turkual
grotesque jewel: “turquoise” + “Turkish”
turbani
wound: “turban” (referring to wound dressing)
trokana
brainless: “cowbell”
tsarðokukos
bachelor: “house cuckoo” (cuckoos being proverbially solitary)
tsarðokipseli
neighbourhood: “house beehive”
tsarðodania
earthquake: “house whorishness” (houses swaying in an earthquake compared to the coquettish swaying of a prostitute); the synonym tsarðotarakunima is merely “house shaking”
tsarðoperɣamini
callinɡ card: “house parchment, house diploma”
tsarðosplaxno
basement: “house entrails”
tsarðotermitis
architect: “house termite” (comparing architect to termite in building complex structures); tsarðotermitu is an apartment block
tsinganoromvia
tambourine: “Gypsies’ barrel organ”
tsixlatelioti
car wheel: “rubber un-ending”
tsurnokota
fox: “chicken thief”
tsurnoletra
playing cards: “thief papers”
tsutsekiazo
to gather, to shrink < dzudzes “dwarf” < Turkish cüce
timvos
prison: “funeral mound”; hence timvorixos jailbreak: “grave robber”
tiru
moon: “cheese”
iɣropreza
coffee: “liquid drug hit”
fainopartuza
political party: “gangbang of the bright” or “gangbang of ideas”
fainodzasberdes
ideologue, idealist: “idea throw-away money”
fakiru
greedy: “pauper”
falu
walking cane: “phallus”
fabrikopartuzis
business partner: “factory gangbang”
fatsofisuna
nose: “face bellows”
fesovakulokafko
minaret: “mosque erection”
fidelis
dog < French fidèle “faithful”
fioroðoma
lawn, grass: “flower flooring”
fiorofaringo
eucalypt: “flower pharynx” (for the use of eucalypt oil in throat lozenges)
fola
ugly: “poison bait”
fusfus
kafasi train station: “chuff-chuff (= train) cage”
xaimali
necklace: “amulet”
xalodurvas, xalosakos
stomach: “food sack”
xamalokarna
muscle: “porter flesh”
xamalomuskulis
muscle-bound: “porter muscles”
xaos, xaus
mouth: “chaos, chasm”
xaus spilia
toothless: “mouth cave”
xaramolio
candle: “oil waste”
xasikloreviθo
worry beads: “hashish smoker’s chickpeas”
xortobiɣa
hashish: “grass crane” (i.e. grass that raises you up)
psakio
bad news < psaki “poison”
psofokukula
mausoleum, crypt: “hood over the dead”
*nifokukula
Turkish coffee: “bride hood” (allusion unknown, unless this is an allusion to the comical coinage nifokokozomon “sober bean juice” in the play Babel (1836), satirising in that instance pedantry)
*kaliardopresa
interrogation: “ugly pressure”
*kilorufi
spoon: “belly suck”
*kristaloburu
television: “crystal singer”
*lakrimoveku
tragedian: “tears old”
*moliviazo
to grow serious: “to leaden”
*buribunaro
to bombard: “chimney punch” (the chimney being the bomb casing, the punch being the bomb explosion); hence also *buribunaristos “striking” (i.e. “bombshell”)
*dezotrimu
cocaine: “horny powder”
*peribeneðes
appetisers: “around queers”
*trikajori
Holy Trinity: “three directors”
*xtiko
golden sovereign: < xtikio “tuberculosis” (a sovereign is yellow as a consumptive; gaining sovereigns is as strenuous as getting TB (χτικιάζω))

Kaliarda is also notorious for making things sound worse than they are, through pejorations:

afakos
brother: < English fuck: “unfuckable”
afrikanokuli
cocoa: “African turd”
axaloeθnokifinas
emperor: “inedible [= repulsive] drone of nations”
virdziniazo
close < It. virgine “virgin”
ɣalatopombon
baby’s dummy: “milk blowjob”
ɡran-renokaθikiomenos
crowned: “grand queen chamberpotted” (queen = royalty; chamberpot = crown)
ðiplomudza
10: “double moudza” (insulting gesture with spread palm, and five fingers)
ðiploðiplomudza
100: “double double moudza” (insulting gesture with spread palm, and five fingers)
eloxesma
rice: “swamp shitting” (rice is planted in swamps, and looks like diarrhoea)
karnosermeles
sausage: “meat penis”; durokarnosermeles “hard sausage” are large preserved meats, such as ham and mortadella; teknokarnosermelo “child sausage” is sausages proper
kotsilokulu
chicken: “birdshit shit chick”
kuloskembes
koxla tripe: “shit belly boiled”
kunistra
LP record: “mover, swayer”; in mainstream slang, a coquettish woman
kuorokuravelta
love: “heart fucking”
maɣazodania
shop billboard: “shop whoring”
monomudza
5: “single moudza” (insulting gesture with spread palm, and five fingers)
mus-dzusis
Jesus: “bearded Jesus/fake Jesus”
mudzopuri
mother: “vagina old-woman”; sandomudzopuru “fake mother” = “stepmother”
mudzoxezo
to give birth: “to shit out from the cunt”
muxloskembes
old man: “mold animal belly”
bakosarmela
oar: “boat dick”
barotsarðo
house of gay: “sickness hut” (allusion to VD)
benavopombon
begging someone: “talk blowjob”
bladis
surgeon: “blood guy”
buropombonaro
to play a wind/brass instrument: “song (= musical) blowjob”
brostomudzu
apron: “front of cunt”
ksotikomudzo
fairy (neraiða): “spirit pussy, spirit cis-woman”
pipilas
darling, dear < “suckler” (presumably allusion to blowjob); metathesised pilipas has the same meaning
piperoskatu
mustard: “pepper shit”
pombotabako
smoking pipe: “blowjob cigarette”
pon pon bombona
lollypop: “blowjob bon-bon” (in fact, “bon-bon bon-bon”)
puliazome
to sit < puli “arse”
pulostrostra
chair: “place to lay your arse out”
purozeles
decrepit old man: “old man jelly”
puromarioneta
decrepit old man: “old man puppet”
putanokonsomis
ugly: “whore consumed” (i.e. fit only to be a client of a prostitute)
protokaθiki
prize, award: “first chamberpot” (i.e. award cup); hence protokaθikono “to award”, protokaθikoberθa “award birth” = “festival”, protokaθikopuros “award old man” = “awards judge”
protodavas
Prime Minister: “first pimp”
relopnoi
stench: “fart breath”
relo tu xaus
burp: “mouth fart”
renokaθiki
crown: “queen chamberpot”
savano
bedsheet: “burial shroud”
savanono
to cover: “to enshroud for burial”
semelopuros
father: “penis old-man”; sandosemelopuros “fake father” = “stepfather”
semelorizo
cucumber: “penis root”; semelorizomolo “cucumber water” = “cucumber juice”
skelosaliangas
old man: “leg snail”
skulamentozos
having the common cold < skulamento gonorrhoea; similarly skulamentosimo common cold: “gonorrhoea sign”
skutula
perfume < skatula “turd (diminutive)”
soðosalo
bubble bath: “soda saliva”
sublime
soup: French sublimé, soluble salt of mercury, used in treatment of syphilis
terotsutsuno
mushroom: “ground (child’s) penis”
traɣomuxlos
monk: “mouldy goat” (referring to monk’s beard); hence traɣomuxlokipselo “monk beehive” = “monastery”
traɣopuros
priest: “goat old man” (referring to priest’s beard: the comparison also appears in mainstream Greek); hence traɣopurozumo “priest juice” = “holy water”, traɣopurosfraɣizo “to priest seal” = “to baptise”, traɣopurotsarðo “priest hut” = “church”
traxanas
feeble old man: “porridge” (tarhana)
iɣrotekniazo
to pour: “liquid twink”, as maistream xino “to pour” also means “to cum”
fusokapota
candelabra: “light condom”
xaus klisma
soda water, fizzy drink: “mouth enema”
psilopele
roasted chickpea: “small testicle”
psoloɣuðupa
shoe last: “dick pestle” (from its similar shape to both)

