Ancient Greek inscription - credits: abdelsalam/
Ancient Greek inscription - credits: abdelsalam/

It is generally known that the Greek language is as difficult as it is fascinating In Greek, we use a variety of words which cannot be adequately translated to other languages, as they describe complex feelings, virtues or situations. Two of our favorite are the words 'filotimo' and 'charmolipi'.

Table of Contents

1. Filotimo

2. Charmolipi


Filotimo” is a compound word, made up of two parts. The first means friend' ('filos') and the second honor ('timi'). Therefore, this characteristic -another Greek word!- describes someone who is a friend with honor',  who has a strong sense of honor in their life and social behavior. For Greeks, 'filotimo' is a really essential virtue. It has to do with the respect you have for others, the way you keep your promises and the gratitude you feel for those who stand by you. It is actually a way of life, describing the quality of being trustworthy and decent in your actions and decisions.


'Charmolipi' is another compound word -we sure have tons of them- made by 'chara' (joy) and 'lipi' (sadness). “Charmolipi” describes a feeling we all have experienced at least once in our lifetime. It is the feeling you have in a situation which is both sad and joyful at the same time. For example, how would you feel if you were about to move from your house to a new one? You would feel sad about leaving the home you had had for the past few years and all the memories you have in it, but you would also feel great joy for your new beginning. See? You feel 'charmolipi'!

These two words are being used to describe peoples' feelings and are important to the Greek culture. Of course, as you probably already know, there are many more Greek words in the English vocabulary, such as 'phobia', 'energy', 'anarchy', 'philosophy', 'angel', 'pirate', 'air' and many, many more. However, we won't tire you with going into detail about them. You have 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' for that!