Maximus of Gallipoli: linguistic commentary

By: | Post date: 2010-03-28 | Comments: 7 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek
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I posted an excerpt of the 1638 New Testament translation by Maximus of Gallipoli last week. I’ve been rather busy and will continue to for at least a fortnight, and the promised linguistic commentary on the text has held me up from writing other stuff. Well then, here it is. It’s a lot of information, and may lapse into being dry, but if you’re looking at some indication of how Greek has changed between 70 and 1638—and more to the point, between 1638 and 2010, this might get you started.

What is interesting to see is that quite often, Modern Greek has evolved backwards since 1638: expressions that were acceptable in print then are ineptly folksy or even unheard of nowadays. That’s because Contemporary Standard Modern Greek (which I keep abbreviating as CSMG) has been profoundly affected by Puristic Greek, and its studied avoidance of hitherto colloquial forms. To the extent, as you’ll see, of banishing words spoken since Homer, precisely because they had had the bad taste of surviving in use in the vernacular.


The aphaeresis of Modern Greek (deleting initial unstressed/e, o, i/) hasn’t been followed consistently in this text: εβγαίνοντας for Modern βγαίνοντας (1) (the Ancient is ἐκβαίνοντος, so this isn’t an obvious archaism); οπού for Modern που (often; που only in 14); ετούτος (2, 4, 7, 9, still heard on occasion), ειπέ (4), ημπορούν (9), υπάγουν (11), ειπείτε (11), ιδείτε (14), εγκαστρωμένες (17), οπίσω (16), ημέρες “days” (17, 19, 20, may be archaism), ολιγόστευσε (20), ειπεί (21), and augments: ερωτούσαν (3), εδιάλεξε (20), εκόντεψε (20).

The aphaeresis resulted in some forms alternating o- for ε-: ομπροστά “before” (9) < Ancient ἔμπροσθεν, in CSMG just μπροστά. Unstressed initial ε- is assimiliated to απάνου “on” < ἐπάνω (2); the text also has αναντίαν (Ancient and CSMG εναντίον) “against” (9).

There are final /n/s throughout the text that CSMG would drop. This happens throughout published Early Modern Greek, and does not necessarily mean they were a feature of the spoken language.

Διατί “because” and δια “for” appear in their ancient forms, whereas in CSMG they are reduced to γιατί, για ([jati, ja]—i.e. the initial /ð/ has been deleted). Not necessarily an archaism.

The /ɣm/ cluster is simplified to /m/ in διαλεμένους “elect” (20, 22); in CSMG this is no longer allowed because of Puristic influence (Google: διαλεμένους::διαλεγμένους : 123::1670—the instances of διαλεμένους are almost all citations of Makriyannis).

Morphology: Inflection

Δες (1) for “look!” is a surprise: the shibboleth of Thracian Greek (including Constantinopolitan) is that their aorist of είδα has a [j], διές. Maximus may have been nudging his Greek in a more standard direction, realising that διές was a localism.

Τες (2, 17, 19) as the accusative plural feminine article is an older form, now mostly displaced by τις. (Google τες γυναίκες::τις γυναίκες “the women”: 1190::411,000, and the hits for τες on the first page are older literature or dialect).

Modern Greek often changes -ω at the end of adverbs to -ου, though in CSMG this is stigmatised: απάνου “on” (2, 12) < ἐπάνω, Modern επάνω ~ απάνω ~ πάνω.

τίποτες “something” (15) has an added final /s/, by analogy with other adverbs ending in -ες. τίποτες is now considered dialectal, but turns up online enough to suggest some more general non-standard use (Google: 23,500 τίποτες to 4,610,000 τίποτα, 8,650,000 τίποτα)

The genitive is used after adverbs, where CSMG would use από “from”: αγνάντια του ιερού “opposite the temple” (3). (I discuss the odd πέτρα απάνου την πέτραν below.)

The imperative ειπέ “say!” (4) is Ancient, and common in Early Modern Greek; CSMG has gone to πες, with -ες imperatives formed for a small class of monosyllabic verb stems. We have already seen δες “look!” follow that same new pattern (1).

