Get 31% OFF With The Breakthrough Sale. Hurry! Ends Soon!
Get 31% OFF With The Breakthrough Sale. Hurry! Ends Soon!
GreekPod101.com Blog
Learn Greek with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

How to Say Goodbye in Greek

Thumbnail

Goodbyes aren’t easy. 

Saying goodbye is a heartfelt and difficult process, but it’s an integral part of everyday life. The good news is that we’re here to make it easier for you. 

If you’ve ever wondered how to say goodbye in Greek, then you’re in the right place! After reading this article, you’ll be able to say goodbye in any situation.

Before we continue, let’s refresh ourselves on the basics, shall we?

Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE!(Logged-In Member Only)

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Greek Table of Contents
  1. The Most Common Ways to Say Goodbye
  2. Specific Ways to Say Goodbye
  3. Saying Goodbye Based on the Time of Day
  4. Foreign Goodbye Words
  5. Greek Gestures for Saying Goodbye
  6. Conclusion

1. The Most Common Ways to Say Goodbye

Most Common Goodbyes

In this section, we’ll present you with the most common ways to say goodbye in Greek. These are simple, short, and versatile phrases that you can use in both writing and speech. 

  • Greek: Γεια!
  • Romanization: Ya!
  • Translation: “Hello!” / “Bye!”

This is definitely the easiest and safest option available. Γεια! can mean either “Hello!” or “Bye!” This one fits well in both formal and informal situations. 

  • Greek: Αντίο!
  • Romanization: Adío!
  • Translation: “Goodbye!”

We could say that αντίο is the original Greek word for “goodbye.” It’s typically used when you won’t be seeing the other person for a long time., so it can sound a little bit dramatic. However, it can easily be used in both formal and informal settings.  

  • Greek: Εις το επανιδείν!
  • Romanization: Is to epanidín!
  • Translation: “Till we meet again!”

The thing is, you won’t hear much of this phrase in everyday encounters. Since it derives from Ancient Greek, this phrase has a sense of formality. Nevertheless, its meaning is not that formal, so it’s not typically used in business settings. It could be an ideal parting phrase when you want to say goodbye to a friend that you’ll see again after a long period of time. 

  • Greek: Τα λέμε!
  • Romanization: Ta léme!
  • Translation: “We will talk (later)!”

Do you feel like saying goodbye casually? Then Τα λέμε! is perfect! This is a common informal phrase which corresponds well to “Talk to you later!”

  • Greek: Φιλάκια! [Informal Only]
  • Romanization: Filákia!
  • Translation: “Kisses!”

This phrase is used only between close friends and couples. You wouldn’t send kisses to your boss, after all, would you? Φιλάκια is how the Greek say bye in a very friendly manner, and it’s more common in oral speech than in writing.

2. Specific Ways to Say Goodbye

A Woman in Front of a Train Waving Goodbye

In this section, we’ve gathered more-specific ways to say goodbye in Greek. Here, you’ll find complete sentences for a wide variety of occasions. 

  • Greek: Τα λέμε αύριο στις επτά.
  • Romanization: Ta léme ávrio stis eptá.
  • Translation: “We will talk tomorrow at seven.”

This is one way to say goodbye while dropping a reminder about your upcoming appointment at the same time. It can be used in both formal and informal conversations. 

  • Greek: Να προσέχεις.
  • Romanization: Na proséhis.
  • Translation: “Take care.”

What’s sweeter than saying goodbye and expressing your affection at the same time? This phrase is most commonly used by parents toward their children, as well as between people who deeply love each other. 

  • Greek: Δυστυχώς πρέπει να φύγω.
  • Romanization: Distihós prépi na fígo.
  • Translation: “Unfortunately, I have to go.”

Leaving a party early? No problem! Just say: Δυστυχώς πρέπει να φύγω. However, I warn you: Greeks are so hospitable that they will rigorously try to change your mind so that you’ll stay a little longer. 

  • Greek: Στο καλό!
  • Romanization: Sto kaló!
  • Translation: “Go to a good place!” / “Have a good journey!”

This is how to say bye in Greek when someone is about to leave for an excursion or journey. Greek mothers tend to say this phrase to their children, even if they’re just leaving to go to work. It shows a sense of caring for the other person. 

  • Greek: Θα τα πούμε!
  • Romanization: Tha ta púme!
  • Translation: “We will talk!”