Compounds of flokia “sperm” are a particular class of pejoration—although clearly the stem has simply ended up meaning “fluid” generically in Kaliarda:

ɡazofloko
liquid ɡas: “gas jizz” (-floko in compounds really just means “fluid”)
zuzunofloko
honey: “bug jizz”
komodorofloko
tomato paste: “tomato jizz”
kuelofloki
tears: “eye jizz”
musandofloko
marrow: “fake jizz”
bodofriɣanofloko
suntan lotion: “sunburn jizz”
natura floki
fresh juice: “nature jizz”
dudukofloko
vegetable oil: “flute jizz”; from skliroduduko “hard flute = peanut”, via fistiki “peanut = small penis” (so that duduki “flute”, as a euphemism for “erect penis”, ends up displacing “peanut” used as a euphemism for “small penis”, and comes to mean “nut” in general)
pres floki
glue: “press jizz”
teknokaknofloko
meringue: “egg (chicken child) jizz”
tsainofloko
ink: “China jizz”
flokia romanof
Olivier salad, Russian salad: “Jizz Romanov”
floki tu xaus
saliva: “mouth jizz”
flokodorvares
testicles: “jizz sacks”
flokoxalemandu
salad dressing: “food jizz”
fisunofloko
common cold: “nose jizz”
*ɣelaðofloko
milk: “cow jizz”
*karofloko
petrol: “cart jizz”
*piselofloko
sleeping drug, sedative: “sleep jizz”

Kaliarda XXXI: Basic vocabulary

By: | Post date: 2018-01-05 | Comments: No Comments
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Next, I’m posting the function words of Kaliarda, and other classes of words that indicate how the language works:

Function words:

altros
other < Italian altro
axatos
this (Rom. kathe “here”; Greek a- “un-” + kate “that”?)
emandes
I, me, my (Rom. mande “me”); mandula (diminutive)
esandes, suandes
you, your (Rom. mande “me” + Greek esi “you”); sandula (diminutive)
imandes
we, us, our (< emandes)
isandes
you.pl, your (< esandes)
karafundan
roundabouts, in lower class suburbs (Turkish?)
karbone
together, both < Greek karbon “carbon copy” < French carbon
kates
that (Rom. kathe “here”)
kate-dzorna, statuta-dzorna
today: “this day”
kontrodzorna
tomorrow: “opposite day”
pasioza-dzorna
yesterday: “past day”
katoplaka
“down, to the ground” < “down” + plaka “slab; falling down”
luaxatos
that, that yonder (Italian/French “there” + axatos?)
me sik
politely, gently (“with chic”); so, well
dan
he, pl. danakati “they.masc” (dan “he” + kate “that”?)
duna
she, pl. danakate “they.fem” (dan “he” + kate “that”?)
duni
it, pl. dunakata “they.neut” (duni + kate “that”?)
dik!, dikos!, duak!
look! < Romani
dik
opposite, next to; with definite article: “the one opposite” < Kaliarda dik! “look!” < Romani
dikotos
nearby < dik “look!” (i.e. “visible”)
dopa
after < Italian dopo
dopa-kontrodzorna
the day after tomorrow: “after opposite day”
otros
other < Spanish otro (if not French autre)
uxu!
hooray! bravo!
upsa!
hi! goodbye!
paradik
next to something opposite: para “next to” + dik
pasioza-dzorna
yesterday: “past day”
prans
nearby: French près “near”?
privos
mine < Italian privato “private”
protoplaka
up; first floor < “first” + plaka “slab; falling down”
statuta-dzorna
today: “this day”
ta naka
“don’t; without” < “the not”; e.g. ta naka brostoberde “without a deposit”, lit. “the not front-money”
dzaka, dzakata
as soon as, where, when, near, in front, here: Turkish çak “until”?
dzus
without < dzazo “to drive away, to go away” < Romani džav “to go”
tsarðofatsa
opposite: “house face”
*kataxar
opposite
*katina
down < unattested adjective katinos < kato “down”, formed by analogy with totinos “of that time” < tote “then”; hence also *katinotsarðo “down hut = brothel”, *katinoxaus “basement = down hole”

