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Day: July 3, 2017
Will the Greek understand what the words “philistine” and “spartan” mean in the figurative context, in Greek?
I’m reiterating what my fellow Greeks are saying, but to be really really explicit: The metaphorical meaning of Philistine (Φιλισταίοι) to mean someone anti-intellectual is absent from Greek. The typical words would be άξεστος “uncouth”, χωριάτης “peasant”, (learnèd) άμουσος “un-Mused, alien to the muses”, (Turkish) χαϊβάνι “animal”. Λεξικό της κοινής νεοελληνικής says that άμουσος = […]
Why were the Ionian Greeks called the Ionians Greeks when the Sea of Ionia is on the other side of Greece?
To elaborate on Niko Vasileas’ answer and Michael Anderson’s answer: Nominative Iōn, Genitive Iōn-os, Adjective Iōn-ikos or Iōn-ios refers to the tribe of Ionians. Adjective Iŏn-ios refers to the sea, and is traditionally derived from the lover of Zeus, Io (mythology): Nominative Iō, Genitive Ious < *Iŏ-os. Io, transformed into a cow, is supposed to […]
To add some further nuances: When an interlocutor has finally understood something we’ve been hinting at—one of the contexts “Bingo!” is used in English—Greek uses α μπράβο! “Ah, well done”, with the emphasis on the “ah”. Kind of like “there you go”. More exasperated variants of “finally! at last!” (Dimitrios Michmizos’ answer) are έλεος! “Mercy!”, […]