This is just a casual farewell that can be said between friends, and generally in informal settings. 

  • Greek: Θα είμαστε σε επικοινωνία. [Formal]
  • Romanization: Tha ímaste se epikinonía.
  • Translation: “We will keep in touch.”

When you arrange something in a formal setting that will need further communication in the future, it’s suitable to say: Θα είμαστε σε επικοινωνία. This indicates that you’ll get in touch again soon.  

3. Saying Goodbye Based on the Time of Day

A Man Leaving for Work and Saying Goodbye to His Family

Depending on the time of day, you can use one of the following phrases as an alternative to saying goodbye. 

  • Greek: Καλό βράδυ!
  • Romanization: Kaló vrádi!
  • Translation: “Have a good evening!”
  • Greek: Καληνύχτα!
  • Romanization: Kaliníhta!
  • Translation: “Goodnight!”
  • Greek: Καλό απόγευμα!
  • Romanization: Kaló apógevma!
  • Translation: “Have a good afternoon!”
  • Greek: Καλή συνέχεια!
  • Romanization: Kalí sinéhia!
  • Translation: “Have a good rest of the day!”

At this point, we should note that Καλή συνέχεια! can be used all day long, regardless of the time.

4. Foreign Goodbye Words

A Young Woman Waving Goodbye to a Couple of Friends

Many words from other languages have been integrated into Greek. Youngsters tend to use these words, as it’s regarded as a modern behavior. Below, you’ll find the most common foreign words for saying goodbye in Greek.

  • Greek: Μπάι!
  • Romanization: Bái!
  • Translation: “Bye!”
  • Greek: Τσάο!
  • Romanization: Tsáo!
  • Translation: “Ciao!”

5. Greek Gestures for Saying Goodbye

A Woman Waving Goodbye

Greeks are very passionate and expressive people. Therefore, they utilize body language and a variety of gestures while they talk. But, which gestures do they use while saying goodbye?

  • Hugs & Kisses: We’ve just said that Greeks are very warm and passionate, remember? Well, it’s common to hug each other and kiss each cheek when saying goodbye to a very close friend or family member. Please keep in mind that this gesture is strictly informal, and each person might set different boundaries, so just play along if the other person initiates this gesture. It’s best to be on the safe side and avoid misunderstandings. 
  • Shaking Hands: This is the ultimate formal Greek gesture. While leaving a meeting, shake hands with the people you’ve met. This indicates that you’re really glad for the encounter and that you really appreciate the other person. 
  • Waving Goodbye: This is the most common gesture. Just wave goodbye by raising your hand with your fingers close together and your palm facing the other person. 
  • Waving a White Handkerchief: This is a traditional Greek way to say goodbye, even without talking. The days before disposable napkins were in mass production, each person had his/her own handkerchief, which served a variety of purposes. Most of the time, it was used for personal hygiene. 

Around 1920-1930, many Greeks were employed as seamen. After visiting their families—usually once or twice during the year—it was time to go back to the ship. Their wives used to follow them to the port in order to say goodbye. The men embarking would stand on the deck, staring at their loved ones left behind. As the ship departed and the shore was getting farther and farther away, women used to grab their white handkerchiefs and wave them in the air to say goodbye. Waving a white handkerchief was way more visible than simply waving their empty hands. 

That’s how this gesture was integrated into Greek culture. To be honest, you’ll rarely see this gesture in Greece anymore, but when you do, you’re probably looking at a very romantic couple. 

6. Conclusion

Saying goodbye in Greek isn’t that hard, is it? 

Actually, saying bye in the Greek language is very similar to doing so in English.

In this article, we’ve tried to demonstrate a wide range of the most common ways to say goodbye in Greek, and we hope this guide can be useful for every learner, regardless of their level. To see even more goodbye words and phrases, and to hear their pronunciations, you can study our vocabulary list of the Most Common Ways to Say Goodbye.

We’d love to hear from you in the comments. We’re curious:

  • What’s your favorite way to say goodbye in Greek?
  • Do you use gestures?

Start learning Greek today in a consistent and organized manner by creating a free lifetime account on GreekPod101.com. Tons of free vocabulary lists, YouTube videos, and grammar tips are waiting for you. 

In the meantime, was there a phrase or a sentence that troubled you? If you have any questions, let us know in the comments and we’d be happy to help!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Greek