[Ads-l] Query: "It's (all) Greek to me"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Mar 18 03:46:34 UTC 2016


Synchronicity alert...Earlier today I just drove by the restaurant at this link and noticed their slogan on the window.   

http://www.freskosgreek.com/

LH

   


> 
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       "Cohen, Gerald Leonard" <gcohen at MST.EDU>
>> Subject:      Query: "It's (all) Greek to me"
>> 
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> 
>> Today I received a request from Wolfgang Mieder for any information=20
>> on the expression "to be (all) Greek to someone," and once more I=20
>> I'm forwarding the query to ads-l.  Would anyone be able to help him?
>> His message appears below my signoff.
>> 
>> Gerald Cohen =20
>> ____________________________
>> 
>> [From W. Mieder]:
>> 
>> ...I have a quick question:
>>     I am working on the expression "to be (all) Greek to someone",=20
>> and I am just wondering whether by chance you might have=20
>> something on it. I have already assembled numerous references from=20
>> 1566 to the present, and I am also quite convinced that it had its start=20
>> with the medieval Latin "Graecum est, non potest legi" and its variants.
>>      There is also the useful article by Clarence L. Kalisheck, "It's
>> Greek to me," Notes and Queries, 197 (1952), 274-275.
>> I included it in a large bibliography that I published some thirty years
>> ago (Tempus fugit, my friend):
>> 
>> Mieder, Wolfgang. Investigations of Proverbs, Proverbial Expressions,
>> Quotations and Cliches. A Bibliography of Explanatory Essays which
>> Appeared in "Notes and Queries" (1849-193). Bern: Peter Lang, 1984. 420 pp.
>> 
>>     If you don't know this book, you might find it useful for your work.
>> In any case, I thought I might ask you about the "Greek"-phrase. If you
>> know anybody else who might have some material for me, please let me know.
>>     All the very best, and many thanks,
>> 
>> Wolfgang
>> 
>> --
>> Prof. Wolfgang Mieder
>> Department of German & Russian
>> University of Vermont
>> 422 Waterman Building
>> 85 South Prospect St.
>> Burlington, Vermont  05405
>> USA
>> 
>> E-mail: Wolfgang.Mieder at uvm.edu=
>> 
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>> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
> 
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