Hellenic Bank, Hellenic beer


Senior Member

I've always thought the adjective Hellenic is only used when referring to Ancient Greece, but now that I've come across "Hellenic Beer" and "Hellenic Bank", I'm a bit confused. I'm not sure, but I have the feeling the word is only used by Greeks for marketing purposes, to strengthen the link with Greek antiquity.

Wikipedia says "Hellenic is a synonym for Greek", but as far as I know, it isn't normally used by English speakers when talking about Greek music, food, geography, etc.
You don't say "we went to a Hellenic island on holiday where we tried this wonderful Hellenic dish", do you?
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Some Greeks object to Greece, Greek, and their cognates in the other major languages. Officialdom in Greece usually prefers "Hellenic Republic" and "Hellenic" too:

    GREEK PARLIAMENT (the site is titled "Hellenic Parliament")
    Hellenic Republic - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Normally in English we just ignore that and carry on using Greece, Greek as we have always done.

    Ancient Greek, the Greek gods, Greek monuments, Greek folklore, Greek movies, Greek coffee, a map of Greece,


    Senior Member
    UK English
    In Hellenic Bank the word Hellenic is part of the official name.
    In Hellenic Beer the word Hellenic is like a trade name.

    It is true, as you say, that we do not use Hellenic unless we are referring to Greek civilisation or culture.
    A similar word is Iberian, which in the phrase Iberian cuisine means the food of Spain and Portugal.

    ("Greeks" comes from the Latin word (Graeci) for the Greek Hellenes.)
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    Thank you for your replies.

    Some Greeks object to Greece, Greek, and their cognates in the other major languages.
    OK, I expected some Greeks to proudly use Hellenic, but to object to Greek? :confused: How un-European of them.:) Germany has about 5 types of names in different European languages, and we Hungarians could also object to Hungarian and similar terms because we're actually Magyar.
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