Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by moonlight7, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. moonlight7 Senior Member

    Does this word "khaire" is used in Greek right now and what does it mean? "Be happy" or "be well" or "rejoice"?
    I found this in the book that I am revising, and I wounder if it is true:
    "In Greek, people in begone times greeted each other with ‘khaire!’ that meant ‘rejoice!’."
  2. Perseas Senior Member

    Χαίρε: imperative -- 2nd person singular-- of the ancient verb χαίρω (= rejoice at/take pleasure in something...).
    was a form of greeting (welcome, fare well, be of good cheer...). Today it is not used (except for stylistic reasons), however the 2nd person plural χαίρετε is a very common greeting, especially in formal situations.

    You can also look at the link under χαίρω.
  3. moonlight7 Senior Member

    Thanks, Perseas! Could I say that it is a word from Ancient Greek?
    "In Ancient Greek, people greeted each other with word ‘khaire’..."
  4. Perseas Senior Member

    Yes. It was used even by Homer.
  5. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member


    Pardon me butting in here, but I am moved to wonder about two things. I know classical Greek, but not modern demotic. Perhaps Perseas or someone else here can satisfy my curiosity?

    Does anyone know when χαῖρε/χαίρετεdied out as an everyday greeting? And if the plural χαίρετε is indeed still used in formal contexts, is this (a) because of a "classicising" tendency in the stylistic level for formal purposes; or (b) because of a tendency to use of the "polite" plural rather than the "intimate" singular, comparable with English "you" (as opposed to "thou"), French/Italian vous/voi, German Sie &c. Or maybe a bit of both? Fascinating.
  6. Tassos

    Tassos Senior Member

    It is also used in informal contexts. If you go for a visit to someone's home - even if he's a good friend - it's something you might say as a greeting (to "mark" the occasion so to speak). My father always uses it when he makes phonecalls.

    In formal contexts, certainly because of (b).
    In informal contexts, I don't know, maybe beacause of (a) if you consider that it is used more by older people or in situations informal yes, but not too informal (for example if you are meeting your best friend in a kafeteria to have a cup of coffee or something, you won't use it)
  7. sotos Senior Member

    It possibly died out at the same time when plural was introduced in addressing a single person (πληθυντικός ευγενείας), around mid 19th c. A european influence. So, χαίρετε may be equivalent to χαίρε in formal situations.
    I use χαίρε sometimes for greeting friends. It sounds well and attracts attention.
  8. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member

    Tassos and Sotos, ευχαριστω, και καλα Χριστουγενα.

Share This Page