Greek


Greek
{{11}}Greek (adj.) late 14c., from GREEK (Cf. Greek) (n.). Earlier Gregeis (c.1300), from O.Fr. Gregois; also Greekish (O.E. Grecisc). In venery, "anal," by 1970. Greek gift is from "Æneid," II.49: "timeo Danaos et dona ferentes."
{{12}}Greek (n.) O.E. Grecas, Crecas (pl.), early Germanic borrowing from L. Graeci "the Hellenes," from Gk. Grakoi. Aristotle, who was the first to use Graikhos as equivalent to Hellenes ("Meteorologica" I.xiv), wrote that it was the name originally used by Illyrians for the Dorians in Epirus, from Graii, native name of the people of Epirus.
But a modern theory (put forth by German classical historian Georg Busolt, 1850-1920), derives it from Graikhos "inhabitant of Graia" (lit. "gray"), a town on the coast of Boeotia, which was the name given by the Romans to all Greeks, originally to the Greek colonists from Graia who helped found Cumae (9c. B.C.E.), the important city in southern Italy where the Latins first encountered Greeks. Under this theory, it was reborrowed in this general sense by the Greeks.
The Germanic languages originally borrowed the word with an initial -k- sound (Cf. O.H.G. Chrech, Goth. Kreks), which probably was their initial sound closest to the Latin -g- at the time; the word was later refashioned.
It was subtle of God to learn Greek when he wished to become an author -- and not to learn it better. [Nietzsche, "Beyond Good and Evil," 1886]
Meaning "the Greek language" is from late 14c.; meaning "unintelligible speech, gibberish" is from c.1600. Meaning "Greek letter fraternity member" is student slang, 1900.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Greek — may refer to anything related to Greece, including: *Greeks, the people of Greece *Greek language, or, more specifically, **Ancient Greek **Koine Greek **Medieval Greek **Modern Greek *Greek alphabetOtherGreek may also refer to, but not limited… …   Wikipedia

  • Greek — Greek, a. [AS. grec, L. Graecus, Gr. ?: cf. F. grec. Cf. {Grecian}.] Of or pertaining to Greece or the Greeks; Grecian. [1913 Webster] {Greek calends}. See under {Greek calends} in the vocabulary. {Greek Church} (Eccl. Hist.), the Eastern Church; …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Greek — [grēk] n. [ME Greke < OE Grec < L Graecus < Gr Graikos, name orig. used by Illyrians for the Dorians in Epirus (< Grāi, Grāii < Grāes, native name of the people of Epirus); later applied by the people of Italy to all Hellenes] 1. a …   English World dictionary

  • Greek — Logo original de la série Titre original GRΣΣK Genre Comico dramatique Créateur(s) Patrick Sean Smith Production Patrick Sean Smith Acteurs principaux …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Greek — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda GRΣΣK Género Drama adolescente Creado por Patrick Sean Smith Reparto Spencer Grammer Jacob Zachar Jake McDorman Clark Duke Scott Michael Foster Paul James Amber Stevens …   Wikipedia Español

  • Greek — Greek, n. 1. A native, or one of the people, of Greece; a Grecian; also, the language of Greece. [1913 Webster] 2. A swindler; a knave; a cheat. [Slang] [1913 Webster] Without a confederate the . . . game of baccarat does not . . . offer many… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Greek — ► NOUN 1) a person from Greece. 2) the ancient or modern language of Greece. ► ADJECTIVE ▪ relating to Greece. ● beware (or fear) the Greeks bearing gifts Cf. ↑fear the Greeks bearing gifts ● …   English terms dictionary

  • greek to me — If you don t understand something, it s all Greek to you …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • Greek — Greekdom, n. Greekish, adj. /greek/, adj. 1. of or pertaining to Greece, the Greeks, or their language. 2. pertaining to the Greek Orthodox Church. 3. noting or pertaining to the alphabetical script derived from a Semitic form of writing and… …   Universalium

  • Greek — /grik/ (say greek) adjective 1. of or relating to Greece, the Greeks, or their language. 2. relating to the Greek Church. –noun 3. a native or inhabitant of Greece. 4. the language of the ancient Greeks and any of the languages which have… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Greek to me — That s Greek to me or It s (all) Greek to me is an idiom/dead metaphor in English, claiming that an expression is incomprehensible, either due to complexity or imprecision. The expression may be used with respect to verbal expressions with… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.