Greek


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the Greek calends

A time that is expected to never arrive or occur. (Used after a preposition, especially "at," "on," or "till.") A reference to the day of the new moon and the first day of the month in the ancient Roman calendar, which the Greeks did not observe. You lent that leech John more money? It'll be at the Greek calends when he pays you back.
See also: Greek

beware of Greeks bearing gifts

Be skeptical of a present or kindness from an enemy. The phrase refers to the Trojan horse, a gift to the Trojans from which Greek soldiers emerged and conquered Troy. A: "I can't believe the opposing team made us cupcakes before the big game!" B: "Yeah, I'd beware of Greeks bearing gifts if I were you."
See also: bearing, beware, gift, Greek, of

(it's) (all) Greek to me

This might as well be a foreign language, because I don't understand it at all. The phrase comes from Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar. Can you make sense of these instructions? It's all Greek to me!
See also: Greek

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.

Prov. Do not trust an opponent who offers to do something nice for you. (A line from the story of the Trojan horse, as told in Vergil's Aeneid.) Jill: I can't believe Melanie brought me cookies today, when we've been fighting for weeks. Jane: Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. She probably has ulterior motives. When the rival company invited all his employees to a Christmas party, Tom's first impulse was to beware of Greeks bearing gifts, but then he upbraided himself for being paranoid.
See also: bearing, beware, gift, Greek, of

Greek to (someone)

incomprehensible to someone; as mysterious as Greek writing. I don't understand this. It's all Greek to me. She said it was Greek to her, and that it made no sense at all.
See also: Greek

Greek to me, it's

Also, it's all Greek to me. It is beyond my comprehension, as in This new computer program is all Greek to me. This expression was coined by Shakespeare, who used it literally in Julius Caesar (1:2), where Casca says of a speech by Seneca, deliberately given in Greek so that some would not understand it, "For mine own part, it was Greek to me." It soon was transferred to anything unintelligible.
See also: Greek

be all Greek to someone

BRITISH, AMERICAN or

be Greek to someone

AMERICAN
If you say that something is all Greek to you, you mean that you do not understand it at all. I've no idea what it means — it's all Greek to me. I don't understand legal jargon — it's all Greek to me. Note: The idea behind this expression is that Greek is very difficult to learn and understand, especially because it uses a different alphabet from most other European languages.
See also: all, Greek, someone

it's all Greek to me

I can't understand it at all. informal
Greek meaning ‘unintelligible language or gibberish’ is recorded from the 16th century. In Shakespeare 's Julius Caesar, Casca, having noted that Cicero speaks Greek, adds ‘for mine own part, it was Greek to me’.
See also: all, Greek

beware (or fear) the Greeks bearing gifts

if rivals or enemies show apparent generosity or kindness, you should be suspicious of their motives. proverb
This proverb refers to the Trojan priest Laocoon's warning in Virgil 's Aeneid: ‘timeo Danaos et dona ferentes ’, in which he warns his countrymen against taking into their city the gigantic wooden horse that the Greeks have left behind on their apparent departure. The fall of Troy results from their failure to heed this warning.
See also: bearing, beware, gift, Greek

it’s all ˈGreek to me

(informal, saying) it is too difficult for me to understand: This contract is written in such complicated language that it’s all Greek to me.
See also: all, Greek

Greek to someone

n. something incomprehensible to someone; something as mysterious as Greek writing. I don’t understand this. It’s all Greek to me.
See also: Greek, someone

Greek to me

Unintelligible, as in “I didn't understand a word he said—it was all Greek to me.” Shakespeare said it best in this exchange from Julius Caesar: Cassius: Did Cicero say any thing? Casca: Aye, he spoke Greek. Cassius: To what effect? Casca: Nay, an' I tell you that, I'll ne'er look you i' the face again: but those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me.
See also: Greek
References in classic literature ?
And so keenly did men feel the human interests of such things as were now taught, that we have come to call grammar, rhetoric, poetry, Greek and Latin the Humanities, and the professor who teaches these thing the professor of Humanity.
Baldwin did not long rule as Emperor of the East, and the Greeks after a time succeeded in regaining Constantinople from the western Christians.
These fugitive Greeks brought to the Italians a learning which was to them new and strange.
The Greeks with their small states had a far clearer apprehension than we can have of the dependence of a constitution upon the people who have to work it.
Anybody supplying any information to the whereabouts of a Greek gentleman named Paul Kratides, from Athens, who is unable to speak English, will be rewarded.
It seemed to me to be obvious that this Greek girl had been carried off by the young Englishman named Harold Latimer.
Indeed, so distorted were their features that, save for his black beard and stout figure, we might have failed to recognize in one of them the Greek interpreter who had parted from us only a few hours before at the Diogenes Club.
Two Greek papers and one French one were suppressed here within a few days of each other.
I was a little surprised to see Turks and Greeks playing newsboy right here in the mysterious land where the giants and genii of the Arabian Nights once dwelt--where winged horses and hydra-headed dragons guarded enchanted castles--where Princes and Princesses flew through the air on carpets that obeyed a mystic talisman--where cities whose houses were made of precious stones sprang up in a night under the hand of the magician, and where busy marts were suddenly stricken with a spell and each citizen lay or sat, or stood with weapon raised or foot advanced, just as he was, speechless and motionless, till time had told a hundred years!
The bight we knew to be good ground for sturgeon, and there we felt sure the King of the Greeks intended to begin operations.
Carmintel also bothered us, for he kept us busy among the shad-fishers of San Pablo, so that we had little time to spare on the King of the Greeks.
The King of the Greeks made his boast that no fish patrol had ever taken him or ever could take him, and the fishermen cheered him and said it was true.
And then, in triumph, with no more veering and yawing, we sailed into Benicia, the King of the Greeks bound hard and fast in the cockpit, and for the first time in his life a prisoner of the fish patrol.
Hanson sees it in clear and soaring terms, powerful as both a glue and a catalyst: "As Greek rowers closed on their enemy, they pulled with the assurance that they could air their concerns about the fighting.
3:28, "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus," does he mean to suggest that these distinctions between people should be eradicated -- and thus Christians should work to break down these barriers in society?