Creative Greek Insults That Are Rather Funny Than Offensive

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You may hear them in Greek movies and tv-series or even on the street. These Greek insults are not meant to be offensive – they are normally used in a playful way, just for laughs.

Creative and Inoffensive Greek Insults

  • (ο) μπαγλαμάς – this small Greek musical instrument is often used to describe people that are… unimportant and useless.
  • (ο) κουραμπιές – this Christmas delicacy has been used as a funny insult. A Greek actress named Dimitra Matsouka once admitted calling a fellow driver she argued with “κουραμπιέ”. The phrase “ναι τον είπα κουραμπιέ” (yes, I called him kourabie) instantly became a meme.
  • (η) κουφαλίτσα – literally translated as “little tree hollow”, it is used to describe people who are deceptive and sneaky but, at the same time, they are not dangerous or evil. The term was popularized by a Greek tv-series.
  • (η) τσαπερδόνα – from the Italian “sopra donna”, this Greek word is used to describe women who are overly flirty. It is used in a playful way and it is not considered offensive. You should not mix it up with offensive slurs that refer to women’s sexuality.
  • (ο) μπουμπούνας – this Greek insult describes someone who is a bit stupid in a funny rather than an offensive way.
  • (o) γάιδαρος/ (η) γαϊδάρα – donkeys are beloved animals in Greece. However, they are considered stubborn, and they are therefore used to describe people who have this quality. At the same time, a “γάιδαρος” in Greek is also a taker who never gives to others or returns favors.
  • είναι στον κόσμο του/της – he/she is in his/her own cosmos (world). This phrase is used when someone is absent-minded and/or does not pay attention to non-verbal cues and does not “read” the room.
  • τρεις λαλούν και δυο χορεύουν – three (people) are singing and two are dancing. This creative insult is used during a conversation when someone says something that is unrelated to the subject or when someone has probably not understood what the other person talked about.

Did you know any of these words and phrases?

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Marialena Perpiraki is a journalist and writer from Athens, Greece. In 2020, she founded Helinika as a cross-media platform.