A third member of the class is μπες “go in”; its subjunctive is now μπει, dropping its original unstressed /e/ (εμπεί < ἐμβῇ). This text has the regularised accentuation έμπει (15), so that the /e/ is not dropped. CSMG has not taken up this innovation, but other dialects have, and it seems to have some non-standard use online (971 hits on Google, not all of them literary.)

The Mainland 3rd pl present ending -ουν (for Ancient and Cretan -ουσι) is used: θέλουν “will” (4, 6), λέγουν “they say” (6), ημπορούν (9), υπάγουν (11), παραδώσουν (11), πλανούν (22), σύρουν (22)—but θέλουσι “will” (6, 8, 22), απολογηθούσι (9), φεύγουσιν (14). Using the two variants in the same sentence with the same verb (6) is nothing unusual: Modern Greek had not yet been standardised.

The plural σύγχυσες “confusion” (8) uses a first declension plural on what was historically a third declension noun in -ις. This usage is nowadays lambasted as “extremist Demotic”, and only Psichari’s circle supported it in recent times. But this usage merely reflects what had happened in the vernacular, with the third declension eliminated in all contexts and replaced by the first declension. (ερημώσεως “desolation” (14), OTOH, is in the Ancient 3rd declension.) The CSMG situation, with 1st declension singular and 3rd declension plural for historical -ις nouns, reflects an awkward compromise: people resisted making -ις nouns consistently 1st declension in CSMG, because they are mostly abstract nouns, and hence learnèd. Noone blinks at the plural ράχες of the non-learnèd ράχη < ῥάχις “back”.

Early Modern Greek formed its first declension masculine plural as -άδες: αυθεντάδες (9). CSMG has rolled this plural back in favour of generalising the feminine plural -ες, although -άδες survives in colloquial use. The rollback is only 20th century, and indeed the Puristic plural in -αί held out for a long time in spoken use—with -άδες felt too colloquial for words like “professor”, and -ες too artificial.

Different dialects of Greek have moved -εω verbs across to the -αω paradigm to different extents, so an -εω in the text which is an -αω verb in CSMG does not prove archaism. The text has the original -εω forms for λαλείτε “speak” (11, but this rarely goes to λαλάτε: Google 5360::747); and for παρακαλείτε “ask” (18: παρακαλείτε::παρακαλάτε Google 22,200::44,000, and the former count includes a lot of Ancient Greek)

Morphology: Stems

The aorist γένει “happen” (4, 7) survives in dialect, but CSMG has made the stem consistent with the present stem, and uses γίνει. (The resulting ambiguity is dealt with in a curious way: the present is middle voice, the past is active; so Ancient γίγνομαι, ἐγενόμην is now γίνομαι, έγινα. There is no Aorist Middle in Modern Greek, but the normal outcome would have been to switch to the Aorist Passive, as in κοιμῶμαι, ἐκοιμησάμην “sleep” > κοιμάμαι, κοιμήθηκα.)

The text already uses the modern είναι “is”, rather than Early Modern έναι.

The aorist πλανέσει (5) for Ancient πλανήσει (6) is a vernacular change first seen in φορέσω “wear”; the verb does not seem to be used in colloquial CSMG in the aorist.

κάμει “does” (7, 22) is a Modern sense (the ancient verb κάμνω means “to toil”); its /m/ variant is no longer used, and CSMG instead uses κάνω.

πάγει “take, go” (9) still has its original /ɣ/ < ὑπάγει “lead”—so υπάγουν (11). Ιn Modern Greek /ɣ/ is deleted between a vowel and a verb ending. So also λέγει “he says” (1), which in colloquial CSMG is λέει, and φυλάγετε “guard” (9) (Ancient φυλάσσετε, the -γ- is analogical from the aorist φυλάξω). Ιn CSMG φυλάγετε is further reduced to φυλάτε. (Dropping the /ɣ/ turns -αγω verbs into -αω verbs.) The form λέγει at least is still acceptable in CSMG because it was in Puristic; πάγει has no such warrant, and is not now used.

