Home » Corfu Greece Travel Blog: An Insider’s View » Travelling in Greece » Malaka Meaning: When a Greek Slang is the Worst Insult

Malaka Meaning: When a Greek Slang is the Worst Insult

Posted in: Travelling in Greece 0

Last updated on September 30th, 2021 at 08:04 pm

Malaka(s) is the most used slang Greek word and the first that every tourist or visitor to Greece learn.

It’s so common among Greeks that tourists hear it all the time, so they use to repeat it too.

But what does Malaka mean in Greek and is it always good to say this to someone?

This article is aiming to help tourists and visitors to Greece. To let them know when they can say Malaka to someone and when not.

Origin of the word Malakas

Well, first let us give you the ancient meaning, cause this word is so old as the Greek language itself.

The word derives from two ancient substantives, malakia(fem) (Greek: μαλακία) and malakos (Greek: μαλακός). This meant, and still means “mental illness or disorder“, and “soft” and thus “weak, depraved, effeminate”.

Malakas (μαλάκας) today is a vulgar word that is used for the “masturbator, the wanker.” Also, today is used either to offend, as in “asshole”, “wanker“, “impotent“, “stupid‘, “idiot‘, “sucker“, or to express friendliness as in “mate”, “my friend

This great ambivalence makes it a tricky and also much-used word. But we suggest you not use it with anyone apart from your closest friends. Or not even with them if your style of communication is somewhat more polite.

There was an old expression in Greece saying: (Greek: Γι αυτό γίναμε Ιατροί, δια να θεραπεύομεν πάσαν νόσον και Μαλακίαν). This means: That is why we became doctors, to heal every illness and mental disorder.

During medieval times the meaning changed a bit and used to describe the wanker. Because at that period people used to believe that wanking was bad for the brain. So every wanking person considered stupid or less clever than average.

The female word today for Malakas is Malakismeni with another variation (Malako). This variation is more in use by the youngsters of the Greek Diaspora, although it is rarely used in Greece.

In English, the translation today should be wanker, or more precisely jerk. But malakas can also be used to express (come on man) or (hey buddy) plus many others. Everything depends on the way, the tone of the voice, the body standing, the relationship between the talkers, and many other factors.

You may hear Greek people use it a lot, many times in every sentence, but you can`t know if it is a quarrel or a loud friendly talk!

So, there are so many contradictory uses, but what’s the real meaning today?

Today’s real Malaka meaning

Despite the use of this word in hundreds of different cases, the real meaning is only one! Imagine a person who can’t understand a hint, someone who is not sure when others mock him or not.

Someone who can misunderstand what he is hearing, someone who is easily fooled.

And in fewer words, finally, the one with IQ lower than average, in short, the stupid in a company, or at work, it’s so simple!

So, Malakas = A low IQ person.

10 watching and only one malakas works
10 watching and only one malakas works

When not to use the word Malakas

The general rule is to avoid it most of the time.

It is an insulting word. Despite the fact that most of the time you will be forgiven because you are a foreigner, there are slim chances το end up with a broken nose.

We will help you here to avoid such a situation.

Rule 1
If you are a man never ever say this word to a woman, no matter how close friends you are. Even if she is your lover or wife it is always insulting and in some cases is equal to bitch!

The same occurs if you are a woman, never say this to a man, no matter how close friends or even lovers you are.
In this case, it can mean idiot or worse sexually incompetent.

So it is almost always bad to call this a person of the other sex. Unless of course, you are dead close friends and (pay attention here) not lovers.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule! an example, when making love with your lover it can be a turning up word!

Rule 2
Never say this word to someone you just met, is a big no-no, unless you don`t want to see him or her again!

Rule 3
Never say it to complete strangers. In that case, there are strong possibilities for big trouble and broken noses.

Rule 4
Never say it to people much older than you, to someone who belongs to an older generation. Even if they are close friends or relatives, especially for relatives such as Uncles is much worse. In this case, it is very bad for you too and others will blame your bad personality.

