Me Lene Means They Call Me
By Dr. Dimitra Kamarinou
Λόγος is the Greek word that is probably most often used in English as a component of compound words. Ο λόγος means the verbal expression, the speech and the reason as well. In ancient Greek it additionally meant the logic, the rational thinking, implying the direct connection between talking, reasoning and rational thinking in the ancient Greek culture. In English λόγος occurs in three forms as a second compound of many words.
- –logy. In this case it indicates the science, the study of, the theory: archaeology, astrology, bacteriology, cosmology, dermatology, ecology, ethnology, geology, gynecology, meteorology, microbiology, morphology, neurology, philology, seismology, technology, theology, zoology. These are only a few of the English words that end in -logy. The first compound of these words is also a Greek word. If you know the meaning of the above words, then you know more Greek words than you think. Υou also know the Greek words analogy, apology, anthology, methodology, typology. (After the lessons on the Greek nouns a chapter will be dedicated to these words, so that you can quite easily enrich your Greek vocabulary).
- –logist. It indicates the specialist engaged in the study of something. Just add this ending instead of –logy in the above words and you name him: archaeologist, ethnologist etc.
- –logue. It indicates a form or a part of the speech: dialogue, monologue, epilogue.
As a first compound λόγος occurs in the word logo+therapy (=treatment). The logo, the graphic mark or symbol commonly used by commercial enterprises to promote their public recognition is an abbreviation of the Greek word logo+type <λόγος+τύπος (=imprint).
The word λόγος comes from the verb λέγω or λέω in spoken Greek, which means I say, I talk, I call, that is I express myself verbally. This is how this verb is conjugated:
Verb Pronunciation Meaning
Εγώ λέ-ω eYO LEo I say
Εσύ λε-ς eSEE LES you say
Η μαμά λέ-ει EE maMA LEi mom says
Εμείς λέ-με eMEES LEme we say
Εσείς λέ-τε eSEES LEte you say
Η μαμά και ο μπαμπάς λέ-νε EE maMA ke o baBAS LEne mom and dad say
Though its conjugation differs a little from the verbs we have already learned (κάνω, μένω) this verb is included in this unit because some common questions which will probably be addressed to you when introduced to a Greek person are:
Πώς σε λένε; (what do they call you?)
Πώς τον λένε τον μπαμπά σου; (what is your dad called?)
Πώς τη λένε τη μαμά σου; (what is your mom called?)
The exact translation would be: How do they call him, your daddy? How do they call her, your mom? In order to build the question, as well as the answer to this question, we use the third person plural, present tense of the verb λέω =λένε.
Greek word Pronunciation Meaning
ο λόγος o LOyos speech, verbal expression, reason
πώς POS how
σε λένε se LEne do they call you, they call you
τον λένε ton LEne do they call him, they call him
τον μπαμπά σου ton baBA soo your dad
την λένε tin LEne do they call her, they call her
τη μαμά σου ti mama soo your mom
με λένε me LEne they call me
μου moo my
The answer to the question “Πώς σε λένε;” is: Με λένε Δήμητρα.
If the question refers to another person and he is a man your answer should be: Τον μπαμπά μου τον λένε … For any male noun you build the answer the same way: Τον παππού μου τον λένε…, τον θείο μου τον λένε… If the question refers to a woman your answer should be: Τη μαμά μου τη λένε, τη γιαγιά μου τη λένε.
It’s not difficult to give the answer. Just put the word τον in front of and after the male noun and the word την before and after the female noun.
Give the names of yourself and of the members of your family.
Πώς σε λένε; Με λένε…
Πώς τον λένε τον μπαμπά σου; Τον μπαμπά μου τον λένε…
Πώς τον λένε τον παππού σου;
Πώς τον λένε τον αδελφό σου;
Πώς τον λένε τον ξάδερφο σου;
Πώς τον λένε τον θείο σου;
Πώς τον λένε τον νονό σου;
Πώς τη λένε τη μαμά σου; Τη μαμά μου τη λένε…
Πώς τη λένε τη γιαγιά σου;
Πώς τη λένε τη αδελφή σου;
Πώς τη λένε τη ξαδέλφη σου;
Πώς τη λένε τη θεία σου;
Πώς τη λένε τη νονά σου;
i (idiom), ee (needle), e (energy), o (organism), oo (boot), y (yes). The capitalized syllables are accented.