The future construction permits the survival of the Early Modern Greek infinitive of “be”, είσται (11, 13). This has not survived into CSMG: the perfect tenses still use an infinitive-equivalent, but είμαι does not form a perfect in CSMG (*έχω είσται “I have been”), because the perfect needs an aorist (perfect) infinitive, and “be” is imperfective.


The adverbial participle is used productively: Και εβγαίνοντας από το ιερόν ο Ιησούς “and as Jesus was coming out of the temple” (1). My own hunch is that this was not the most vernacular syntax possible, and that explicit conjunctions were more colloquial; but that’s a hunch, and the participle is still around in that role. (The adjectival active participle OTOH is now ossified, surviving only in lexicalised noun. So η μαυροφορούσα “black-wearing (woman)” does not imply a masculine ο *μαυροφορόντας.)

Maximus of Gallipoli was a speaker of Northern Greek, so he used the accusative instead of the genitive for indirect objects: λέγει τον “told him” (1, 2)

The text uses the Finite θέλω + Infinitive Verb construction (2, 4, 6, etc) to express the future, and the corresponding Finite Imperfect ήθελα + Infinitive (20) to express conditionals. The Modern construction with θα + Finite Verb dates from around 1700. The alternate future with μέλλω “is destined to” is also used (4), but should be taken as an archaism. The colloquial future έχει να “it has to” (19) is now used almost always as it is here, in the fixed expression έχει να γίνει “there will be”, predicting something momentous positively or negatively.

The earlier να future may be lingering in να μην μεριμνάτε πρωτύτερα τι να ειπείτε “don’t study ahead of time what you might (will) say” (11); in CSMG this would θα πείτε. The subjunctive used instead does make sense in CSMG, but CSMG treats such indirect questions as indicative, and the brevity of να may have helped it survive here. There is an even stronger survival in μηδέ να γένει “and nor will there be” (19): CSMG does not allow a subjunctive (“??nor might there be”), and the survival may be a fixed expression involving “nor”.

In Modern Greek, απάνω “on” is an adjective, and can only act as a preposition by combining it with σε “to”: έθνος απάνου εις άλλο έθνος “nation on to other nation = nation against nation” (8). πέτρα απάνου την πέτραν “a stone on a stone” (2) is treating απάνου as a preposition on its own; that’s odd enough I suspect an error. Ancient Greek did treat ἄνω as a preposition, and Kriaras’ dictionary of Early Modern Greek has some comparable instances with επάνω—but they all take a genitive, which makes them archaisms: this takes an accusative, making it a Modern preposition.

The text has a subjunctive relative clause, indicating intensional reference (the clause defines what is referred to), as is common in Modern Greek (and indeed Ancient too): πέτραν οπού να μην χαλασθεί “(any) stone which will not be ruined” (2), as distinct from “a stone which will not be ruined”.

Subjunctive relative clauses take να in Greek, as the class of connectives that can precede a subjunctive verb is limited. In (11), the relativiser οπού introduces a subjunctive directly: εκείνο οπού σας δοθεί “that (anything) which is given to you”. This usage turns up before the modern standard, but is quite rare in CSMG. A reason the construction may formerly have been more common is that Early Modern Greek and dialect allow οπού as a headless relativiser, “whoever” (surviving in CSMG only in the proverbial οπού φύγει φύγει “whoever leaves, leaves = it’s everyone for himself”). Headless relativisers are intrinsically intensional, so they naturally take the subjunctive.

Adding αυτός “he” to the archaic absolute participle καθεζόμενος “sitting” (3) is awkward, but done to avoid a hanging participle in Greek: Ancient Greek allowed participial clauses to have different subjects from the main clause, and that’s what Maximus is translating (καθημένου αὐτοῦ), but Modern Greek does not.