Rule 5
We never ever call like this our Parents, it is a no-no.
But it is a must to call Malaka our brothers or sisters, except at the moment we have a dispute!

Rule 6
There are many other situations, but you must be a Greek to be able to understand every corner of the Greek sense of humor. So better follow the general rule that says: always is better to avoid this word.

When you can call someone Malaka

You must be a very close friend with someone to be able to say this word and to be taken as a friendly word. In these very close friendship cases, the meaning literally changes to: hey buddy, buddy, or come on man.

Also, it can be used between brothers and sisters but not when they have a quarrel.

Once Malaka always a Malaka
Once Malaka always a Malaka


The word Malaka is definitely the most widely used Greek word and is a vulgar slang word. It has unbelievably many, maybe a thousand different uses, but only one meaning! and it is used in every aspect of Greek everyday life.

You may call someone Malaka, but this doesn’t mean that you mean stupid, you may mean many other things, especially if you don’t know the person. Example: Parta malaka (take them malaka), a very frequent gesture with open hands in the Greek streets between drivers!

So, it is friendly as well as an insulting word, it can be used either to break or to strengthen a relationship. The secret is to know how and when to use it.

We understand that many tourists, especially English-speaking people, may say this word. Trying a friendly approach with Greeks, after all, it is the word that they hear the most.

They will be forgiven in almost all cases because they are tourists. But there is always a slim possibility that it won`t be taken friendly.

So better stay on the safe side, and unless you know your friend, avoid this word!

Malakas, unfortunately, due to extensive use, has become somehow a trademark word for the Greeks today. Something that characterizes Greeks worldwide, something like Mousaka, or sirtaki for instance!

Welcome to Greece and enjoy your holidays Malaka!!!

Final words

Being a Malakas(Asshole) is not necessarily a bad thing.

See on the next page why!

See videos with Malakes

Discover more about Greece

2021 Visitor’s Guide to the Acropolis of Athens


No visit to Greece is complete without a trip to the Acropolis of Athens. Read our guide for insider tips and handy information to get the most out of your trip and see ancient history come alive.… Read More

The Best Free Things to Do in Athens


Athens is a vibrant and dynamic city where you can find and enjoy free tourist spots in this Greek capital.… Read More

10 Things to Know Before Traveling To Greece


Greece is amongst the best places to visit if you seek life-changing experiences. With unique culture, traditions, and customs.… Read More

5 Books to Read During Quarantine to Feel Like Traveling in Greek Islands


A trip to Greece will remain in the heart forever, and today dreamers have a lot of books to read to feel like they are on the Greek islands.… Read More

Beautiful Greek Mythology Names for Babies


One of the richest sources of unusual and one-of-a-kind names is Greek mythology. Here are a few unique names to choose from for your baby. … Read More

Helpful Tips for Traveling the Greek Islands


Whether it is for a honeymoon or a summer vacation, Greece makes a fantastic tourist spot with tons of islands and scenic beauty. The country is full of historical sights, iconic culture, and amazing food.… Read More

7 Condiments That Bring Greece Taste Even In Your Home


Delicious food with amazing ingredients. Here, we’re going to share with you seven condiments Mediterraneans use to spruce up their meals.… Read More

What’s The Best Greek Islands to Visit for Family holidays?


No other thing can bring a family closer together along with creating blessed memories than spending some good time with them in Greece.… Read More

How to Learn 100 Greek Words You Can Use Instantly


If you intend to travel to Greece, You’ll be most welcomed if you try to communicate with the locals using some basic Greek words.… Read More

Typical Examples of Greek, English, and French Malaka


Here are some very typical examples of behaviors that represent what we call Malaka. Greek, English, and French Malakas in action!.… Read More

8 Famous Movies Filmed in Greece & the islands


A lot of movies are connected to Greece. Here is a list of the most popular and exciting films made in Greece and the Greek Islands.… Read More

7 Best Honeymoon Destinations in Greece & The Islands


A trip to the best honeymoon destinations in Greece can be very enjoyable. Many couples get excited exploring this country while on their honeymoon.… Read More

What Are The Best Beaches in Crete island Greece?


