“About winds & waters”

“Περί ανέμων και υδάτων”

Do you know scattered words and try to understand what your Greek friends say but in vain?
Are you in Greece and you notice that people use to say something and mean something else? Maybe it is the right time to discover the playful side of modern Greek!

So, let’ s talk περί ανέμων και υδάτων. Which literally means  “about winds and waters”. An Englishman could say instead “to talk of cabbages and kings” and a Dutchman, “over koetjes en kalfjes praten”. But in any case, the meaning remains the same and it is to talk about various silly and unrelevant issues. The Greek expression is inspired by an ancient Hellenic textbook of Hippocrates with the same name and the same meaning!

But in order to be more specific, in this article, we will talk really about winds and waters, as the subject is the expressions that use the water or the air as an inspiration in order to express something completely different.

wind-water

About winds … 

Churned air: Used for something that has no value or something completely fake.
The promises he gave were churned air. / Everything that we were told was churned air.

(One) speaks about winds and waters: someone is talking about unimportant things. It is used when there are no common issues to discuss or even when we want to avoid some other topics of discussion.

Words of air: a characteristic expression for conversations that are said trivially, without thought or evidence.

I get the air (of something): I get used to something, I learn it well and I get skilled.
Ex: After such a long time, he took the air of the work and it looks to him like a game.

Somebody’s mind gets air: someone gets so comfortable with something that he often behaves with an attitude or he becomes indifferent or rude.
Eg: I can no longer talk to him. His brains took air and he thinks he knows everything.

The wind caught: the weather changed, and it began to blow.
Ex: Yesterday, while we were on the beach, suddenly the wind caught and it started to rain.

Whoever sows winds, reaps storms: it is said about the one who likes making quarrels, disagreements, fights. Very often, however, what such a person receives as a reward, is much worse.

I cut the air of someone: I lay limits on someone who has become cheeky.

… and waters!

(Someone) drowns in a spoonful of water: a person easily loses his/her temper and does not know how to react.

I bring someone to my waters: I make someone agree with my views.
Ex: Although they initially had many disputes, he had brought him into his waters within two weeks.

One is out of his waters: a person feels insecure, being on an unknown territory or facing an unknown object.
Ex: He had grown up in the province and now in this big city he was standing outside his waters.

I make a hole in the water: I fail in my attempt.

I blur the waters: I try to deceive somebody by creating ambiguities.
Εx: Their only hope to avoid a scandal was to blur the waters.

What we said, … water and salt: something that is said after an intense disagreement as a prompt: “Let’s forget everything and become friends again.”
Ex: “Come on, let’s forget what happened and everything we said in our anger water and salt.”

I know some “little water”: I know something so well that I can say it from the top of my head without any difficulty.

Something does water: it is used for anything that starts to cause problems when using it. But also for human relationships when problematic behaviour begins to appear.
Ex: My cellphone starts doing water in the last week, but fortunately it’s still in the guarantee period.

I put water in my wine: I am diminishing my anger, I become more resilient and ready for retreat.

I put the water in the ditch: I drive a case on the right track.
Ex: In the first few months there was a mess with so much bureaucracy. But eventually, it seems that the water is slowly coming into the ditch.

Lato

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Het Griekse Taal– & CultuurCentrum van Amsterdam