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The golden blood of Greek

Week 14, Episode 28

Besides the inverted reality paradox that the Greek language puts you into with simple "Yes" and "No", it also grants you with words' magical powers. In Greek, words are not just mere phonetic symbols of the terms or ideas they define, but more like mini dictionary articles in which very brief explanations of the meanings are provided.

Let's take, for example, such a common word—smart. In the language of Zeus it has a much deeper message. "Εξυπνος" (eh-kseep-noh-s) consists of two words "έξω" (eh-ksoh)—"out", and "υπνος" (eep-noh-s)—a noun "sleep". As you can see, by the Greek logic, a smart person is the one who is out of sleep, whose mind is awake and not affected by unconscious slumber. How about that? :)

Or the word for "school""σχολή" (s-khoh-lee). The initial meaning of the word was "leisure, recreation, pastime", even "idleness". Later Platon used it in the meaning "something you do during your leisure time", reffering to an academic conversation. And then Plutarch changed it to a "training session, exercise, lecture". Eh, school was so much more fun thousands of years ago!

One of my favorite words in English, that you might not know existed, comes from Greek:

The word is constructed from two words: "πέτρα" (pet-rah) meaning "stone" and "ἰχώρ" (ee-khor), the ethereal golden fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology. Petrichor has such striking origins enveloped in the mystery of the devine, it also in one word conveys one of the most entrancing fragranges of nature.

"Orchid" has a less bewitching story. The name "orchid" is derived from the Ancient Greek word "ὄρχις" (orr-khees) that stands for "testicle" because of the resemblance subterranean tuberoids of the plant have. 

There is a word in Greek language which is purely Greek, has such a profound meaning and describes the Greek soul the best: "φιλότιμο" (fee-loh-tee-moh). To give you a quick idea of what it means, let's translate it as "love of honor", but the Greeks see so much more in it. I add here the video that describes the concept better than I ever could:

The Greek language is the one that you have to ponder upon, it has intricate connections inside the words and between the words as well as in grammar, it has "golden blood" of history running in it and is interesting to decipher. It makes you let go of the haste and pay attention to the core of things, so in a way, become Greek.

Don't let articles or cases scare you off. Some time and practice—and you'll crack them like nuts, as we say in Russia :) It is your time now to make your own journey, because here I have to say "Αντίο!" (un-tee-oh) as I head towards Hebrew, another language with unfamiliar-looking letters.

Καλή τύχη! (Kah-lee tee-kheeGood luck!

" What a marvelous article I am! Like me now! "

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