We have often mentioned how avelo (and its Dura Liarda variant vuelo) are characteristic of Kaliarda as light verbs. This is the full list of such verbs in Petropoulos:

avele apokate
come here!
aveli ɡodorelia
wind is blowing
avelo etna, vuelo tnara
to get a pimple
avelo axalia
to go on a diet
avelo vakuloksekolupses
to get divorced
avelo violeta
to give money, to pay
avelo gazoza, vuelo gaza
to have an enema
avelo ɣorɣori
to slap
avelo ðantela
to tie
avelo ðiakona ston berde
to beg, to ask for a loan
avelo etruska
to know Kaliarda (“to do Etruscan”)
avelo kaniko
to leave (“to do leg”)
avelo kapi
to feel up
avelo katolia
to cry
avelo kloz
to close < English close
avelo kontieri, vuelo kontater
to caress
avelo kontratempo
to press
avelo kontrosol
to kiss
avelo kula,vuelo kul kul
to defecate
avelo kuselia
to betray
avelo kusumia
to gossip, to badmouth
avelo krakra
to be thirsty
abelo latsokazantia
to be lucky (“to do good outcome”)
avelo latso paɡro, vuelo tsopagra
to comb (“to do good hair”)
avelo luni
to swim
avelo marmaru
to wait (“to do marble [statue]”)
avelo musi
to get angry (“to do beard/fake”)
avelo bakalumo
to ask
avelo balomba
to over-eat
avelo baltadzu, vuelo baltes
to be put to trial
avelo berde
to pay
avelo berxama
to argue
avelo biesman, avelo biesmando
to feel up
avelo blado
to have one’s period (“to do blood”)
avelo bua
to beep a car horn
avelo but bairaktari
to punish severely (“to do very Bairaktaris”, the notorious police chief of Athens)
avelo but bon
to explain (“to do [say] very well”)
avelo boxikos
to stink
avelo bratelo, vuelo brates
to feel up (“to put hand”, calque of Greek vazo xeri)
avelo brostoberde
to pay in advance
avelo napses
to gossip, to chat
avelo niseste
to have one’s period (“to have clothes”, calque of Greek exo ta ruxa mu)
avelo normal
to fall prone
avelo dania
to act coquettishly (“to do whorishness”)
avelo dezi
to be turned on
avelo dup
to beat up
avelo duranasama
to persevere
avelo dreses
to get dressed
avelo ksekolupses
to part with someone permanently
avelo opsion berde
to have cash (“to have money on-sight [pseudo-French]” < kataθesis opseos “deposit on sight”)
avelo paketo
to have a visible genital bulge (“to do package”)
vuelo bagazi
to have a visible genital bulge (“to do baggage”)
avelo puf
to take a drag of a cigarette
avelo relo
to fart
avelo reta
to fart
avelo retali
to give minimal assistance, to help unenthusiastically
avelo rodosol
to kiss, to lick
avelo skriva
to write
avelo spasibes
to escape
avelo sfina
to be accused
avelo dzastiko, vuelo dza
to leave
avelo dzastiraxosekeri, avelo dzastiraxosolo
to poison
avelo dzasxalema
to vomit
avelo dzoka
to play
vuelo dzoka
to kiss
avelo dzuro
to urinate
avelo dzus lesi
to wash
avelo tula
to be silent
avelo tufes
to sleep deeply
avelo tromba
to inject drugs
avelo tsarðospasiba
to expel
avelo fasamenta
to wear glasses
avelo fiongo
to have sex with a bottom I thought was a top
avelo flokia
to ejaculate
avelo fromaz imitu
to have a filthy penis (“to do Hymettus cheese”)
vuelo ɣorɣodzes
to have a filthy penis (“to do Gorgonzola”)
avelo xus
to hide
vuelo ɡlasonia
to wear glasses
vuelo kanksero
to go
vuelo kelorosola
to cry
vuelo komunoskeli
to have oneʼs period (“to have commie [red] legs”)
vuelo kurunes
to act dishonourably
vuelo laxaniazozumi
to ejaculate (“to do panting juice”)
vuelo munopasxa
to have one’s period
vuelo blukru
to be thirsty
vuelo bubuni
to fart
vuelo ksplika
to explain
vuelo opia
to pay
vuelo ruzoskelo
to have oneʼs period (“to have pink legs”)
vuelo saliango
to kiss (“to do snail/slime”)
vuelo semelopiɣi
to urinate (“to do penis water-spring”)
vuelo silansioles
to betray (< French silencieux “silent”)
vuelo suzman
to be angry (“to do nerves?”: susta “nerve”)
vuelo traɣopurozumo
to bless with holy water (“to do goat.old-man.juice = [bearded] priest water”)
vuelo tremozumo
to ejaculate (“to do trembling juice”)
vuelo fakiropipiza
to have an erection (“to do snake-charmer’s flute”)
vuelo foria
to pressure
vuelo xalastra
to beat brutally (“to do ruin”)
vuelo xtipes
to inject drugs (“to do hits”)
*avelo pluts
to be happy (“to do splash”)
*avelo pluts tabako
to get stoned (“to do splash cigarette” = “to be happy cigarette”)
*avelo bubules
to shoot (“to do boom-boom”)
*avelo xuxules
to be cold (“to do shiver”)

In a few instances, Kaliarda makes semantic differentiations between words that standard Greek does not:

animalonionies
brains (as food): “animal mind”—differentiated from nionio “brains”; both miala in mainstream Greek (but mainstream slang nionio “intellect” only means the latter)
ɣudi
wood (English wood), kariðosfino “walnut (wood) wedge”, differentiated from dup “beating”; both ksilo in mainstream Greek
linga
language < Italian lingua, differentiated from rosolo “tongue” < rosoli “saliva” < rosolio “rosewater liquer”; both ɣlosa in mainstream Greek

There is a massive list of schematic compounds in Kaliarda; I will cut it short at delta:

