το πολύ κανένα πουκάσιμο

Charlie Parker

Senior Member
English Canada
I am reading an imaginary conversation between Alexandros, a boy from Athens, and the ancient hero, Hercules. They’ve gone shopping for clothes. The boy complains of the cold. Here’s the context. Εγώ κρυώνω. Δεν μου αρέσουν αυτά τα ρούχα. Θέλω το μπλουζάκι μου, άντε, το πολύ κανένα πουκάμισο. I can’t make any sense of this last bit. Literally, “at the most, any shirt.” I would be most appreciative of any help.
 
Last edited:
  • Konstantinos

    Senior Member
    Greek - Athens
    Imagine that first there is a set of clothes that he doesn't like: Δεν μου αρέσουν αυτά τα ρούχα. (In this set it is supposed that there is not a shirt).

    Then there is his T-shirt, which is the ideal garment that he wants: Θέλω το μπλουζάκι μου.

    Since he cannot have this ideal T-shirt, he is ready to get into a climbdown (a retreat, as from an indefensible opinion or position): "Ok, I cannot have my ideal a T-shirt, but ok I will accept a shirt".

    So "άντε, το πολύ" means "but I am ready to get into the climbdown of accepting".

    So:

    Εγώ κρυώνω. Δεν μου αρέσουν αυτά τα ρούχα. Θέλω το μπλουζάκι μου, άντε, το πολύ κανένα πουκάμισο.

    I am feeling cold. I don't like these clothes. I want my T-shirt, but I am ready to get into the climbdown of accepting any shirt.

    το πολύ = the most climbdown I am ready to do, the biggest climbdown I am ready to accept
     
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