Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

all Greek to me

all Greek to me

Meaning

  • used to convey that you cannot understand what is being said or written
  • something meaningless and incomprehensible to you
  • something that you do not understand

Example Sentences

  1. Don’t try to explain the technicalities of how this machine works; it would be all Greek to me.
  2. He tried to explain the rules of the game to me, but it was all Greek to me.
  3. My friends were having a discussion about the future if the financial markets, but it was all Greek to me.
  4. My wife and brother both work in the IT industry, and when they start with their technical talk, it’s all Greek to me.
  5. I tried reading that science journal, but it was all Greek to me.

Origin
The earliest references to this phrase is from medieval Latin. In the Middle Ages, use of Greek was dwindling and scribes who had difficulty translating Greek text would write “Graecum est, non legitur” or “Graecum est, non potest legi” (It is Greek; it cannot be read). The phrase entered modern English when Shakespeare used it in his play Julius Caesar in 1599. Initially it was used in the literal sense, where a person who did not know Greek would say it, but later it came to be used for anything unintelligible.

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