aðerfokrazo
to meow: “to cat shout”
aðerfotrofi
mouse: “cat food”
aeragistro
magnet: “air hook” (hooks iron in mid-air)
aeranderizo
to fart, to be indifferent: “to air intestines”
aerokaro
airplane: “air cart”
ainstainotabletes
logarithms, logarithm tables: “Einstein tablets”
etnoxorxora
measles: “pimple fire”
akumbotsarðos
neighbour: “touch house”
almobiselu
medium: “soul sleep chick”
ambelobombitses
dolmades: “vineyeard little bombs” (as they are round food wrapped in vineleaves)
anemoviva
soul: “wind life”
anemomandosvuru
windmill: “wind bread spinning-top”
anemoselogugu
medium: “wind sleep ghost chick”
anderosvuru
kokoretsi: “entrail spinning-top”
adikotos
distant: “un-seen”
antikro
TV set: “opposite”
apoliazo
to shut: “to [put] away from the sun”
arapiki dzinavosini
algebra: “Arabian cleverness”
astedupuros
director: “‘That’s how I want it!’ old man” < Arvanitika është dua “that’s how I want it” (also used in mainstream slang)
astefanotekno
born out of wedlock: “no [wedding] crown child”
astrapopetra
brilliant (diamond): “lightning stone”
atmokazano
railroad: “steam cauldron”
atsarðo
countryside: “houseless”
afroɣuɣulfia
rabies: “foam dog-ness”
axalia
diet: “un-eating”
axatozo
interior, Greece: “here-ness”
axatobenama
gesture, signal: “here saying” (“hither signal”)
varonolemari
necktie: “baron neck thing”
vestitosenduko
clothes trunk
vivokokora
fruit: “life mood”
vivokarno
calf: “live beef”
viðobladorufa
leech: “screw blood sucker”; bladorufa “blood sucker” is the cup used in cupping (βεντούζα)
vinaroklina
gargle: “drink clean”
virdzinoskriva
stenography: “virgin writing”
vlaxomiziθra
ricotta: “hillbilly cheese”
vomvobenavo
mumble, whisper: “buzz speak”
voskoxala
vegetables: “pasture food”
ɣaletomandula
biscuit: “rusk bread (diminutive)”
ɣalokarna
cow: “milk beef”
ɣalofusku
female breast: “milk balloon”
ɣarɣarotekno
sailor: “babbling [water] child”
ɣatakia-lalis
tender and faithful friend: “kitten jewel” (Turkish lâl)
ɣatuloɣamulis
tender lover: “kitten(-like) fucker (dimin.)”
ɣenapaɡros
beardless: “beard hairless”
ɡlobaro
to screw something, from globos “light bulb”
ɡodaxali
religious fasting: “god un-eating”, godaxalo “lenten food”
ɡodoðiakonevo, ɡodozitianevo
to pray: “god beg (as beggar)”
ɡodoðula
angel: “god slave”
ɡodokontra
Hell: “opposite god”
ɡodoprezanta
Epiphany: “god presentation”
ɡodoprofesoros
theologian: “god professor”
ɡodotekno
Jesus: “god child”
ɡran-vakulodavadzis
patriarch: “grand church pimp = grand archbishop”
ɡran-vakulopuros
bishop: “grand church old man = grand priest”
ɡrifopsipsizo
to scratch: “nail pussycat”
ɡroso kanɡelokaro
army tank: “large metal cart”
ɡrosokuakis
frog: “large quack” (note that the Greek onomatopoeia for frogs is koaks)
ɣuɣuloxalo
to bite: “wolf eat”
ɣuɣulfakis
dog: “little wolf”
ɣulfobenavo
to bark: “dog talk”
ɣrasiðopaɡru
cotton: “grass fleece”
ɣiroɣalu
fatty: “go-around milk” (alluding to churning milk)
ɣirozaru
casino: “go-around dice chick” (alluding to roulette)
ɣirotera
year: “go-around earth”
ɣirofisu
fan: “go-around blow chick”
ɣirobukis
generous party-goer: “fills (with food) those around”
ðaxtilo
piano: “finger chick”
ðikeloɣonias
cross-eyed: “looks corner”
ðikelomantio
window, cinema: “looks oracle” (because seeing through window or cinema lets you know something far from your physical presence?)
ðikelomantopoðia
curtain: “window apron”
ðikelosvura
dizziness: “looking spinning-top”
ðikeloskales
benches in stadium: “steps for looking”
ðikelto
eye: “seen thing”
ðikeltu
glance: “seen chick”
ðiplomiliona
million: “double thousand”
ðiploroða, dubloroða
bicycle: “double wheel”

Finally, this is the list of Kaliarda colour words:

ɡrekos
dark blue < “Greek” (national colour)
kipi
green: “garden-coloured”
kuli
beige, brown: “shit-coloured”
blavos
black < mainstream “bruised, black-and-blue” < Venetian blavo “blue”
blakis
black < English black
nekri
purple: “death-coloured” (purple is associated with funerals)
neros
black < Italian nero
dareli
yellow (< darela “gossip, nonsense”?)
durosielo
blue: “hard sky-coloured” (French ciel, used in Greek as a colour word)
durosielo tis renas
royal blue: “the queen’s blue”
plereza
black (usually in compounds) < Standard plereza “mourning veil” < French pleureuse
rozi
red: “rose coloured”. (In standard Greek, roz is borrowed from French rose and means “pink”)
sielos
pale blue < Italian cielo, French ciel “sky”; siel < ciel already means “pale blue” in Standard Greek
xionis, xionikos
white: “snow-coloured”

Kaliarda XXX: Kaliarda etymologies

By: | Post date: 2018-01-05 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

I am drawing this sequence to a close with posts on noteworthy classes of Kaliarda words from Petrpoulos’ dictionary.

To begin with: I have already posted (and updated) the Romani words in Kaliarda; the Italian words are given in Minniti-Gonias have already been discussed; and the Turkish, French, and English words have been sign-posted by Petropoulos. This is an etymological addendum. (In the following, asterisked forms are not Dura Liarda, but are from the addendum to Petropoulos.)

Albanian words:

vaizo
black woman < vajzë “girl”
kurdavo
almond (etymon not given by Petropoulos)
mutiazo
to shit < muti “shit”
bukuros
beautiful < bukurë
duvdeza
coffin < duvdes “to die”

(I have not been able to confirm these, and these will be Arvanitika, not standard Albanian.)

Spanish words:

kukaro
cockroach < cucaracha
otros
other < otro (if not French autre)
plaza
city square < plaza

To these we need to add Ladino semelja “penis”: this is clearly Lubunca similya “penis” < Ladino semilya “seed”. semelja is a missing link to the Ottoman Empire, since Ladino was spoken widely in Constantinople and Salonica—but not in Athens, whose Jews were Romaniote (Greek-speaking). We know that Kaliarda was spoken in Athens before Salonica became part of Greece in 1912, so semelja proves what the lack of Italian in Lubunca seemingly disproves—that Kaliarda and Lubunca share at least some common ancestry.

The much longer list is that whose etymologies defeated Petropoulos. There are by my reckoning eight Romani stems that Montoliu found and that I have not—though I’m quite sure develo ~ dzevelo and dapavelo are two of them.

