What are some common Greek and Turkish words?

By: | Post date: 2015-10-31 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

There used to be a lot more Turkish words in Greek, but purism and changes in institutions have gotten rid of a lot of them. There are still a fair few in daily use. Nikos Sarantakos’ blog [Page on wordpress.com] has a list of 218 Turkish words that remain in daily use. I am taking out of the list words that are only used in fixed expressions (e.g. χρόνια και ζαμάνια “years and zaman = it’s been a very long time”), and words that I think are somewhat specialised or antiquated, and I reduce them down to the following 140:

Αγιάζι (frost),
Αλάνα (open space),
Γιακάς (collar),
Γιαπί (building site),
Γιαούρτι (yoghurt)
Γιλέκο (vest)
Γινάτι (stubbornness),
Γλέντι (party)
Γούρι (good luck),
Γρουσούζης (jinxed),
Εργένης (bachelor),
Ζόρι (difficulty),
Καβγάς (argument),
Καβούκι (shell),
Καζάνι (cauldron),
Καλούπι (mould),
Κάλπικος (fake),
Καπάκι (lid),
Καρπούζι (watermelon),
Κασμάς (pickaxe)
Κατσίκα (goat)
Κέφι (good mood)
Κιμάς (mincemeat),
Κοτζάμ (huge),
Κοτσάνι (stalk),
Κουβάς (bucket),
Κουμπαράς (piggybank),
Λεβέντης (brave),
Λεκές (stain),
Λούκι (gutter),
Μαγιά (yeast),
Μαγκάλι (brazier),
Μαϊντανός (parsley)
Μανάβης (greengrocer),
Μαράζι (withering away),
Μαραφέτι (gadget),
Μεζές (tapas),
Μενεξές (violet),
Μεντεσές (hinge),
Μεράκι (yearning),
Μουσαμάς (canvas),
Μπαγιάτικο (stale),
Μπακάλης (grocer),
Μπαλτάς (axe),
Μπάμια (okra),
Μπαμπάς (dad),
Μπαρούτι (gunpowder),
Μπατζάκι (shin),
Μπατζανάκης (brother in law),
Μπατίρισα (go broke),
Μπαχαρικό (spice),
Μπεκρής (drunkard),
Μπελάς (trouble),
Μπογιά (paint),
Μπόι (height),
Μπόλικος (plenty)
Μπόρα (downpour)
Μπουλούκι (crowd),
Μπουντρούμι (dungeon),
Μπούτι (thigh),
Μπούχτισμα (fed up),
Νάζι (coyness),
Νταντά (nanny),
Ντιβάνι (divan, sofa)
Ντιπ για ντιπ (totally),
Ντουβάρι (wall),
Ντουλάπι (cupboard),
Ντουμάνι (smoke),
Παζάρι (market),
Παντζάρι (beetroot),
Πατζούρι (window blinds),
Παπούτσι (shoe),
Περβάζι (window sill),
Πιλάφι (rice, pilaf),
Πούστης (faggot [derogatory])
Ρουσφέτι (corruption),
Σακάτης (crippled),
Σαματάς (noise),
Σεντούκι (chest, box),
Σινάφι (guild),
Σιντριβάνι (fountain),
Σιρόπι (syrup),
Σαΐνι (genius),
Σοβάς (plaster),
Σόι (family, lineage),
Σοκάκι (alley),
Σόμπα (heater),
Σουγιάς (pen-knife),
Σουλούπι (shape, form)
Ταβάνι (roof),
Ταμπλάς (stroke),
Ταπί (penniless)
Ταραμάς (taramasalata, fish roe),
Τασάκι (ashtray),
Ταψί (baking tray),
Τεμπέλης (lazy),
Τενεκές (can),
Τεφτέρι (ledger)
Τζάκι (fireplace),
Τζάμι (windowpane),
Τζάμπα (for free, gratis),
Τόπι (ball),
Τσακάλι (jackal),
Τσακμάκι (lighter),
Τσάντα (bag),
Τσαντίρι (tent),
Τσαπατσούλης (messy),
Τσάρκα (stroll),
Τσαντίζω (irritate),
Τσαχπίνης (cunning),
Τσέπη (pocket)
Τσιγκέλι (hook),
Τσιγκούνης (greedy)
Τσιμπούκι (smoking pipe),
Τσιράκι (henchman),
Τσίσα (pee)
Τσομπάνης (shepherd)
Τσουβάλι (sack),
Τσουλούφι (tuft of hair),
Φαράσι (dustpan),
Φαρσί (fluent),
Φιστίκι (peanut),
Φιτίλι (wick),
Φλιτζάνι (cup),
Φουκαράς (poor guy [term of compassion]),
Φουντούκι (hazelnut),
Φραντζόλα (loaf),
Χαβούζα (water tank),
Χάζι (pleasure),
Χαλαλίζω (forgive),
Χάλι (mess),
Χαλί (carpet),
Χαμάλης (porter)
Χάπι (pill),
Χαράμι (waste),
Χαρτζιλίκι (pocket money),
Χασάπης (butcher),
Χατίρι (favour),
Χαφιές (informant),
Χούι (quirk)

Most of these, you would be struggling to replace with a Greek word idiomatically. Please don’t make me provide the Turkish originals for all of them. [But see the admittedly somewhat messy list given as [1] in Achilleas’ answer.]

A couple of these are Rückwanderer [TIL a Rückwanderer (German for “one who wanders back”) is a word that enters another language, develops a new form or meaning there, and is re-borrowed into the original language. • /r/todayilearned], such as φουντούκι < fındık < Ποντικόν, φιστίκι < fıstık < πιστάκιον, τεφτέρι < tefter < διφθέρα.

Answered 2015-10-31 · Upvoted by

Amir E. Aharoni, I have a B.A. in Linguistics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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