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Cupids playing with a lyre_ Roman fresco from Herculaneum_edited_edited_edited_edited_edit

Τόσα αγόρια


Γνώρισα ένα μικρό αγόρι
που ήταν μπερδεμένο

Γνώρισα ένα άλλο
λίγο πιο μεγάλο
κάπως πιο θλιμμένο

Γνώρισα ένα τρίτο
που ήταν σαν γυναίκα
με χλωμό δέρμα
και λεπτό σαν στέκα

Τόσα αγόρια
που έχουν αρχίσει
να μοιάζουν σε εσένα
που δεν έχω γνωρίσει
Τόσα αγόρια
που θα συναντήσω
φοβάμαι στο τέλος
δεν θα σε αναγνωρίσω

Ένα αγόρι
είχε στην καρδιά του
πάντα την μαμά του
έφυγα μακριά του

Ένα άλλο αγόρι
έπινε τα βράδια
και γινόταν λιώμα
μ' αγαπάει ακόμα

Ένα ακόμα αγόρι
μου 'χε γράψει ποίημα
που δεν είχε στόρι
που δεν είχε ρίμα


I met a young boy
who was confused,

I met another one
a bit older
somewhat sadder

A met a third one
who looked like a woman,
with pale skin
and thin as a cue

So many boys
who have started
to look like you
whom I haven’t met
[With] so many boys
that I will meet,
I’m scared that in the end
I won’t recognise you

One boy
had his mother
always in his heart,
I ran away from him

Another boy
used to drink at nights
and get wasted,
he still loves me

Another boy
had written me a poem
which had no story
which had no rhyme


The word comes from κακομαθαίνω ‘to spoil [lit: to educate badly]’. The verb that would seemingly have the opposite meaning, καλομαθαίνω, essentially means the same thing, i.e., ‘spoilt’ with slightly different nuances. The difference is that καλομαθαίνω as well as κακομαθημένος -η -ο, emphasise that the person has been pampered in comfort or luxury, and that they have been indulging in a certain lifestyle or habit. While κακομαθημένος -η -ο describes an arrogant, unappreciative and unlikeable person who is used to having things offered to them, καλομαθημένος -η -ο portrays someone who has become passive and unadaptable because of excessive amenities.


It is true that ταλαιπωρώ ‘to give someone a hard time’, ταλαιπωρία ‘ordeal’ and ταλαιπωρημένος -η -ο ‘troubled, exhausted’, are rather common in Modern Greek. However, their etymology is not as well-known. The verb ταλαιπωρώ is a compound comprised of two ancient words: τάλας ‘miserable, who has suffered or endured a lot’ + πορεύω ‘to go’.

English to tolerate and atlas or Atlantic share the same root. Τhe former comes from Latin tolerō ‘to endure’, and the latter from Greek Άτλας – the mythological figure who had to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders, and whose name originated from a verb meaning ‘to suffer, to endure’.

γινόταν λιώμα

The phrase είμαι/γίνομαι λιώμα is translated as ‘to be/get wasted’, and describes reaching a state of debilitating intoxication. The noun (το) λιώμα comes from λιώνω ‘to melt [away]’ or ‘to squash’, and it is only used in this particular context.

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