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

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM
Tue Mar 15 15:21:07 UTC 2016

On Tue, 15 Mar 2016 02:06:03 Zone+0000 "Cohen, Gerald Leonard" <gcohen at MST.EDU> wrote:

>Today I received a request from Wolfgang Mieder for any information 
>on the expression "to be (all) Greek to someone,"

The following is probably more amusing than useful:

In a book I once read (and connot now identify) the suthor stated that "gringo" comes from the Spanish "griego" meaning "Greek" because to Latin Americans the speech of norteamericanos was "all griego to them".

The author was trying to debunk the theory that "gringo" came from the song "Green Grow the Lilacs", supposedly sung by US troops in the Mexican War.  Unfortunately he said "trooops do not sing songs about flora".  Well, "Green Grow the Lilacs" is a song about love going astray: "Love, like the green lilacs, can change color too..."

On the subject of phoneitc similarities, I am curious whether the University of Connecticut athletic teams are called the "Huskies" because "U Conn" is pronounced the same as "Yukon".

- Jim Landau

Netscape.  Just the Net You Need.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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