Where is the heart of the Balkans?

From linguistic criteria (having the most features of the Balkan sprachbund ), FWIW, it’s the Bulgaro-Macedonian language continuum, with Albanian a close second, then Romanian/Aromanian, Greek halfway in, and Serbian, Romany and Turkish peripheral. Dunno about Ladino.

Dimitra as a northerner would be more enthusiastic about the Balkan affiliation of Greece than me as a southerner. (I see the Britannica map feels the same way.) There is clear cultural traffic between Greece and other Balkan countries, and (not coincidentally) there is a cultural divide between the Greek mainland and Greek islands. But for “heart of” as in “most stereotypical” or “typical”, I think you look north of Greece.

EDIT: Btw, I’ll counter Dimitra’s Fustanella (mainland Greece) with a vraka (islander Greece):


What are the different fingers called in other languages and cultures?

Modern Greek:

thumb: μεγάλο δάχτυλο “big finger” (vernacular)

thumb: αντίχειρας “opposite to the hand” (formal)

index finger: δείκτης “pointer” (i.e. index) (formal)

middle finger: μέσος “middle”

ring finger: παράμεσος “next-to-middle”

little finger: μικρό δάχτυλο “little  finger” (vernacular)

little finger: ωτίτης “ear finger” (i.e. use to scratch the ear) (formal)

If you go online, you’ll see that at least one person on Twitter has called the middle finger “Varoufakis”…

Is djent an irregular verb?

Djent (which I hadn’t heard of coz I don’t get out much…

… oh hang on, it’s the onomatopoeia! Djent djent djent. OK, carry on…

) could be a verb, sure. It’s English, we do that. We had a DJ here (the famous Molly Meldrum ) get in legal trouble 30 years ago, because he said to someone “if you want to funk, funk outside”, and someone misheard him.

But making it an *irregular* verb is just being perverse. Irregular verbs are irregular for historical reasons, and analogy. If you make a new verb, there will be little linguistic motivation to make it irregular; people will just assume it is regular.

Geeks used to make the plural of VAX vaxen in the 70s. But they were smartass geeks, making a point. Are metalheads smartass geeks?

How do you say swear words in Greek?

With gusto?

*Look at his stats*

*Finds that his most popular answer ever is  Nick Nicholas’ answer to What does the Greek word “malaka” mean?*

*Breathes in*

Let’s go with Lenny Bruce’s 9 dirty words, the predecessor to George Carlin’s Seven dirty words .

  • ass
    • κώλος. Cognate with colon. Is used for both arse and arsehole. 
  • balls
    • αρχίδια. From Ancient Greek ὄρχις, and thus cognate with orchid (which someone thought looked like testicles). The only body part used to characterised someone as disagreeable.
  • cocksucker
    • Is not invective in Greek. But cock is a dirty word: πούτσος. Etymology uncertain: Turkish puç and Italian puzzo have been suggested.
  • cunt
    • μουνί. Etymology uncertain; maybe Venetian monna, maybe an Ancient word for fluff.
  • fuck
    • γαμώ.  The verb meant “marry” in Ancient Greek. It doesn’t now. The verb that means “marry” now is παντρεύομαι, which means “go under a man”. Men do it as well though; noone realises the etymology. As indeed they shouldn’t.
  • motherfucker
    • Not a taboo that gets used in invective in Greek; the closest I’ve ever seen is σκυλοπηδημένη, “screwed by a dog”.
  • piss
    • κατουρώ (verb), κάτουρα (noun). From the Ancient οὖρον “urine” (cognate); it just means “pissing down”.
  • shit
    • σκατά (noun), χέζω (verb); both with impeccable Ancient pedigree.  σκατά is old enough that its original singular is σκώρ, following the old wetar-wetenas paradigm like ὕδωρ-ὕδατος
  • tits
    • βυζιά. Late Greek, possibly cognate with bosom.

I could expand into the niceties of collocation, blasphemy, and cultural taboos, but that should be enough for now.

How do you say clown in Greek? What are some pronunciation tips?

κλόουν. Pronounce it as English clone. (That’s what happens when you get your English words via French.)

Older: παλιάτσος (more akin to court jester). From Italian pagliaccio.

Pronounce pal-yá-tsos.

Etymology: What are the origins of exclamations like “Oops, Okay and Uh Oh?

See e.g.

Why do we say “Ow!” when we get hurt, instead of another word or something else?

“OK”  doesn’t belong with Oops or Uh Oh: it’s clearly an initialism.