20 Greek Sayings About The Name “John”

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Photo by Kartik Singhal on Unsplash

If you thought that two or three phrases about the name “John” were good enough, you’re wrong. Here are 20 phrases about Greece’s second most common name, John.

1. “Sometimes John can’t, sometimes his ass hurts”

“Πότε ο Γιάννης δεν μπορεί , πότε ο κώλος του πονεί”

2. “John is afraid of the beast, and the beast is afraid of John”

“Φοβάται ο Γιάννης το θεριό και το θεριό τον Γιάννη”

3. “Not John, little John”

“Όχι Γιάννης, Γιαννάκης”

4. “Everyone talks about the chariots and John talks about the pie”

“Όλοι μιλούν για τ’ άρματα και ο Γιάννης για την πίτα”

5. “ — What are you doing, John? — I sow broad beans”

“Τι κάνεις Γιάννη; κουκιά σπέρνω”

6. “We haven’t seen him yet, we baptized him John”

“Ακόμα δεν τον είδαμε Γιάννη τόνε βγάλαμε”

7. “John gave up on thievery and caught the couple”

“ Άφησε ο Γιάννος την κλεψιά κι έπιασε το ζευγάρι.”

8. “To burn you John, to smear you with oil”

“Να σε κάψω Γιάννη, να σʼ αλείψω λάδι”

9. “It’s not St. John’s everyday”

“Δεν είναι κάθε μέρα τ’ Άι-Γιαννιού”

10. “If you’re hearing Maria-John, put fish in the fry”

“Άμα ακούς Μαρία — Γιάννη, βάλε ψάρια στο τηγάνι”

11. “Wherever there’s a marriage and a table, John is in the middle”

“Όπου γάμος και τραπέζι και ο Γιαννάκης εις τη μέση”

12. “According to craftsman John and his boys”

“Κατά το μαστρο-Γιάννη και τα κοπέλια του”

13. “All day good John, and at night bad John”

“Όλη μέρα καλογιάννη και το βράδυ κακογιάννη”

14. “John drags little John, and John’s wife drags John”

“Σέρνει ο Γιάννης το Γιαννάκη, κι η Γιαννάκαινα το Γιάννη”

15. “Agha, mind your business, and John isn’t for poll tax”

“Γύρευ’ αγά μου τη δουλειά σου κι ο Γιάννης δεν είναι για χαράτζι”

16. “A house without John doesn’t make progress”

“Σπίτι χωρίς Γιάννη προκοπή δεν κάνει”

17. “John I had, John I have, and if I ever become a widow, I will search for a John again”

“Γιάννη είχα, Γιάννη έχω κι αν ποτέ μου θα χηρέψω, πάλι Γιάννη θα γυρέψω”

18. “We want the good of John but we don’t want John”

“Τα καλά του Γιάννη θέμε και το Γιάννη δεν τον θέμε”

19. “Forty-five Johnnies = one rooster’s knowledge”

“Σαράντα πέντε Γιάννηδες ενός κοκκόρου γνώση”

20. “Even if you become emperor, you’ll still want to be John”

“Κι αυτοκράτορας να γένεις, πάντα Γιάννης θε να μένεις”

Most of these phrases are from the era of Turkocracy in Greece, which technically began from the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and lasted until 1821. The most common name in Greece is George.

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Thanks to Alex Baia

Thanasis Papadopoulos

Written by

Communication, Media and Culture Graduate @ Panteion University, AD and PR Lab



Medium humor. Large laughs.

Thanasis Papadopoulos

Written by

Communication, Media and Culture Graduate @ Panteion University, AD and PR Lab



Medium humor. Large laughs.

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