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Malakas: When to Use This Greek Slang – What It Means

Last updated on October 13th, 2019 at 07:11 pm

Malakas 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 tourist hear it all the time, so they use to repeat it too.

But is it always good to say this to someone?

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

Origin and meaning of the word Malakas

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

The word is the male substantive derived from ancient malakia(fem) (Greek: μαλακία) which literally meant mental illness or disorder.

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

During medieval times the meaning changed slightly and used to describe the wanker because at that period it was believed that wanking was bad for the brain, so every wanking person was considered stupid or less clever than average.

The female word for Malakas is Malakismeni with another variation (Malako) used mostly by the youngsters of the Greek Diaspora, although it is not used widely in Greece.

In English, the translation today should be wanker, or more precisely jerk, but malakas can also mean (come on man) or (hey buddy) plus many others, everything depends from 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, perhaps many times in every sentence, but you can`t know really if it is a quarrel or just a loud friendly talk!

So, the general rule is to avoid it most of the times.

It is an insulting word, and despite the fact that most of the times 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.

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

When not to use the word Malakas

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, can mean idiot or even sexually incompetent.

So it is almost always bad to call like 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 in 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, here we have 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 can be 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 absolutely a no-no,
On the contrary is a must to call Malaka our brothers or sisters, except at the moments 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 is used between brothers and sisters but not when they have a quarrel.

Once malakas always malakas
Once malakas always malakas


The word Malaka is definitely the most widely used Greek word and is a slang word, it has unbelievably many, maybe thousand different meanings, and it is used in every aspect of the Greek everyday life.

It is a friendly as well as 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!

We have to trademark “Malaka” and use it to dig ourselves out of the “malakismeni” situation in which our “malakes” politicians have thrown us in!

Welcome to Greece and enjoy your holidays Malaka!!!

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Dieser Artikel ist nur in Englisch

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