Greek Glossary

Agios Nikolaos:  St. Nikolaos.  In the Greek Orthodox Church, his Feast Day is December 6.  Children leave out their shoes so he can fill them with coins and little tokens.

Agios Vasilis:  St. Basil.   In the Greek Orthodox Church, his Feast Day is January 1.  He delivers gifts to children on New Year’s Eve.

Avgolemono:  A soup.  Literally means egg lemon, two of the ingredients. 

Assyrtiko:  A white wine.

Baklava:  A layered pastry dessert made of filo dough, chopped nuts, and honey.

Christopsomo: A Christmas bread.

Diples:  Thin sheets of folded dough served with honey.

Dolmades:  Made with cabbage or vine/grape leaves, stuffed with rice, shaped into little rolls and boiled.

Galaktoboureko:  Custard in a crispy phyllo pastry shell.

Gyro:  Sandwich made from beef or lamb cooked on a vertical rotisserie.  It is often served with onions, tomato, lettuce, and tzatziki in a pita.

Kala Christouyena:  Merry Christmas.

Kalamata olives: An olive named after the city of Kalamata in the southern Peloponnese, Greece. Usually preserved in wine vinegar or olive oil.

KalimeraGood day or good morning. 

Karidopita: A walnut cake with syrup.

Kleftiko:  Marinated slow cooked lamb.

Koukla;  Doll.  A term of endearment in the Economos family.

Koulourakia:  A pastry twisted into braids or other twists.  Often made at Easter or to have with coffee or tea.

Kourabiethes:  Cookies coated in confectioner’s sugar.  Often made at Christmas.

Krasomelo:  A mulled wine.

Lahanodolmathes:  Stuffed cabbage rolls in lemon sauce.

Loukoumades:  Pastry balls deep fried and topped with honey and walnuts.

Melomakarona: Cookies scented with orange and cinnamon, covered with honey and crushed walnuts.

Micro Hellas: Little Greece.

Moustokouloura:  A cookie made with grape must or grape molasses, olive oil, cinnamon and clove. 

Opa:also   An exclamation used to express enthusiasm, shock or surprise, or when one makes a mistake.  It can be an invitation to join dancing and is exclaimed when saganaki is lit. it often is heard at celebrations.

Ouzo:  An anise-flavored liqueur.

Papou:  Grandpa.

Pascha:  Easter.

Pastitsio: A baked dish with ground beef, macaroni and bechamel sauce.

Pilafi: Rice pilaf.

Rizogalo:  Rice pudding.

Saganaki:  A little pan.  Floured, flaming cheese.

Skaltsounia: Crescent-shaped pastries filled with walnut, jam and apple filling.

Spanakopita:  Pie made of phyllo dough, spinach and feta cheese.

Souvlaki:  Small pieces of meat – lamb, beef or chicken – grilled on a skewer.

Taramasalata: A spread made of salted and cured roe of the cod, carp, or bottarga mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, and either bread, potatoes, or almonds.

Thea: Aunt.  Could be a parent’s sibling or an honorary title bestowed on close friends and relatives.

Theos: Uncle.   Could be a parent’s sibling or an honorary title bestowed on close friends and relatives.

Tirokroketes: Fried cheese balls.

Tzatziki: A sauce made from yogurt, cucumbers, spices and other ingredients.

Xinomavro: A red wine.

Yiayia: Grandma.

A Greek salad
A Greek salad
An assortment of Greek foods
An assortment of Greek foods