Our Everyday Greek: We Speak in Greek about our Thanksgiving Dinner Guests

November 11, 2017
Dimitra Pontoporou

Whom shall we invite in our Thanksgiving dinner? Maria (M) and Petros (Π) talk about their guests.


Greek phrase            Pronunciation          Meaning

Μ: ΤοΝοέμβριοείναι TO noEmvrio EEne In November

ηΗμέρατωνΕυχαριστιών.    EE iMEra TON efharistiON.           isThanksgiving Day.

Π: Εμείςκάθεχρόνο  eMEES KAthe HROno       Every year we organize

κάνουμετραπέζι        KAnoome traPEzi    themeal

στο σπίτι μας.            STOSPEEtimas.                   inourhouse.

Μ: Ποιοι είναι καλεσμένοι φέτος;    PiEE EEne kaleSMEni FEtos? Who are the guests this year?

Π: Οαδελφόςτηςμαμάςμου, O adeLFOS TEES maMAS moo, My mom’s brother,

οθείοςΧάρης,            o THEEos HAris,      uncle Harry,

ηαδελφήτουμπαμπάμου,     EE adeLFEE TOO baBA moo,       my dad’s sister,

ηθείαΠαναγιώτα       EE THEEa panayiOTa aunt Panagiota

καιταξαδέλφιαμου.    KE TA xaDElfia moo.          and my cousins.

Μ: Ποιαείναιταξαδέλφιασου; piA EEne TA xaDElfia soo?        Who are your cousins?

Π: ΟξάδελφόςμουοΝίκος,   O XAdeLFOS moo O NEEkos,      My cousin Nikos

και η ξαδέλφη μου η Ελένη.            KE EE xaDElfi moo EE eLEni.      and my cousin Eleni.

Έλα και εσύ.  ElaKEeSEE. Come over.

Είναικαλεσμένοςκαι EEne kaleSMEnos KE       Invited are

οφίλοςμουοΣπύρος O FEElos moo o SPEEros my friend Spyros

και η φίλη μου η Βάσω.       KE EE FEEli moo EE VAso.          and my friend Vaso.


Greek word    Pronunciation          Meaning

O Νοέμβριος O noEmvrios November

ηημέρα / μέρα            EE iMEra / MEra day

τωνΕυχαριστιών       TOOn efharistiON Thanksgiving

τοτραπέζι       TO traPEzi     table

εμείςκάνουμετραπέζι           eMEES KAnoome traPEzi we organize themeal

στοσπίτι         STO SPEEti in our house, at home

οχρόνος         o HROnos     time, year

κάθεχρόνο     KAthe HROno          every year

φέτος  FEtos  this year

ποιοι   piEE   who

είναι    EEne  is, are

εγώκαλώ        eYO kaLO      I invite, I call

ο καλεσμένος, -η       OkaleSMEnos, -ee  guest

οι καλεσμένοι, -ες     EEkaleSMENi, -es   guests

Οαδελφός      O adelPHOS brother

Ηαδελφή        EE adelPHEE           sister

Τααδέλφια      Ta aDElphia  siblings

Ταξαδέλφια    Ta xaDElphia            cousins

Οξάδελφος    O XAdelphos            Male cousin

Ηξαδέλφη      EE xaDElphi Female cousin

Οθείος            O THEEos     uncle

Ηθεία  EE THEEa     aunt

Ομπαμπάς     O baBAS       dad

Τουμπαμπά   TOO baBA     dad’s

Ημαμά            EE maMA      mom

Τηςμαμάς       TEES maMAS          mom’s

Έλα     Ela      come

Οφίλος           O FEElos       friend (male)

Ηφίλη EE FEELi      friend (female)

Μου    MOO   my, mine

Σου     SOO   your

Τhe brother is ο αδελφός and the sister is η αδελφή, τααδέλφια are the siblings. If we add a ξ in front of these words and we remove the tonos to another syllable, we get the word οξάδερφος, male cousin, ηξαδέλφη, female cousin and ταξαδέλφια, the cousins.


Προς+καλεσμένος derives from the verb προς+καλώ. Kαλώ in English has become to call.

The Greek wordαδέλφιαis the second compound of the city name Phil+adelphia. The first compound is the verbφιλώ, which in ancient Greek meant I love. From this verb derive the words οφίλος= male friend, ηφίλη= female friend, and τοφιλί= the kiss, indicating thus a serious emotional investment. Philadelphia city’s name means the brotherhood.


Who is invited to your Thanksgiving dinner? Try to match the Greek words with their translation in English.

1.Oαδελφόςμου        1. Cousin, male

2.Hαδελφήσου          2. Uncle

  1. Oξάδελφος 3. My cousin, female
  2. H ξαδέλφημου 4. Your sister
  3. O θείος 5. Your aunt

6.H θείασου   6. My brother


i (ill), ee (beer), e (ever), o (organ), oo (boot), y (yes), h (helium), th (theory), d (the). The capitalized syllables are accented.


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