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Introducing Family in Greek

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Our family has always been the core of our lives, and family in Greek culture means a lot. In addition, this is a pretty popular topic of discussion when meeting new people. Family bonds in Greece are very important, as most people are close to their family members, and families in Greek life play a huge part in society in general. So, how do you say “family” in Greek, or other essential words?

So, before we begin, are you interested in a quick warm-up? Check out our Family Members Word List, where you can find the most important words and get ready for the in-depth approach that follows.

Table of Contents

  1. Core Family Members in Greek
  2. Other Relatives in Greek
  3. Family Members as a Married Person in Greek
  4. Unique Family Greek Names for Relationships
  5. Endearment Family Terms in Greek
  6. Proverbs and Quotes about Family in Greek
  7. How GreekPod101 Can Help You Master Greek

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1. Core Family Members in Greek

Family Words

Let’s start with the basics, shall we? Here’s how to say “family” in Greek:

  • Greek: η οικογένεια
  • Romanization: i ikoyénia
  • Meaning: “family”

The term οικογένεια is a compound feminine noun that comes from the word οικογενής, which consists of the ancient Greek words [οίκος (íkos) meaning “home”] + [γίγνομαι (yígnome) meaning “to be born”]. So οικογένεια is used to describe the people who have been born and raised in the same home. See how much sense it makes?

Other ways to refer to the Greek family are the colloquial σόι (sói) and φαμίλια (família), which mean exactly the same thing. However, the term οικογένεια remains the most popular in everyday dialogue.

Here’s an example of how to introduce your family as a whole:

  • Greek: Αυτή είναι η οικογένεια μου.
  • Romanization: Aftí íne i ikoyénia mu.
  • Meaning: “This is my family.”

Another important part of the Greek family is, of course, the parents and grandparents.

  • Greek: οι γονείς
  • Romanization: i gonís
  • Meaning: “parents”
  • Greek: οι παππούδες
  • Romanization: i papúdes
  • Meaning: “grandparents”
  • Greek: οι προπαππούδες
  • Romanization: i propapúdes
  • Meaning: “great-grandparents”

Grandfather Holding a Baby Grandson

At this point, it should be noted that the words παππούδες (papúdes) meaning “grandparents,” and προπαππούδες (propapúdes) meaning “great-grandparents,” literally mean “grandfathers” and “great grandfathers,” respectively. However, these terms are used to indicate both the grandfather and the grandmother, as well as both the great-grandfather and great-grandmother, as a couple. This is residual of the former Greek patriarchal family model, where the male members of the family served as the family head, in comparison to female family members.

So, when introducing your parents or grandparents, you could say:

  • Greek: Αυτοί είναι οι γονείς / παππούδες / προπαππούδες μου.
  • Romanization: Aftí íne i gonís / papúdes / propapúdes mu.
  • Meaning: “These are my parents / grandparents / great-grandparents.”

Now, let’s have a look at the core family members.

  • Greek: η μητέρα, μάνα / μαμά
  • Romanization: i mitéra, mána / mamá
  • Meaning: “mother” / “mom”
  • Greek: ο πατέρας / μπαμπάς
  • Romanization: o patéras / babás
  • Meaning: “father” / “dad”
  • Greek: η αδερφή / αδελφή
  • Romanization: i aderfí / adelfí
  • Meaning: “sister”
  • Greek: ο αδερφός / αδελφός
  • Romanization: o aderfós / adelfós
  • Meaning: “brother”
  • Greek: η γιαγιά
  • Romanization: i yayá
  • Meaning: “grandmother”
  • Greek: ο παππούς
  • Romanization: o papús
  • Meaning: “grandfather”
  • Greek: η προγιαγιά
  • Romanization: i proyayá
  • Meaning: “great-grandmother”
  • Greek: ο προπάππους / προπαππούς
  • Romanization: o propápus / propapús
  • Meaning: “great-grandfather”

Generally, when you need to introduce a male family member, you say:

  • Greek: Αυτός είναι ο …………… μου.
  • Romanization: Aftós íne o …………….. mu.
  • Meaning: “This is my ………………….. .”

On the other hand, when you need to introduce a female family member, you say:

  • Greek: Αυτή είναι η …………… μου.
  • Romanization: Aftí íne i …………….. mu.
  • Meaning: “This is my ………………….. .”