The phrase έστοντας να “being to” (5) as a vague temporal or causal connective is common in Early Modern Greek. It has vanished without a trace in Modern Greek, as indeed has the participle έστοντας; Modern Greek only uses όντας, reformulated based on Ancient Greek via Puristic.

οπού is used to indicate result (consequential) (19), but without a correlative in the preceding clause: Διατί θλίψις έχει να γένει εκείνες τες ημέρες, οπού… “for there will be a sorrow in those days, [such] that…”. Arguably the correlative is supplied immediately afterwards, οπού τέτοια δεν έγινεν “that such has not happened”; but CSMG requires a preceding correlative, so this phrase sounds odd. (Dialect does not, and indeed Cretan even allows a truncated απού phrase as an exclamation: είναι ωραίο απού! “it is [so] pretty that…!”—Cf. New Zealand English sweet as!)

The counterfactual conditional εάν ο Κύριος δεν ολιγόστευσε τες ημέρες εκείνες “If the Lord had not made the number of those days smaller” (20) uses the aorist. In CSMG this cannot be a counterfactual: it would be a real condition, “if the Lord hasn’t made…”, and the counterfactual would have to be in the imperfect (εάν ο Κύριος δεν λιγόστευε). So the CSMG distribution of conditional tenses took a while to stabilise—as I already noted with Chantakites.


I’m only going to list the deviations from CSMG here:

αμή “but” (7, 13) is no longer used; CSMG instead uses μα (< Italian ma) or Ancient αλλά (11).

μηδέ “nor” (19) has been displaced in CMSG by μήτε, thanks to Puristic: μηδέ is tagged in dictionaries as “folksy”. Both connectives are of Homeric pedigree, and it’s likely that Puristic wanted to avoid μηδέ precisely because it had survived better in the vernacular. (Three citations of μήτε in Kriaras’ dictionary of Early Modern Greek, over 150 of μηδέ.)

Modern readers may be surpised by the low register of σίχαμα for “abomination” (14); but that notion of low register is an artifice of Greek diglossia. If the translation is into the 17th century vernacular, σίχαμα is the right rendering for Koine βδελυγμία—Puristic has made people fussier. The same holds for εγκαστρωμένες “pregnant” (17): it is now felt to be vulgar, but the now “proper” έγκυος is unyieldingly Ancient, with its insistence on not having a distinct feminine ending (*η έγκυα), and it is ineligible for vernacular use.

The text uses γρικά (14) for “understand”. The sense survives in dialect, alongisde its primary reading “hear”. The connection is that the verb had generalised in meaning from “hear” to “sense”—hence Anglo-Australian comedians making fun of Greek migrants who “can hear the smell”, conflating the senses of γρικώ. Nikos Papandreou romantically fancies this is synaethesia; no, just semantic change, and Googling tells me it’s happened in Nigerian and Ghanaian English as well. (Etymologically, the verb seems to derive from ἀγροικέω “to be in the farmhouse”, e.g. “to listen out for thieves in the farmhouse”.) The verb, and its polysemy, are absent from CSMG.

δώμα “roof” (15) is now rare, displaced by the Puristic οροφή and στέγη. φευγατίον “fleeing” (18) is no longer used. (3 instances in Google: two from the 19th century, one from a movie script portraying pre-WWII old men.)

εκόντεψε (20) is used to mean “shorten”, rather than its CSMG meaning “approach”. The two meanings are related: the adjective κοντός is “short”, the adverb κοντά is “short distance away = close by”.

The exclamation να “lo!” (21) is Modern, first attested in the Ptochoprodromos cycle; it has not been pointed out often enough that, despite its conventional (and phonologically odd) derivation from ἤν, it sounds suspiciously like Slavic na “ibid.” (Joseph, B.D. 1981. On the Synchrony and Diachrony of Modern Greek na. Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies. 7:139-154.)


τι λογής “what kind of” survives as a colloqualism; to modern ears it sounds odd in an exclamation—the Modern language would just use τι on its own. In Cypriot, the equivalent ίντα λοής has become so routine, it has evolved into ίνταλος “how?”