Unknown Etymologies:

(avelo) napses
to chat; napsiaris is an informant, and Petropoulos derives it from anapso “to light (a fire)”
(vuelo) foria
to pressure
aθoritos
absurd; aθoritiazo to act stupidly, riskily; to gamble
vakuli
church (Petropoulos claims Venetian bangolo “brothel”, but Minniti-Gonias has not found that word in Boerio. He also suggests vakla “rod” < Latin bacillus)
verɣos
informant
vutra
breasts
ɡolos
deaf
ɡurbandos
charming (of men)
elamu
arrival; elamano “to arrive” (< ela mu “come on”?)
esapsis
wonderful
kajoros, kajos
director (Turkish cayır “quickly, noisily”?)
kanɡuri
nose
kaklamaro
to influence
kansavaro
to correct
kaprikende
matchstick (kendo “to pierce; to set alight”; hence kenda “fire” does not have an unknown etymology. See also kerikende “matchstick” < keri “candle” + kenda)
karakukunis
miser
karalafaro
tickle (kara- “augmentative” + English laugh?)
kaskambera
smart
kaskauti
hashish
katolia
tears
kirkirisi
vomit (onomatopoeia?)
klakakembaro
to make noise in a bar for or against a singer (< French claque?)
kopapi
rusk
kuranda
comb
kurkurzelo
wet
kurkuledzu
slut
kusa
doll
kuseli
gossip (cf. kuskus “ibid.)
kros krose
confetti
kruakis, kruu, kruiko
filthy
lamaro
to back up, cf. kaklamaro to influence
lugra
nasty, bitch. lugra ~ rugla is Lefkada dialect for snot, and derives from Ancient Greek ῥύγχος “nose”

luni

swimming
lupara
ears, luparo “to hear”
lutsia
sea (Petropoulos: Italian luto “sludge”?)
mandalas
cuckold; hence mandalobaltas “prosecution of adultery, adultery”: “cuckold trial”
meliði
end, full stop (looks like “honey”); buromeliðo “song meliði” is a musical note
mentsa
lawsuit
merkeres
kapamas (in Greek: lamb or veal stewed in butter, tomato and spices)
morza
snot
berxamas
argument (Turkish barhana “big inn”?)
bigros
big (English big?)
bilo delo
mirror
bolokaro
to coat
bua
flower (French bois “forest”?)
mukluke
interesting, wonderful
bulɣuana
pretentious
bulɣuriko
sweet, smart, cultured
bulkume, purkume
sperm, ejaculation
bubul
sweet
busɣaliazo
to bury
busɣukulos
indifferent
niseste
clothes, thread, cloth
nitsikos
few
davilaro
to begin
dabagojes
binoculars
dan
he, pl. danakati “they.masc” (dan “he” + kate “that”?)
duna
she, pl. danakate “they.fem” (dan “he” + kate “that”?)
duni
it, pl. dunakata “they.neut” (duni + kate “that”?)
dapavelo
to surrender (Romani? cf. tapavel “to make someone beat someone up”; daravel “to intimidate”)
develo, dzevelo
to desire, to want (Romani? Romani devel “God” does not have a clear relation)
darela
gossip, nonsense
dareli
yellow
dili
tooth (French dent?)
diskronde
cram school, enlightenment, oven (all of which are I presume slang for “place where someone becomes in-the-know”): cf. French discorder?
dovas
hated and repulsive gay
dokomaxmurlis
lazy: doko- (?) + Greek maxmurlis “sleepy-head” < Turkish mahmur
ksepensaris
expensive: ostensibly Greek kse- “un-” + Italian pensare “to think”, so “maddening”?
parandinu
carnival: para-ndinome “to cross-dress”?
prans
nearby: French près “near”?
radaristo
phone receiver: radar? radaro means “to read”
sarmela, sermela
penis: related to semelja “penis”?
sapsaro
to admire
sekanso
I can: English can?
seklaman
innocent, indifferent
sekons
how much; fem. sekonsa, neut. sekonso
sinta
(elastic) spring
sixliazo
to rot, to shrink (from tsixla “thrush (bird); skinny person”?)
skundula
evil eye
smoki
germ
sol
pleasure
tapioka
unkempt hair
tendos
true, and tendu “truth”
dzasbanaðiko, dzasbanotsarðo
insane asylum: “away X shop, away X hut” (dzaslos “away”, dzasnionio “away mind” and dzatestos “away head” mean “insane”; ban resembles banio “bath” < Italian bagno)
dzelbue
leucorrhoea, vaginal discharge
dzuanaro
to leave
dzurata
stockings (dzuro is “urine”)
ˈtula
silence
turkokutrukelo
Smyrna, Izmir: “Turk Χ?”
turla susta
dizziness: lit. “swelling bounce/spring”
tsulukani
child; hence tsulukano “pregnant”
fasa
woman
frida
fire (Italian freddo “cold”?)
xafto
place: related to xafto “to swallow”?
xonsika
toilet
xus
hiding place; xusaro “to hide”
xusia
laughter
xututopos
that place; xutu “?” + topos “place”
psamos
excited, psamono “to get excited”
*aminobarotsarðo
hospital: amino “?” (“defence?”) + barotsarðo “sickness hut”
*ɡuruma
bear; hence ɡurumotos “hairy” (cf. bear)
*ðela
vomit
*karkabiniazo
to look admiringly, to sweet-talk
*kataxar
opposite
*kerekokristalo
photography: “X? crystal”
*kumusa
case; *kumusukulia bandoleer, cartridge belt: “case turds”
*listra
razor (Italian lisciare “to smooth”?)
*berebeðaki
lamb
*buma
potato
*dzurda
glance
*dzaz bilo
unlucky: “away X?” (cf. bilo delo “mirror”)
*faraniazo
to froth: < fari “stallion”? Hence *faraniasmenos “furious” (“frothing at the mouth”)

Kaliarda XXIX: 1904, addendum

By: | Post date: 2018-01-04 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

I just noted that Nikos Sarantakos posted on his blog a report on the 1904 attestation of Kaliarda. I neglected to mention that he posted a full scan of the 1904 article (1904–11–25), which includes a couple of paragraphs left out in Spatholouro’s transcription, which I’d previously posted here.

“Our journal is able to announce a journalistic success today. When we gave the truly difficult mission to our contributor Bichtis [“Pest, Sexual Harrasser”] of discovering the friends in Constantinople and collecting Makris’ correspondence towards them, we were convinced of his capability and his success, for he is a young man full of energy, zeal, and smarts, a proper spitfire. He literally has the devil inside. But he has exceeded our expectation.”

  • The “friends” are obviously queers in Istanbul. (I really should have been using that term instead of “gays” all along.)
  • I have no idea who Makris was, and what his correspondence involved, but there may be hints of it in previous issues of the magazine.

“Constantinople, 21 November. … Constantinople too has her Twelve, just like our Athens. The difference is that her circle is larger than the Omonia Square one, for more members have entered it here.”

