a Greek gift


a gift, which is a trick

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“There is one GREEK GIFT we won’t need to beware of this week and that is lower interest rates.”

Herald Sun, Australia


“The weak euro is likely to enter the history books as a GREEK GIFT.”

The Market Oracle website

Did you
know?

Greek gift
noun phrase

- a gift given with the intention of tricking and causing harm to the recipient

Collins Dictionary


ORIGIN

According to the Aeneid of Vergil (Virgil) the Trojan War had been going on for almost 10 years. The Greeks were trying to capture the city of Troy, but they couldn’t penetrate the enormous walls, which were said to have been built by Poseidon and Apollo.

Athena, the goddess of war, had the idea of a Trojan Horse. This was a huge wooden statue in the shape of a horse and it was wheeled up and left at the gates of Troy. The Greek soldiers were nowhere in sight.

The Trojans thought that the Greeks had perhaps given up and sailed away, so they brought the horse inside the wall. During the night, Odysseus and his men climbed out from inside the horse and opened the city gates. This allowed the Greek soldiers, who had been hiding on their ship, to capture Troy.

Laocoon, one of the character’s in Virgil’s epic poem, gave this warning: “Do not trust the horse, Trojans. Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts.”

(adapted from Ancient History Encyclopedia)


IT’S GREEK TO ME

The term “It’s Greek to me“ refers to something that one cannot understand, so that it might as well be in a foreign language.

In typography, “greeking” involves inserting nonsense text or, commonly, Greek or Latin text in prototypes of visual media projects (such as in graphic and web design) to check the layout of the final version before the actual text is available, or to enhance layout assessment by eliminating the distraction of readable text.

Text of this sort is known as “greeked text”, “dummy text”, or “jabberwocky text”. "Lorem ipsum" is a commonly used example, though this is derived from Latin, not Greek.


SYNONYMS

ambush, conspiracy, deception, decoy, trick, fraud, ploy, plot, trap, hoax, ruse


Practice OWAD in a conversation today, say something like:

“You have been offered more responsibility but less pay? That sounds like A GREEK GIFT.”


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

Paul Smith

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