Greek


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Related to Greek: Greek alphabet, Greek mythology, Greek language

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

I don't understand (something). The phrase comes from Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar. Can you make sense of these instructions? It's all Greek to me!
See also: all, 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

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

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 ?
The Greek word "apeiros" means "inexperienced," "ignorant.
Only if I see her married in my presence by a Greek priest whom I know.
The Greek doctrine that the essence of the state consists in community of purpose is the counterpart of the notion often held in modern times that the essence of the state is force.
Two Greek papers and one French one were suppressed here within a few days of each other.
Look at the Greek pediment inscribed upon the Roman pediment, and vice versa.
For an instant his eye was fixed upon the depths of the ocean, illumined by the last flashes of the Greek fire, which ran along the sides of the waves, played on the crests like plumes, and rendered still darker and more terrible the gulfs they covered.
I'd give ten years of my life to know Greek," she said, when he had done.
But Dorothea herself was a little shocked and discouraged at her own stupidity, and the answers she got to some timid questions about the value of the Greek accents gave her a painful suspicion that here indeed there might be secrets not capable of explanation to a woman's reason.
I had a delight in that stupid collection of monkish legends which I cannot account for now, and which persisted in spite of the nightmare confusion it made of my ancient Greeks and Romans.
He was as bold and dominant of spirit as he was strong of body, and because of this he was widely known by another name, that of "The King of the Greeks.
We oyster pirates were all visited by the searching Italian, and we were convinced, from what we knew of their movements, that Whisky Bob and Nicky the Greek were the guilty parties.
By degrees it became a Greek city, the rulers became Greek, and Greek was the language spoken.
On the Hesiodic poems generally the ordinary Histories of Greek Literature may be consulted, but especially the "Hist.
The Renaissance movement first received definite direction from the rediscovery and study of Greek literature, which clearly revealed the unbounded possibilities of life to men who had been groping dissatisfied within the now narrow limits of medieval thought.
The student may read Homer or AEschylus in the Greek without danger of dissipation or luxuriousness, for it implies that he in some measure emulate their heroes, and consecrate morning hours to their pages.