  • Why yes, some of those italics are deliberate. The whole magazine did that, not just this article.
  • The reference to the Twelve, this confirms, is purely conventional (“Council of Elders = Queers”), since in fact there are numerically more queers in Istanbul than Athens.

“We all know that (the) language/tongue is only useful for women. Now it is confirmed that men use it too. Language/Tongue in both cases plays the major part.”

  • I initially thought this was indirect confirmation that Kaliarda was already familiar as the language of cis female prostitutes. But in context, it’s likely just some artless sexism plus a double entendre: “Women are all talk (tongue); but it turns out (queer) men can use their tongues for the same purpose as women. Why no, I was just referring to the use of language by both! Get your mind out of the gutter!”

“Before going further I will write on the language of the Twelve here [in Constantinople], since this is the same language as that of our Twelve [in Athens]. This is also quite important in our case, as that is what Makris’ letters are written in.”

  • Again, the explicit identification of Athens Lubinistika from 1904 with Istanbul Lubunca; and the old Italian vocabulary which differentiates the two is not included in the glossary.

“The report of our correspondent is quite detailed, including among others the history of our Twelve and the names, or rather pseudonyms, by which the Athens and Peiraeus members of this curious company are known, along with the age of each; we will be continuing it in many issues of our magazine.”

  • And indeed, while the following issue (1904–12–02) is missing from the Greek National Library and the ΕΛΙΑ press archives, the issue after that, 1904–12–09, did publish names of the “Twelve in Peiraeus”; I already noted the presence of masculine, feminine and neuter names, in contrast with the exclusively feminine names reported for 1971 by Petropoulos.
  • The 1904–12–16 issue left out its report on “The Twelve” for lack of space; the issue after that, 1904–12–23, is likewise missing from ΕΛΙΑ. The 1904–12–09 issue likely has a few more gems though.

Kaliarda XXVIII: Sarantakos

By: | Post date: 2017-12-30 | Comments: 2 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

Nikos Sarantakos has just published on his blog a report on Spatholouro’s finds in his blog comments of early attestation of Kaliarda, as already reported here. My thanks to him for disseminating Spatholouro’s findings more widely, as they deserve.

There’s not a lot of new information in the article, but he does mention that Manganareas’ journal Πεταχτό Κόρτε “Fleeting Flirt”,

despite its editor’s activist credentials, was one of the risque magazines of the time, with half-naked women drawn on the front cover, with cartoons with innuendo-laced captions showing ladies in negliges, with poems and witticisms full of double entendres, often italicised (e.g. “every female reader should give it to her friend—the magazine, that is.”) […] As you can see on the front cover above, the magazine shows dozens of pseudonyms of contributes, but I would not be surprised if the entire content was written by Manganaras with 2 or 3 collaborators.

Sarantakos also raises a criticism of Petropoulos’ work that is worth discussing: the lengthly witticisms in the dictionary don’t seem to be conventionalised parts of a normal cant vocabulary, but one-off opportunistic inventions, which his consultants happened to come up with:

But users of cants don’t use it so much to communicate, as to not be understood by outsiders. They don’t need to devise words for all aspects of life, because the mainstream language is enough for that. They need 100–200 basic words for their immediate interests (money, client, beautiful, ugly, small, big.)

The sense I get every time I leaf through Petropoulos’ Kaliarda is that many, if not most of those words were made up by a small group for fun, building on the existing model of Kaliarda vocabulary. I open up Petropoulos at random at <R>, and read these entries:

  • rena: queen [French reine]
  • renovlastos: “queen sprout”: heir to the throne
  • renoɣlastra: “queen flowerpot”: palace
  • renokaθiki: “queen chamberpot”: crown
  • renokatsikaðero: “queen goatville man (= hillbilly)”: evzone (royal guard, in traditional rural garb)
  • renos: king
  • renoskamnu: “queen stool”: throne
  • renotekno: “queen child”: prince

The compounds are very witty and inventive, and I bet the people who made them up had a lot of fun doing so; but I would be surprised if they were ever widespread among Kaliarda speakers. I fear that Petropoulos, yielding to the passion of the collector, bolstered his collection by recording the opportunistic formations of a small group.

I agree with Sarantakos that it’s unlikely that these witticisms were conventionalised—that “queen chamberpot” was the regular word for “crown”, used more than mainstream stema or korona (whenever crowns did come up in conversation). I disagree that they were out of bounds for being recorded.

Kaliarda at the beginning may well have been as limited as Dortika, when it really was being used as a secrecy language, by sex workers and gays. The minimal records we have of older Kaliarda concur: they don’t have the compounds, the jokes, and the allusions that Petropoulos recorded. (Of course, they were quite basic vocabularies, so there’d be no room for them anyway.)

But Petropoulos says that wit is a major component of speaking Kaliarda; in fact, wit is also emphasised in accounts of the much more parsimonious Lubunca, and were clearly also at work in Polari. Even in 1928, Hatzidakis says much the same about Kaliarda—that the experience of hearing any word of it is unforgettable; and I find it hard to believe that it was unforgettable merely for using a couple of Romani words in a mincing accent. Even if the coinage “queen chamberpot” was not conventionalised for “crown”, and was the invention of one particular Kaliarda speaker, I suspect that kind of coinage happened among Kaliarda speakers all the time.

And beyond that, the linguistic patterns of the coinages are revealing of how the language work. dzasberdepurotsarðo is rechercé for “National Benefaction”, and “house of an old man throwing away his money” is clearly one-off. But I doubt this was the only time dzas-berde was used to refer dismissively to philanthropy; and the variant clearly permitted such four-part compounds to be formed and understood—something not without precedent in Greek, both literary and colloquial, but in a much more schematic garb than we’re used to from Greek.


I’m going to be offline for a couple of weeks. When I get back, I’ll be posting glossed highlights of the Kaliarda vocabulary, and drawing this series to a close.

Kaliarda XXVII: Biondo

By: | Post date: 2017-12-24 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

Thanks to friend of this blog Kostas Karapotosoglou, I’ve consulted Raffaela Biondo’s honours thesis on Lubunca from Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice: Lubunca: Lo slang queer del turco. Usi e funzioni sociolinguistiche a Istanbul e Berlino.

The research contribution of Biondo’s thesis is a survey of attitudes towards Lubunca by gay Turks in Turkey and Germany, and the extent of their usage of it. There is some introductory material, and a glossary of Lubunca; I suspect much of this material is in Kontovas’ thesis, but I’m going through it for completeness.

