What are some common words between Italian and Greek?

By: | Post date: 2017-01-12 | Comments: 1 Comment
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

There’s a substantial number of Italian loanwords in Modern Greek. Many of those loanwords are specifically from Venetian, rather than Tuscan Italian, because a large part of Greece was under Venetian rule for centuries. (And a large number of Greek islands were ruled by other Northern Italian republics.) Italian was also the language through which Greece was exposed to the West for centuries. Lexicography does not differentiate Venetian and Italian consistently.

The post Ιταλικές και βενετσιάνικες λέξεις στα ελληνικά at the lexilogia forum links to 891 headwords listed as Venetian in the Triantafyllidis dictionary, and 2468 as Italian (out of 47,000 entries.) The post is wrong, because the search they link to also retrieves entries from Kriaras’ Early Modern Greek dictionary, hosted at the same site; but the number is substantial, and I agree that most Modern Greek loanwords are from Italian and Venetian.

As a sampler, this PDF: http://www.greek-language.gr/gre…, a guide for teachers of Greek as a Foreign Language, gives the following examples of “Italian” loans:

αντένα, βάρκα, βελούδο, βεντέτα, βίζιτα, βίλα, βιολί, βόλτα, γάντι, γάτα, γούστο, κάλτσα, κανάλι, καπετάνιος, καπρίτσιο, κάρβουνο, καρέκλα, κάσα, κασετίνα, κόλπο, κομπόστα, κόστος, κότερο, κουβέρτα, κούνια, λάμπα, μπάνιο, μπαρκάρω, μπαστούνι, μπότα, μπουκάλι, μπουρίνι, μπράτσο, όπερα, παντελόνι, πατάτα, πόζα, ράτσα, ρεντίκολο, ρόδα, σαλάμι, σβέλτος, σερβίρω, σκούρος, σούπα, σπίρτο, στάμπα, τενόρος, τραμουντάνα, φουρτούνα.

antena, varka, veluðo, vendeta, vizita, vila, violi, volta, ɣanti, ɣata, ɣusto, kaltsa, kanali, kapetanios, kapritsio, karvuno, karekla, kasa, kasetina, kolpo, komposta, kostos, kotero, kuverta, kunia, lampa, banio, barkaro, bastuni, bota, bukali, burini, bratso, opera, panteloni, patata, poza, ratsa, redikolo, roða, salami, sveltos, serviro, skuros, supa, spirto, stampa, tenoros, tramuntana, furtuna.

antenna, boat, velvet, feud, visit (esp. to a doctor or prostitute), villa, violin, stroll, glove, cat, good taste, sock, channel, captain, caprice, coal, chair, trunk, pencil case, trick, fruit preserve, cost, yacht, blanket, cradle, lamp, bath, embark, cane, boot, bottle, squall, arm, opera, pants, potato, pose, race, figure of ridicule, wheel, salami, swift, serve food, dark, soup, matchstick or spirits, stamp, tenor, north wind, storm.

One Comment

  • Owlmirror says:

    There was a word that I was looking for (καμάρα) because I always thought it was a loan from Italian, and I didn’t see it. But the PDF has loans from Latin as well, and that word is on that list — as well as some others, I see.

    I wonder how it was decided that a word was an Italian loan vs a Latin one? Could there be some misattributions?

    I note that the list has other loans, including Hebrew and Arabic, but Aramaic seems to be missing. At the very least “Αββάς” should be on there, and there are probably others. One of the claimed Hebrew ones, “βίβλος”, is actually Phoenician, isn’t it?

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