Greek work for bread: be careful!

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Carnival of Drifter Bites

When you come to Greece, contrary to popular belief,  it’s not the Molotov’s you want to be careful of, it’s the bread.

No, I don’t have a witty tale to tell you about being poisoned by bread…no, we’re back to language.  Let me explain:
“Bread” in Greek is “Psomi” (it is, really…trust me).  But a certain part of a male’s anatomy is “psoli.”  Can you see much difference between the two pronunciations?  Can you?  And there’s me, happily ordering ‘psoli’ in my favourite restaurant, only to be met with peals of laughter…tears streaming down the face of my (usually) friendly waiting team.  Luckily, as this is my neighbourhood restaurant that I frequent from time to time, once the laughter had died down, they kindly explained my linguistic slip.

So to all those of you who’re planning to come to Greece this summer (which I hope you will):

1) Read this post about whether you should still come here or not for a holiday
2) Remember: don’t order ‘psoLi.’  If you think you’ll have problems remembering which one is which, then just think of the ‘l’ as a phallic symbol.

All the best to you and I hope to see you in Greece!


  1. haha! For years I used to ask for kolokeftedes (arse-balls) instead of kolokithokeftedes (courgette balls). It’s little wonder I got some strange looks!! Pfff!

  2. Yeah, I once had a slight issue in France – I wanted a cider, so I went up to the bar and, with slightly flawed pronunciation, asked the barman if he had AIDS.
    (It’s SIDA in France… and cider is ‘SIDRA’…
    For some reason I didn’t go back there again…

  3. I love linguistic mistakes, they’re always so innocent! When we first moved to Greece both sons would only eat PLAIN chicken (no sauces) which would translate to kotopoulo SKATO. But I never quite remembered how to pronounce it and would always ask for kotopoulo SKETO which meant I was ordering, wait for it… chicken shit!!! Yep I’ve been the butt of all jokes since then 🙂


  4. Yes – I’m thinking a sketch show could be made out of the lingustic errors!
    I’m lucky enough to be a teacher and therefore see reverse linguistic mistakes – the best one being ‘ships’ and ‘sheeps’

    Lovely to hear my fan’s little hiccups – any more to add?

  5. Just got back from Paris to California and have jet lag. This is the best way to make me smile. Sounds like so many phrases are similar in Greek. The only think I can think of that’s funny is president Putin in Russia, which is F*CK in French.

  6. @Sonia: HAHAHAH! I wonder if that’s what they actually feel????!

    So nice to get a great number of responses from around the globe, it appears I’ve hit a nerve. Keep them coming in!

  7. I once broke my wrist snowboarding at a Greek ski resort. As I lay in a heap, some guy came over and asked if I was alright, to which I wailed ‘pinaw’ I’m hungry – rather than ‘ponow’ I’m in pain!!! No kind of sandwich was not going to fix my broken bone!!!

  8. Ha ha ha.

    Suddenly all your posts are on my dashboard. Thank God because I fell in love with your blog during the A-Z thing but unfortunately even after following it, I wouldn’t have any intimation of your posts.

  9. Glad you liked my blog Neer – A-Z was great eh? And also glad to see all my posts finally showing up in Newsfeed. Don’t know what happened!


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