Grecian Stairs to Green Goose

Grecian Stairs A corruption of greesing stairs. Greesings (steps) still survives in the architectural word grees, and in the compound word de-grees. There is still on the hill at Lincoln a flight of stone steps called "Grecian stairs. "

"Paul stood on the greezen [i.e. stairs]." -Wicliffe: Acts xxi. 40.
Greedy (Justice). In A New Way to Pay Old Debts, by Massinger.

Greegrees Charms. (African superstition.)
   A gree-gree man. One who sells charms.

Greek (The). Manuel Alvarez (el Griego), the Spanish sculptor (1727-1797).
   All Greek to me. Quite unintelligible; an unknown tongue or language. Casca says, "For mine own part, it was all Greek to me." (Shakespeare: Julius Caesar, i. 2.) "C'est du Grec pour moi. "
   Last of the Greeks. Philopœmen, of Megalopolis, whose great object was to infuse into the Achæans a military spirit, and establish their independence (B.C. 252-183).
   To play the Greek (Latin, græcari). To indulge in one's cups. The Greeks have always been considered a luxurious race, fond of creature-comforts. Thus Cicero, in his oration against "Verres," says: "Discumbitur; fit sermo inter eos et invitatio, ut Græco more biberetur: hospes hortatur, poscunt majoribus poculis; celebratur omnium sermone lætiliaque convivium. " The law in Greek banquets was E pithi e apithi (Quaff, or be off!) (Cut in, or cut off!). In Troilus and Cressida Shakespeare makes Pandarus, bantering Helen for her love to Troilus, say, "I think Helen loves him better than Paris;" to which Cressida, whose wit is to parry and pervert, replies, "Then she's a merry Greek indeed," insinuating that she was a "woman of pleasure." (Troilus and Cressida, i. 2.)
   Un Grec (French). A cheat. Towards the close of the reign of Louis XIV., a knight of Greek origin, named Apoulos, was caught in the very act of cheating at play, even in the palace of the grand monarque. He was sent to the galleys, and the nation which gave him birth became from that time a byword for swindler and blackleg.
   Un potage à la Grecque. Insipid soup; Spartan broth.
   When Greek joins Greek, then is the tug of war. When two men or armies of undoubted courage fight, the contest will be very severe. The line is from a verse in the drama of Alexander the Great, slightly altered, and the reference is to the obstinate resistance of the Greek cities to Philip and Alexander, the Macedonian kings.

"When Greeks joined Greeks, then was the tug of war." Nathaniel Lee.
   In French the word "Grec ' sometimes means wisdom, as -
   Il est Grec en cela. He has great talent that way.
   Il n'est pas grand Grec. He is no great conjurer.

Greek Calends Never. To defer anything to the Greek Calends is to defer it sine die. There were no calends in the Greek months. The Romans used to pay rents, taxes, bills, etc., on the calends, and to defer paying them to the "Greek Calends" was virtually to repudiate them. (See Never.)

"Will you speak of your paltry prose doings in my presence, whose great historical poem, in twenty books, with notes in proportion, has been postponed `ad Græcas Kalendas'?" - Sir W. Scott: The Betrothed (Introduction).
Greek Church includes the church within the Ottoman Empire subject to the patriarch of Constantinople, the church in the kingdom of Greece, and the Russo-Greek Church. The Roman and Greek Churches formally separated in 1054. The Greek Church dissents from the doctrine that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son (Filioque), rejects the Papal claim to supremacy, and administers the eucharist in both kinds to the laity; but the two churches agree in their belief of seven sacraments, transubstantiation, the adoration of the Host, confession, absolution, penance, prayers for the dead, etc.

Greek Commentator Fernan Nunen de Guzman, the great promoter of Greek literature in Spain. (1470- 1553.)

Greek Cross Same shape as St. George's cross (+). The Latin cross has the upright one-third longer than the cross-beam (†).
   St George's Cross is seen on our banners, where the crosses of St. Andrew and St. Patrick are combined with it. (See Union Jack.)

Greek Fire A composition of nitre, sulphur, and naphtha. Tow steeped in the mixture was hurled in a blazing state through tubes, or tied to arrows. The invention is ascribed to Callinicos, of Heliopolis, A.D.

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.