Greek

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Related to Greeks: Romans
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(it's all) Greek to (one)

(It is) completely unintelligible, as if it is written in a language that one does not speak. The phrase comes from Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar. Mom said these instructions are Greek to her and that we should show them to Dad. A: "Can you understand this error message?" B: "Sorry, Greek to me. You'd better ask one of the programmers."
See also: Greek

(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

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

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.

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

Greeks bearing gifts, beware of/like

Do not trust enemies who pretend to be friends. The term refers to the treachery of the Greeks during the Trojan Wars, when they entered the city of Troy bearing the “gift” of a large wooden horse that was actually filled with soldiers who then burned down the city.
See also: bearing, beware, Greek, like, of

Greek to me, it's/that's (all)

It is completely unintelligible; I don’t understand. This term, used by generations of schoolchildren, was coined by Shakespeare in Julius Caesar (1.2), where the conspirator Casca says of Cicero’s speech, “For mine own part, it was Greek to me.” In the play Cicero actually spoke in Greek, in order to prevent some people from understanding, but the term soon was transferred to anything unintelligible and has been so used ever since.
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 ?
For in 1204 the armies of the fourth Crusade, which had gathered to fight the heathen, turned their swords, to their shame be it said, against the Christian people of the Greek Empire.
Constantine XI, the last of the Greek Emperors, knelt in the great church of St.
{160} The normal translation of the Greek word would be "holding back," "curbing," "restraining," but I cannot think that the writer meant this--she must have been using the word in its other sense of "having," "holding," "keeping," "maintaining."
I cannot see how the Greek can bear any other interpretation, the words being, [Greek]
"But you may read those stories without knowing Greek. I've got them in English."
"Oh yes," said Philip; "lots of them, besides the Greek stories.
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.
His definition of citizen includes only a small part of the population of any Greek city.
Two Greek papers and one French one were suppressed here within a few days of each other.
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.
Every Greek fisherman on the river contributed to the sum.
The name, which is Greek, means No-Place, and the book is one of the most famous of that series of attempts to outline an imaginary ideal condition of society which begins with Plato's 'Republic' and has continued to our own time.
"'Only if I see her married in my presence by a Greek priest whom I know.'
The Latin tongue is hardly understood, Syriac is unknown, Greek so odious that 'tis accounted no ignorance in the most learned to skip a Greek word without reading it, and to say, ' Groecum est non legitur .'"
Then Whisky Bob and Nicky the Greek arrived, sober, indignant, outraged in that their fellow pirates had raised their plant.