  • p. 17. The slang of the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, studied by Özdemir Kaptan in 1988, is polyglot, and includes Greek, Italian, French, Armenian, Russian and English; this reflects the polyglot nature of Beyoğlu (mediaeval Pera) itself, as the Venetian and Genoese settlment, and then as the Levantine centre of Istanbul.
  • p. 27. Kontovas included as characteristic of Lubunca the use of alıkmak as a light verb, and the use of -matik, -oz, oş as derivational suffixes. (p. 117 alıkmak is based on Turkish almak “to take”; -ık- is obscure.)
  • p. 27. The first Turkish slang dictionary was Lugat-i Garibe by A. Fikri, 28 pp long, from 1889/1890. Next came Devellioğlu’s 1941 dictionary, then Hulki Aktunç’s 1990 Türkçenin Büyük Argo Sözlüğü, which is the major reference on Turkish slang. Slang studies in Turkish have intensified since the 1990s.
  • p. 84. Lubunca is also known as labunca, lubunyaca, kelavca. kelav is Lubunca for “prostitute”; lubunyaca is the older form of lubunca, from lubunya “gay bottom, trans woman” < Romani lubhni “whore”. So Lubunca lubunya, like Lubinistika/Kaliarda lubina, conflated cis female prostitutes and queers as reflexes of lubhni. (I’d been avoiding queer as too generic till now, but it’s better than ibne or gay or gay bottoms and trans woman.)
  • p. 118: lubunya has spread to general Turkish slang. labunya is a synonym of lubunya; cf. Manganaras’ recorded form labuni, which appears to correspond to later lubina.
  • p. 84. Online sources speak of 300–400 words of Lubunca; Kontovas, recall, found 158 roots. Petropoulos, it should be said, recorded 3000 words (700 roots), but guessed there were more like 5000 extant.
  • p. 85. Morphological peculiarities of Lubunca (Kontovas 2012:13–17): -iz, -ız as a non-productive nominalising suffix on verbs; productive derivative suffixes -oş (Greek), -tör, -tor (French); the use of alıkmak as a light verb.
  • p. 86. Kontovas concluded Lubunca must have originated in the final decades of the Ottoman Empire—the use of “58” as a visual pun only makes sense before the 1932 introduction of the Roman alphabet. Lubunca as we now know it was standardised in the 80s (when it was first recorded) and 90s, a time which speakers consider the golden age of Lubunca. (Speakers of Kaliarda would be unanimous that the golden age of that language was Petropoulos’ time.)
  • p. 87. Romani is no longer spoken by Istanbul Roma, but it was in the 60s; so Lubunca must have originated before then. The Greek in Kaliarda would date from before the exodus of Istanbul Greeks after the 1955 pogrom. (Recall that Manganaras found a language he identified with Kaliarda, spoken in Istanbul in 1904; Kontovas would not have been aware of that source.)
  • p. 88. Kontovas situates the origin of Lubunca in Beyoğlu and Şişli, where the Levantines lived, contributing their languages to Lubunca; the Roma of Istanbul also lived in Beyoğlu, and that is where trans sex workers in Istanbul work to this day. Kontovas (2012: 40)

    The engagement of Queers, Roma, and other gayrimüslim [non-Muslim] minority women in unregistered sex work during the latter years of the Ottoman Empire and early years of the Turkish Republic explains the cohabitation of social space and corresponding experience of similar social conditions that catalysed in the exchange of linguistic material exhibited by Lubunca.

  • p., 93. Lubunca is still much used in its original context of sex work, but it has spread more widely as an emblematic language, including among gay activists.
  • p. 96. Lubunca is used by both gay men and gay women, although the sexual vocabulary of Lubunca is ibne-oriented. (There does not seem to have been any takeup of Kaliarda by lesbians, and lesbians are consistently absent in the sources—though Kaliarda is certainly aware they exist.) The secrecy function of Lubunca is becoming less prominent.
  • p. 119. paparon for “policeman” got a lot of use in the 80s and 90s to refer to the policemen persecuting trans women; it is now being displaced by beybi < English baby. Already in Petropoulos’ time, paparuna had been truncated to runa, and its earlier form forgotten—Petropoulos was certainly unaware of it.
  • p. 120. belde ~ berde “money” is used almost exclusively with reference to payment for sex. One informant claimed that gays would not use belde outside of sexual contexts, but that trans people would extend it from payment for sex to payment for work in general.
  • p. 122. homoş “homosexual” and malbuş “Marlboro cigarette” are formed with the pseudo-Greek suffix -oş.
  • p. 125, 127. The same has happened with ibnoş, reclaimed from mainstream Turkish ibne, and used ironically.
  • p. 126. The Romani denyo “crazy” has generalised from Lubunca to general Turkish slang.
  • p. 132. Biondo gives a Lubunca glossary:
  • p. 133. balamoz ~ malamoz has the specific meaning “sugar daddy” (as in fact does baron < French). In Kaliarda, balamos is “client of prostitute”; both straightforwardly derive from the Romani meaning “gadjo, boss”.
  • p. 135. çaça “madam of brothel” is listed as Lubunca; it is derived from either the dance cha cha cha, or Venetian ciaciarar “to chatter”. As it turns out, mainstream Greek tsaˈtsa means the same, and is not a particularly obscure word; Greek dictionaries derive it from the nursery word ˈtsatsa “auntie”. The Greek etymology is rather more plausible than either of (Kontovas’?) suggestions, and would make this the fifth Greek word of Lubunca.
  • p. 143. The fourth Greek word of Lubunca, which Kontovas forgot to list in the excerpt I saw of his thesis (after paparon, paparun, paparos “policeman”, nonoş “bottom, transvestite, effeminate gay man” < nonos “godfather”; and nafta “middle aged man” < naftis “sailor”) is tarika “moustache”, trika “beard” < trixa “hair (follicle; body hair)”; hence (p. 123, citing Kontovas) trikacı “someone excited by body or facial hair”. (Biondo notes that trika has now fallen into disuse.)
  • p. 137. The sixth Greek word of Lubunca is hoy “no”, which may come from Greek dialectal oi “no”; the form is only attested in the “Memrise Lubunca Course”.
  • p. 139. maydanoz “hair” < “parsley” is not the seventh Greek word of Lubunca, since maydanoz is already well established in Standard Turkish as a Greek loanword.
  • p. 138. laço in Lubunca is specialised to mean “20–40 year old man; active gay; virile gay”—so in fact what Kaliarda speakers would have referred to as a kolambaras, though presumably with less of the toxicity of kulampara/ibne relations that the Kaliarda usage was characterised by, since the term is in contemporary use (“active gay” rather than “active sex tourist”). laçovari, accordingly, means “masculine”.
  • p. 139. minco has moved from meaning “vagina” to meaning “anus”, something that may reflect the more recent attestation of Lubunca compared to Kaliarda, with at least some trans women more overtly identify their anatomy as feminine. We saw that in Kaliarda, even in the 80s, mudzo was restricted to cis women by speakers who themselves identified as trans.

