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The Greek alphabet is a set of twenty-four letters that has been used to write the Greek language since the ninth eventually eighth century before Christ. It is the first and oldest alphabet in the narrow sense that notes each vowel and consonant with a separate symbol. As such, it is used continuously to this day. The letters also were used to represent Greek numerals, beginning in the second century BC.

The Greek alphabet is a descendant of the Phoenician alphabet, and is not related to Linear B or the Cypriot syllabary, earlier writing systems of the Greeks. It has led to many other alphabets used in Europe and the Middle East, including the Latin alphabet. Besides being used for writing Modern Greek, its letters are today used as symbols in mathematics and science, particle names in physics, such as names of stars, in the names of fraternities and sororities, in the naming of supernumerary tropical cyclones, and for other purposes.

Greek alphabet

Αα Alpha Νν Nu
Ββ Beta Ξξ Xi
Γγ Gamma Οο Omicron
Δδ Delta Ππ Pi
Εε Epsilon Ρρ Rho
Ζζ Zeta Σσς Sigma
Ηη Eta Ττ Tau
Θθ Theta Υυ Upsilon
Ιι Iota Φφ Phi
Κκ Kappa Χχ Chi
Λλ Lambda Ψψ Psi
Μμ Mu Ωω Omega

Greek words

Greek words commonly used in our society. The next time you hear someone say “Congratulations to you, you will know where it comes from.

1. Acme

The highest point of a structure. The peak or zenith of something. You could say that Rome airport reached the height of its power in 117 AD, under the rule of Trajan.

The acme of modular, prefabricated, passively safe reactor design, however, is in South Africa. People who have been experimenting with pebble bed reactors known for decades. (The Economist)

2. Acropolis

Acro means edge or extremity, while polis means city. Acropolis, therefore, refers to cities that were built for security purposes in mind. The word Acropolis is associated with Greece’s capital Athens, although it can refer to any citadel, including Rome and Jerusalem.

The torch arrived in Beijing Olympics relay of the ancient Acropolis in Athens on Saturday amid heavy police security and brief demonstrations by small groups of protesters. (New York Times)

3. Agora

The Agora is an open market, present in most cities of ancient Greece. Today the term can be used to express any open meeting or congregation.

The most characteristic feature of each settlement, regardless of size, was a square, an open space that served as a cemetery and may have been a market. Also, the archaeologists suspect, a place of political assembly, just as the agora in an ancient Greek city was both marketplace and the legislature. (The Economist)

4. Anathema

Anathema is a noun and means a formal ban, curse or excommunication. You can also refer to someone or something extremely negative, disliked or damned. Interestingly, the original Greek meaning of the word was “something offered to the gods.”

Some thinkers argue that while collaboration may work for an online encyclopedia, is anathema to original works of art or scholarship, which require a point of view and an authorial voice. (USA Today)

5. Anemia

Anemia refers to a condition characterized by qualitative and quantitative deficiency of red blood cells (or hemoglobin). Over the years, however, the term began to appear in other contexts, referring to any deficiencies found in the nucleus of a system or organization.

In comments to The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Richard Fisher, chairman of the Fed, the lone dissenter in the decision last week to keep the federal funds target to 2%, said the U.S. faces “a sustained period of anemia” and that “in the second half of this year we will approach a zero growth.” Last week Fisher wanted higher rates, his fifth straight dissent in favor of policy tightening. (The Wall Street Journal)

6. Ethos

The literal translation of the Greek word for spirit, “usual place.” It refers to a disposition or characteristics of a specific person, culture or movement. Synonyms include mentality, attitude and values.

Consumerism needs this infantilist ethos because it favors laxity and leisure of discipline and denial, values and youthful impetuosity infantile narcissism on the order of adults and enlightened self-interest, and prefers to play in consumption led to the recreation spontaneous. (Los Angeles Times)

7. Dogma

Dogma refers to the established belief or set of principles held by a religion, ideology or any organization. Dogmas are also authoritative and undisputed. Outside the religious context, therefore, the term tends to carry a negative connotation. Note that the plural is either dogma or dogmas.

There is a new type of web, is right where the network has to – is also a great excuse to talk a lot in the blogging circuit, and a huge amount of dogmatism. (Financial Times)

8. Eureka

The exclamation Eureka is used to celebrate a discovery, and may be translated as “I found it!”. It is attributed to the Greek mathematician Archimedes famous. While taking a bath, he suddenly realized that the water displaced must be equal to the volume of the part of his body was submerged. He was so excited about the discovery that he left his house and started running and shouting “Eureka!” On the streets of Syracuse.

Those eureka moments in the shower or on the bus when something suddenly starts to make sense only happen if you keep plugging away. (The Guardian)

9. Genesis

Genesis means birth or origin. There are many synonyms for this word, including beginning, start, start, spring, dawn and commencement. Genesis is also the name of the first book of the Bible.

And when McCain went to banks wonkery insurance policy, Obama flayed his idea of convening a commission to investigate the genesis of the financial crisis as the appeal of politicians who do not know what else to do. (The Economist)

10. Phobia

Many people mistakenly think that a phobia is a fear. It’s actually more than that. Phobia is an irrational and exaggerated fear of something. Fear can be associated with certain activities, situations, things or people.

poorest communities have a phobia of cooked food. Very advanced societies enjoy their meat and raw fish or very near it. For the French the idea of cooking a steak is so perfunctory one might as well cut the cow thing and cosmetic surgery in (Financial Times)

11. Plethora

You have a great deal when you exceed what is necessary or appropriate. It represents an excess or undesired abundance.

In California, for example, some neighborhoods have been ruined by the large number of empty houses. Joe Minnis, a real estate agent for Prudential California, knows foreclosed homes in San Bernardino that have been systematically stripped, damages and tagged by gang members. (Business Week)

12. Prestige

Kudos means fame or glory, usually resulting from an important act or achievement. Interestingly, in Greek and British Standard English, Kudos is a singular noun. Within the United States, however, is often used in a plural form (eg, You deserve many congratulations on this achievement!)

They deserve the prestige, as they could be held responsible for the marked improvement in the commercials during Super Bowl XL last night.


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