2. Other Relatives in Greek

A Big Family Sitting Around a Table and Having Breakfast

Generally, a relative can be expressed as follows:

  • Greek: ο συγγενής (singular) / οι συγγενείς (plural)
  • Romanization: o singenís / i singenís
  • Meaning: “relative(s)”

Let’s have a look at an example dialogue.

  • Greek: — Από που γνωρίζεστε;
    — Είμαστε συγγενείς.
  • Romanization:Apó pu gnorízeste?
    — Ímaste singenís.
  • Meaning: — “How do you know each other?”
    — “We are relatives.”

In Greek, θείος could be the brother or the cousin of one of your parents, or the brother of one of your grandparents.

  • Greek: ο θείος
  • Romanization: o thíos
  • Meaning: “uncle”

Similarly, θεία could be the sister or the cousin of one of your parents, or the sister of one of your grandparents.

  • Greek: η θεία
  • Romanization: i thía
  • Meaning: “aunt”

The nephew and niece concept is similar to the rules mentioned above.

  • Greek: ο ανιψιός
  • Romanization: o anipsiós
  • Meaning: “nephew”
  • Greek: η ανιψιά
  • Romanization: i anipsiá
  • Meaning: “niece”

The concept of cousins is pretty much the same as in English.

  • Greek: τα ξαδέρφια / ξαδέλφια
  • Romanization: ta xadérfia / xadélfia
  • Meaning: “cousins”
  • Greek: ο ξάδερφος / ξάδελφος
  • Romanization: o xáderfos / xádelfos
  • Meaning: “cousin” (male)
  • Greek: η ξαδέρφη / ξαδέλφη
  • Romanization: i xadérfi / xadélfi
  • Meaning: “cousin” (female)

3. Family Members as a Married Person in Greek

A Just-Married, Happy Couple, Along with Their Family

Are you married? Then, congratulations! There’s a whole new chapter of relatives in Greek to discover!

So, when it comes to your other half, either male or female, you could generally refer to him/her as:

  • Greek: ο σύζυγος / η σύζυγος
  • Romanization: o sízigos / i sízigos
  • Meaning: “husband” / “wife”

This reference is for formal encounters. In everyday life, you can refer to your wife or your husband as demonstrated below:

  • Greek: η γυναίκα μου
  • Romanization: i yinéka mu
  • Meaning: “my wife” (literally: my woman)
  • Greek: ο άνδρας μου / ο άντρας μου
  • Romanization: o ándras mu
  • Meaning: “my husband” (literally: my man)

Formally, the descendants of the couple, regardless of their gender, are called απόγονοι. However, this word is rarely used.

  • Greek: οι απόγονοι
  • Romanization: i apógoni
  • Meaning: “descendants”

In this context, a common Greek wish for a newly married couple is:

  • Greek: Καλούς απογόνους!
  • Romanization: Kalús apogónus!
  • Meaning: “(May you have) Good descendants!”

However, when it comes to informal situations, as in English, the terms παιδί / παιδιά are preferred.

  • Greek: το παιδί / τα παιδιά
  • Romanization: to pedí / ta pediá
  • Meaning: “child” / “children”

Or, when you need to be gender-specific, you can use the following:

  • Greek: η κόρη
  • Romanization: i kóri
  • Meaning: “daughter”
  • Greek: ο γιος
  • Romanization: o yos
  • Meaning: “son”
  • Greek: ο εγγονός
  • Romanization: o engonós
  • Meaning: “grandson” (male)
  • Greek: η εγγονή
  • Romanization: i engoní
  • Meaning: “granddaughter” (female)
  • Greek: το εγγόνι
  • Romanization: to engóni
  • Meaning: “grandchild”

In Greece, your wife’s or husband’s family is also considered your family. Therefore, most married couples tend to call their “mother-in-law” μαμά (mamá) and their “father-in-law” μπαμπά (babá). Nevertheless, below you can find the original names for your new family in Greek culture:

  • Greek: τα πεθερικά
  • Romanization: ta petheriká
  • Meaning: “parents-in-law”
  • Greek: η πεθερά
  • Romanization: i petherá
  • Meaning: “mother-in-law”
  • Greek: ο πεθερός
  • Romanization: o petherós
  • Meaning: “father-in-law”
  • Greek: ο γαμπρός
  • Romanization: o gambrós
  • Meaning: “son-in-law” (literally: groom)
  • Greek: η νύφη
  • Romanization: i nífi
  • Meaning: “daughter-in-law” (literally: bride)
  • Greek: ο κουνιάδος
  • Romanization: o kuniádos
  • Meaning: “brother-in-law”
  • Greek: η κουνιάδα
  • Romanization: i kuniáda
  • Meaning: “sister-in-law”