Kaliarda XXVI: Lubunca

By: | Post date: 2017-12-20 | Comments: 5 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

Just when I thought I was done.

Anna T’s article I just posted on mentioned Nicholas Kontovas’ 2012 M.A. thesis on Lubunca, the Turkish Gay Cant that until now I only knew of from Khyuchukov & Bakker’s 1999 paper.

The first 9 pp of Kontovas’ thesis are available online. They’re actually enough to answer a lot of questions about Kaliarda.

  • The Turkish Gay Cant has a name, then, and lubunca, lubunyaca is the exact Turkish equivalent of lubinistika, the usual name for Kaliarda (at least by outsiders) before Petropoulos: “whore-language”, from Romani lubhni.
  • It’s mainly used in Istanbul, but is spreading to other big cities (just as Kaliarda was an Athens and Salonica language).
  • Its daily use is now limited to trans female sex workers in Istanbul; it was in common use among gay males in the late 20th century. (Kaliarda has also declined in Greek, although an attenuated version of it has picked up in emblematic use.)
  • Sources on Lubunca are no earlier than 1981, and many of them are roundabout (translations of queer-themed French texts); the Lubunca Sözluk [Dictionary] appeared online in 2010, and the 2008 Büyük Argo Sözlüğü [Great Slang Dictionary] by Aktunç helped Kontovas sift Lubunca from other Turkish slangs. [The pre-Petropoulos attestations of Kaliarda were unearthed in response to my posts, by blog commenters with access to digitised Greek press archives; there may be treasures waiting to be found in the Turkish archives for Lubunca as well, and we know that Manganaras explicitly said in 1904 that he found the same Gay cant in Piraeus and Istanbul.]
  • Petropoulos had a rich harvest of vocabulary for Kaliarda: 3000 headwords, 700 of them root words (and 52 of those Romani). There’s much less there for Lubunca: 153 lexemes, 85 lexical roots. That count is comparable to the 100-odd words (all root words) Triantafyllidis recorded for Dortika (and I’ve already commented that Lubunca as Khyuchukov & Bakker recorded it looked like a para-Romani, just as Dortika does).
  • Lubunca is meant to be spoken with a stereotypically “gay” or ‘camp” intonation (just as Kaliarda is).
  • We finally have an explanation for Kaliarda berde “money”, which looked like the Turkish-derived word for “curtain”. The Lubunca for “money” is belde, which is an anagram of Turkish bedel “price, cost, fine”. Metatheses are frequent components of cants, and Christodoulou had remarked on them in Greek slangs; they also appear in Kaliarda, but rather less frequently than for other slangs. The only two instances in Lubunca are bedel and şebzü < beşyüz “five hundred”.
  • Lubunca also uses written puns: ellisekiz “(notorious) bottom” < “58”, which in Arabic numerals looks like an anus and an erect penis. That kind of pun is not alien to Greek: generations have tittered over <ῳ>.
  • 26 of the 85 roots of Lubunca are Romani. We have a few additions from Khyuchukov & Bakker, and they explain a few more things about Kaliarda (particularly nakka):
    Lubunca Romani Kaliarda
    balamoz “old man” balamo “non-Roma man; boss balamos “client of prostitute”
    çavo “young gay male” çhavo “Romani boy cf. tekno “twink, child” < Rom. tikno “small”
    dik(el), tikel “to see, to glance, to look” dikhel “he sees ðikelo “to see”
    koli “sex” kolin “chest, breast”
    matiz “drunk” mato “drunk” Older Kaliarda matalo “drunk”
    nakka “nothing, none, no” na khan “not at all” naka “nothing, none, no”
    tato “bath” tato “warm”
  • So naka is not a variant of Albanian nukë, although I suspect its synonym nuku is; a few Albanian words do turn up in Kaliarda, and Arvanitika was the pre-modern language of much of Attica, including parts of Athens itself.
  • The Romani in Lubunca is at times heavily altered, and reflects a mélange of the variants of Romani common in the Balkans.
  • The next contributor to Lubunca is French with five root words: turalamak “to stroll” < tour; pişar “a piss” < pissoire; lapuş, lapış “lips, mouth, kiss” < la bouche; albuş “a kiss” < à la bouche; lavaj “anal douche, enema” < lavage. There’s a lot of French in Kaliarda; these aren’t in there, and indeed the run-in articles suggest an oral acquaintance with French, whereas Kaliarda Francisms are meticulous and clearly learnèd.
  • Greek has contributed four words, and the first is our old friend paparon, paparun, paparos “policeman”, from paparuna “poppy” (now truncated to runa in Kaliarda). We saw this was Koutsavakika slang as early as 1906; Aktunç’s slang dictionary explains it as a type of cigarette, and he is likely right.
  • The other two Greek roots are nonoş “bottom, transvestite, effeminate gay man” < nonos “godfather”; and nafta “middle aged man” < naftis “sailor”. (Kontovas counts four Greek words, but gives only three.)
  • English: gey < gay, malbuş < Marlboro cigarette, homoş < homosexual, and laki “morality police” < lackey
  • There are also a few words from Armenian, Ladino, and Arabic. The word similya “penis” < Ladino semilya “seed” may be related to the Kaliarda sarmela “penis”.
  • There are only one or two Italian lexemes: albergo “hotel” < albergo, and possible laçka “old bottom” < lascia “leave him”? That is a striking difference with Kaliarda, whose Italian component is massive, and which Montoliu explained as Levantine, i.e. Ottoman; it might be that Greeks had access to Italian vocabulary in a way that Turks did not, as fellow Christians.
  • There is one word apiece from Bulgarian, Kurdish, and Russian.
  • As with Kaliarda, there are a lot of words with uncertain etymology, and many of them are likely inventions meant to sound foreign.
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    1. FalkSing: V. von Falkenhausen. Un’inedita singrafe dotale calabrese del 1208/09. Rivista Storica Calabrese n.s. 6 (1985) 445–456,