The idiomatic έχετε τον νουν σας (5) “have your mind” means “watch out”; it is still in use.

του λόγου σου “of your word/account” is a circumlocution for “you”, used as a polite indirect reference, and nowadays mostly ironic, or emphatic: “as for you, for your part”. As used here (9), it is emphatic, and reflexive (φυλάγετε εσείς του λόγους σας, corresponding to Koine βλέπετε δὲ ὑμεῖς ἐαυτούς). The text as given has an accusative plural for λόγους, but a genitive singular article του: “”; the expression in CSMG can only be του λόγου σας, with “of [your] word” staying in the genitive. This is likely Maximus trying to make sense of the formulaic expression, and putting “word” in the plural to agree with the people it refers to: the two phrases sound the same.

του λόγου μου “of my word/account” is the same circumlocution for “I”, again nowadays used ironically or emphatically, “for my part”. As used here (9), it is literal: δια λόγου μου “for my word = on my account” (Koine ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ).

κάμει χρεία “it makes use = it is necessary” (7) has been displaced in CSMG by χρειάζεται, which is a Modern coinage, or είναι ανάγκη “it is a need” (10).

σημεία και τέρατα “signs and portents” (22) is proverbial in Modern Greek, and I don’t think Maximus could have got rid of it if he tried.

Learnèd forms

Phonology: the text is not leaping to use the Modern cluster dissimilations: χαλασθεί (2), έλθει “come” (6), συγχυσθείτε (7), κηρυχθεί (10), αδελφός (12), κτίσεως (19), έκτισεν (19), πιστεύσετε (21). The lack of contraction in παιδία (12, CSMG παιδιά [peˈðja]) may also be an archaism; φευγατίον “fleeing” (18) is not an ancient word, but could easily be a hypercorrection.

Biblical and religious names don’t follow Modern phonology, and the conservative influence of the Church has meant they almost never do—it’s an act of self-conscious rebellion to do otherwise, and Maximus was not Psichari: Ιησούς “Jesus” (1), Ελαιών “Olives” (3), Ιάκωβος “James” (3), Ιωάννης “John” (3), Ανδρέας “Andrew” (3), Πνεύμα “Spirit” (11), Δανιήλ “Daniel” (14).

Noun Inflection: first declension accusative μαθητάς (1), ακοάς (7)—but the Modern inflection appears on ετούτες τες μεγάλες οικοδομές (2). The first declension nominative πείναι (8), ψευδοπροφήται (22), but αρχές (9), and indeed the seemingly überdemotic σύγχυσες, avoiding the third declension, in the same sentence as πείναι (8).

There are several third declension forms: βασιλείς (9)—the vernacular plural is βασιλιάδες, with the colloquial 1st declension plural already discussed. We have also already noted the third declension ερημώσεως (14). έθνη (10): neuters in -ος were typically switched to second declension in the vernacular, to the extent they survived at all (τὸ πέλαγος > ο πέλαγος). χειμώνος (18), θλίψις (19), κτίσεως (19).

Verb Inflection: the internal augment in απεκρίθη (2); the middle participle καθεζόμενος (for Modern active κάθοντας—note that the participle is active, but the indicative is still middle κάθομαι); the distinct subjunctive 2nd pl ακούσητε “you hear” (7); the ablaut aorist in δαρθεί “be beaten” (9).

Lexicon: διδάσκαλε for δάσκαλε “teacher” (1); οικοδομήματα “buildings” (1), κατά μόνας “in private” (3; the Koine has a different archaism, κατ’ ἰδίαν), κατά τόπους “in places” (8, taken from the Koine), adverbial πρώτον (10, CSMG πρώτα); έως “until” (13, 19), κτίσεως “creation” (19), σάρξ “flesh” (20: had been displaced by κρέας “meat” in the vernacular, has come back through Puristic).

Ιερόν “holy place” for “temple” is the Koine word in the original, although the modern (Christianised) vernacular wouldn’t have offered a useful alternative; the Modern ναός “temple” is itself Koine instead of Attic νεώς, but is just as learnèd. (Koine took up the Doric form, because the Attic phonetic change that switched Ionic /neːos/ to /neoːs/—the “Attic declension”—was too much of an anomaly to survive.)