Being the largest of the Greek islands, Crete has plenty to offer. Many small islands around and especially some of the best beaches in Greece.… Read More

What Beaches In The Islands Of North & East Aegean?


Medium to small size islands close to the coast of Thessaly at the North Aegean, Alonissos, Skiathos, Skopelos, and Skyros is the most known islands offering beautiful beaches and holiday destinations.… Read More

Best Beaches in the Dodecanese Greece


The beautiful beaches of Dodecanese islands in Southeast Aegean in Greece are here. This island cluster has 12 big and hundreds of smaller islets… Read More

How nice are the Beaches in Cyclades Greece?


Cyclades islands have some of the most famous beaches worldwide and extremely popular among tourists and Greeks. In these islands there are some of the most famous beaches worldwide… Read More

Best Beaches in the Ionian Islands Greece


The beaches in the Ionian islands are among the best in Greece. Laying on the west coast of Greece on some of the most beautiful Greek islands.… Read More

70+ Best Beaches on Greek Islands: Stunning Gems of Greece


Beaches in Greece are rated among the top beaches in Europe and the world. But let’s start to discover details and tips about them.… Read More

5 Best Places To Visit On Your Trip To Greece


Are you gearing up to visit Greece for your vacation? Would you like to know more details about the best places to visit in Greece? You have landed right.… Read More

Yummy Greek Food: 11 Epic Traditional Greek Recipes


Known for fresh crisp greens, strong natural cheese, and lamb dishes cooked to perfection, Greece has a wonderfully colorful palette that is steeped in history.… Read More

The Ideal Time To Visit Greece And The Greek Islands


Greece and the Greek Islands are a popular holiday destination. Here’s a guide to the best times to visit Greece to help you plan your perfect vacation!… Read More

8 Greek Desserts & Dishes You Have To Taste


One of the things that draw me back to Greece time and again, aside from the sunshine, culture, and friendly people, is the food. The Greeks know how to eat… Read More

Greece Travel on a Student Budget Made True: 6 Tips


There’s no reason you should give up on the idea of traveling Greece as a student. All you need is some guidance and better organization… Read More

Hidden Greece: 12 Beautiful Places You Never Knew Existed


We’ve prepared a list of twelve beautiful places in Greece you probably never knew existed, but surprise! They do exist, and it’s worthy of a visit.… Read More

9 Things To Avoid When Travel to Greece


Greece is a country so rich in so many aspects that you might find it hard to squeeze in all the sights to see and all the souvlakis to try during a short stay in this glorious place… Read More

Is Greece Dog Friendly? Flying There With a Dog


If you’re a dog owner, one of the responsibilities is deciding if your pup will also make the trek or stay home while you globetrot.
One bucket list destination is Greece and its islands… Read More

How Many English Words Derived From Greek? List of 150.000


In a typical 80,000-word English dictionary, about 5% of the words are directly borrowed and another 25% are borrowed indirectly from Greek. So, 30% of English words are…Greek!… Read More

Malaka Meaning: When a Greek Slang is the Worst Insult


Malaka(s) is the most used slang Greek word and the first that every tourist or visitor to Greece learn… Read More

Greece of 1900 – 1930 with More Old Photos


More old photos from Greece of 1903-1930, photos by Fred Boissonnas that show a quiet and different world… Read More

150 Old Photos From Greece [1900] by Fred Boissonnas


The Philhellene Swiss photographer Fred Boissonnas(1858-1946) was the first foreign photographer who traveled so much in the Greek land from 1903 and for nearly three decades following… Read More

Panorama with Photos and Landscapes from Greece of 1900 – 1930


Here are some elder Greek pictures from 1900 to 1930, photos from the period before the first world war… Read More

Leave a Comment