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It's Willie again

Posted by Bob on February 29, 2000

In Reply to: Re: It's all Greek to me posted by Arnie on February 29, 2000

: : Hello,

: : Does anybody know the origin of the expression, "It's all Greek to me"?

: : I would be very interested to find out.

: : Thank you
: : Meyer.

: This is an observation rather than a definitive answer. I've heard the expression used to describe marks on the page which, from a distance, look like text but which, on close inspection reveal themselves as the mere marks they are. There are even word processors with the facility to 'Greek' your text.

: To say 'It's all Greek to me' means, of course, 'I see it but I have no idea what it means'

: I'm sure this doesn't help your quest but I feel much better having got it 'off my chest' - there's a phrase 'Off my chest' where did that originate I wonder?

Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
BRUTUS. And after that he came, thus sad, away?
CASCA. Ay.
CASSIUS. Did Cicero say anything?
CASCA. Ay, he spoke Greek.
CASSIUS. To what effect?
CASCA. Nay, an I tell you that, I'll ne'er look you i' the face again; but those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads; but for mine own part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more news too: Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs off Caesar's images, are put to silence. Fare you well.