The text consistently uses archaic εις “to” instead of Modern σε.

A passive is used for τελειώνω “complete > finish”: τελειωθούν (4), following the middle συντελεῖσθαι of the Koine. Modern Greek only uses the active for the verb, both in its transitive and intransitive meaning.

θέλει σηκωθεί X απάνου εις Y “X will rise up against Y” (8, 12) is a translationism (Koine ἐγερθήσεται X ἐπὶ Y), especially in its use of “on”.

The declinable relativiser ο οποίος (19, 20) is not an archaism, being modelled on Italian il quale, but it is learnèd, and is used sparingly compared to οπού.

εις το να πλανούν “towards that they should deceive” (22) puts a preposition and article in front of a subjunctive, clearly calquing the ancient articular infinitive (Koine πρὸς τὸ ἀποπλανᾶν). CSMG allows such constructions, and there is enough precedent to suggest the construction may have been vernacular; but they are most productive in high register, and the use of εις here does not make sense in CSMG. (Indeed CSMG would be more confortable with the original προς.)

Mark 13:1-22.

1 Και εβγαίνοντας από το ιερόν ο Ιησούς, λέγει τον ένας από τους μαθητάς του: «Διδάσκαλε, για δες, τι λογής πέτρες, και τι λογής οικοδομήματα!»
2 Και απεκρίθη ο Ιησούς και λέγει τον: «Βλέπεις ετούτες τες μεγάλες οικοδομές; Δεν θέλει απομείνει πέτρα απάνου την πέτραν οπού να μην χαλασθεί».
3 Και καθεζόμενος αυτός εις το όρος των Ελαιών, αγνάντια του ιερού, τον ερωτούσαν κατά μόνας, ο Πέτρος και ο Ιάκωβος και ο Ιωάννης και Ανδρέας:
4 «Διδάσκαλε, ειπέ μας πότε θέλουν γένει ετούτα; και τι είναι το σημάδι όταν μέλλουσιν ετούτα όλα να τελειωθούν;»
5 Και ο Ιησούς, έστοντας να τους αποκριθεί, άρχισε να τους λέγει: «Έχετε τον νούν σας να μην σας πλανέσει κανένας.
6 Διατί πολλοί θέλουσιν έλθει εις το όνομά μου να λέγουν ότι “Εγώ είμαι [ο Χριστός]„, και θέλουν πλανήσει πολλούς.
7 Και όταν ακούσητε πολέμους και ακοάς πολέμων, μην συγχυσθείτε· διατί κάμει χρεία να γενούσιν ετούτα—αμή ακόμη δεν είναι το τέλος.
8 Διατί θέλει σηκωθεί έθνος απάνου εις άλλο έθνος· και βασιλεία απάνου εις άλλην βασιλείαν· και θέλουσι γένει σεισμοί κατά τόπους· και θέλουσι γένει πείναι και σύγχυσες.
9 Ετούτα είναι αρχές των πόνων. Και φυλάγετε εσείς του λόγου σας· διατί θέλουν σας παραδώσει εις τα συνέδρια, και εις τες συναγωγές θέλετε δαρθεί· και θέλουν σας πάγει [42] ομπροστά εις τους αυθεντάδες και βασιλείς δια λόγου μου, εις μαρτυρίαν αναντίαν τους. [43]

