Learn To Be Greek in 3 Words or Less

Ok so wherever you are in the US you HAVE to know at least one Greek person. Everyone has a token Greek friend and knows it because unlike descendants of some other immigrants to the US the Greek kids are extremely proud of this fact and will take the opportunity to point it out to you. In light of this statement I will take this opportunity to share with you the fact that I am in fact of the Greek heritage and spent most of my college Greek dancing/drunk at Greek parties/Drunk at Greek dance practice.

So, for all of you Greeks that are too many generations from the home land to know Greek fluently, and for you who have a token Greek friend who you will be celebrating with at some point and for anyone else that wishes to mix it up while throwing plates on the floor to break them (aka instead of yelling opa over and over again)…

Here is a list of Greek Phrases that are appropriate at certain times, trust me, I even use these because in times when you have no idea what to say, there will be something appropriate:

At a wedding

To the Bride/Groom

  • Na Zisete -May you live
  • Kali Zoe -may your life be good

To the parents of the bride/groom

  • Na Zisoun -may they live (appropriate to say to anyone at the wedding)
  • Na Zisoun ta paidia sas -may your children live


  • Na sas zisei o neophotistos (Life to the newly Baptized) Boy
  • Na sas zisei e neophotisi (same thing as above for a girl)


To everyone, especially the family

  • -Zoe se sas (Life to you)
  • Zoe se mas (life to us)-proper response to Zoe se sas


  • Xronia polla
  • Na ta exatostiseis-may you live to be 100


  • Kala Xristougena-Merry Christmas
  • Kales Giortes-Happy holidays
  • Kali Protoxronia-Happy new year


  • Kalo Pascha-happy easter, good to say any time before, or after Easter
  • Kali Anastasi-Happy Resurrection-good to say anytime from Palm Sunday until Saturday night
  • Xristos Anesti-Christ is risen-from Pascha for 40 days
  • Alithos Anesti-truly he is risen


  • Kali Sarakosti-Happy/good Lent


  • Kalo Kalokairi-Happy summer

Taking shots

  • Yia mas- Cheers/to our health
  • Stin y yia sas- to your health
  • Yiortazoume Tovrati- we celebrate tonight (my personal favorite)


  • Kali Orixi-good appetite
  • Thoxa te Otheo-Glory to God

Other good ones to know

  • Ti Egene-What’s up
  • Kali Tixi-good luck
  • Na se Kala- take care/be good
  • Na Estay Kala- same as above respectful
  • Sto Kalo- take care/be good (informal)

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