4. Unique Family Greek Names for Relationships

For the more experienced Greek learners, we’ve gathered some terms about relatives which seem to be unique in Greece, and therefore more tricky to understand. So, don’t get disappointed! You can always reach out to us for a one-on-one interaction with one of our Greek teachers through MyTeacher, and we’re happy to answer any questions.

A Hand Holding a Small Greek Flag

  • Greek: οι συμπέθεροι / τα συμπεθέρια
  • Romanization: i simbétheri / ta simbethéria
  • Meaning: the relationship between the parents of the groom and the parents of the bride
  • Greek: ο μπατζανάκης / ο σύγαμπρος
  • Romanization: o bajanákis / o sígambros
  • Meaning: the relationship between the husbands of two sisters
  • Greek: η συνυφάδα
  • Romanization: i sinifáda
  • Meaning: the relationship between the wives of two brothers

5. Endearment Family Terms in Greek

Parent Phrases

Do you feel the urge to show your love to your family? Try these Greek endearment terms for guaranteed results!

  • Greek: η μανούλα
  • Romanization: i manúla
  • Meaning: “mommy”
  • Greek: ο μπαμπάκας
  • Romanization: o babákas
  • Meaning: “daddy”
  • Greek: η γιαγιάκα
  • Romanization: i yayáka
  • Meaning: “grandmommy”
  • Greek: ο παππούλης
  • Romanization: o papúlis
  • Meaning: “granddaddy”

Bonus tip: Add a μου (mu) meaning “my” after each of the phrases above. For example, it’s best to say: γιαγιάκα μου (yayáka mu) which means “my grandmommy.”

6. Proverbs and Quotes about Family in Greek

Family Quotes

Family is the core of Greek culture. It’s the glue that keeps us together. So, it’s not surprising that there are many family Greek quotes and proverbs. Below, you can find some of the most popular ones, along with their meanings.

  • Greek: Το μήλο κάτω από τη μηλιά θα πέσει.
  • Romanization: To mílo káto apó ti miliá tha pési.
  • Literal Translation: “The apple will fall right below the apple tree.”
  • Meaning: This expression is used to highlight the resemblance of behavior or actions between a
    child (apple) and his or her parents (apple tree). It often has a negative connotation.
  • Greek: Έλα παππού να σου δείξω τα αμπελοχώραφά σου.
  • Romanization: Éla papú na su díxo ta ambelohórafá su.
  • Literal Translation: “Come on grandpa, let me show you your wineyard fields.”
  • Meaning: This proverb is used as an irony. It aims to highlight the expertise of the person saying
    this in a specific sector. It’s like wanting to show your grandpa where his own fields are.
  • Greek: Μάνα είναι μόνο μία.
  • Romanization: Mána íne móno mía.
  • Literal Translation: “There is only one mother.”
  • Meaning: This expression is used to highlight the unconditional love and importance of a mother.
  • Greek: Να τρώει η μάνα και του παιδιού να μη δίνει.
  • Romanization: Na trói i mána ke tu pediú na mi díni.
  • Literal Translation: “(This is so delicious that… ) the mother eats and doesn’t give (anything) to her child.”
  • Meaning: This expression is used to highlight that something is so delicious, that even a mother, who traditionally shares everything with her child out of love, doesn’t want to share it.

7. How GreekPod101 Can Help You Master Greek

Greek family relationships may be a lot to take in. However, once you learn them, they’re easy to remember. By the end of this article, you should be able to introduce your family in Greek, and we’re just as excited as you are!

If you ever find yourself in need of a quick revision, we’ve got your back! Just take a look at our Family & Relatives Conversation Cheat Sheet—or better yet, you can even print it out, in order to be ready at all times for unexpected Greek chit-chatting.

GreekPod101.com offers you high-quality, practical knowledge about the Greek language and culture. We aim to provide you with everything you need to know about the Greek language in a fun and interesting way. Stay tuned for more articles like this one, word lists, grammar tips, and even YouTube videos, which are waiting for you to discover them!

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