  • [42] ή θέλετε σταθεί
  • [43] ήγουν να μην ημπορούν να απολογηθούσι

10 Και ανάγκη είναι να κηρυχθεί πρώτον το ευαγγέλιον εις όλα τα έθνη.
11 Και όταν σας υπάγουν να σας παραδώσουν, να μην μεριμνάτε πρωτύτερα τι να ειπείτε, μηδέ μελετάτε· αλλά εκείνο οπού σας δοθεί εκείνην την ώραν, τούτο λαλείτε· διατί δεν θέλετε είσται εσείς οπού λαλείτε, αλλά το Πνεύμα το Άγιον.
12 Και θέλει παραδώσει αδελφός τον αδελφόν εις τον θάνατον· και ο πατέρας το παιδί του· και τα παιδία θέλουν σηκωθεί απάνου εις τους γονείς τους και θέλουν τους θανατώσει.
13 Και θέλετε είσται μισημένοι από όλους δια το όνομά μου· αμή όποιος υπομείνει έως το τέλος, εκείνος θέλει σωθεί.
14 Και όταν ιδείτε το “σίχαμα της ερημώσεως„, εκείνο οπού είπεν ο Δανιήλ ο προφήτης, να στέκει εκεί οπού δεν πρέπει (εκείνος οπού το διαβάζει, ας γρικά), τότε εκείνοι που είναι εις την Ιουδαίαν ας φεύγουσιν εις τα βουνά.
15 Και εκείνος οπού είναι απάνου εις το δώμα, ας μην κατέβει εις το σπίτι του μηδέ να έμπει μέσα να πάρει τίποτες από το σπίτι του.
16 Και εκείνος οπού είναι εις το χωράφι, ας μην γυρίσει οπίσω να πάρει το ρούχον του.
17 Και αλίμονον εις τες εγκαστρωμένες και εκείνες οπού βυζάνονται εκείνες τες ημέρες.
18 Και παρακαλείτε να μην γένει το φευγατίον σας [εις την ώραν] του χειμώνος.
19 Διατί θλίψις έχει να γένει εκείνες τες ημέρες, οπού τέτοια δεν έγινεν από την αρχήν της κτίσεως, την οποίαν έκτισεν ο Θεός, έως τώρα, και μηδέ να γένει.
20 Και εάν ο Κύριος δεν ολιγόστευσε τες ημέρες εκείνες, δεν ήθελε σωθεί καμία σάρξ· αλλά δια τους διαλεμένους τους οποίους εδιάλεξε εκόντεψε τες ημέρες.
21 Και τότε, εάν σας ειπεί κανένας: “Να, εδώ είναι ο Χριστός„ ή “Να, εκεί [είναι]„, μην τον πιστεύσετε.
22 Διατί θέλουσι σηκωθεί ψευδόχριστοι και ψευδοπροφήται και θέλουσι κάμει [44] σημεία και τέρατα, εις το να πλανούν και να σύρουν (αν ήτον δυνατόν) και τους διαλεμένους.»

  • [44] ήγουν δώσει


  • John Cowan says:

    Apparently go shit in your hat is a mutated version of the Yiddish expression gey kakhn afn yam 'go shit in the ocean', the "proper" English equivalent of which is go jump in a lake. In Spanish, on the other hand, it's vete a freír espárragos 'go fry asparagus'.

  • Peter says:

    This of course belongs in the "We have removed him John" thread, but in the Greek idiomatic expression, "Go shit in your hat" would probably be Aι κατούρα τα πόδια σου. 🙂

  • John Cowan says:

    Well, I wrote in a conventional representation of New York speech in order to indicate the New York (and to a lesser degree American) value of directness or bluntness, which is often mistaken by outsiders for rudeness. When I say to a good friend who left the area years ago and expressed an interest in seeing Ground Zero, "Don't bother, it's just a big hole in the ground", I am signaling to him that I value the intimacy between us and feel no need to employ distancing circumlocution. Likewise, I use the imperative with Nick to express my esteem for him, though I do not go so far as to express any disagreements we may have with "Aah, go shit in your hat".

  • opoudjis says:

    Mike: Out of scope for a Greek linguistics blog. 🙂

  • Mike Aubrey says:

    How about a linguistic commentary on: "And just fix it awreddy, nemmind all that strikeout jazz"?

  • opoudjis says:

    Alright, alright already… 🙂

  • John Cowan says:

    s/Ιωάνννης/Ιωάννης/, I suppose. And just fix it awreddy, nemmind all that strikeout jazz.

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