Skip to main content

Tattoo Ideas: Greek Words and Phrases

Greek words, phrases, letters, symbols, and writing that make great tattoos.

Greek words, phrases, letters, symbols, and writing that make great tattoos.

Greek Lettering and Text Tattoos

The Greek Language

Greek is one of the oldest languages in the world; it has been spoken in Europe at least since the year 2000 BC. Several different forms of Greek have been spoken since then, including classical, Hellenistic (during the days of Alexander the Great), medieval (used by the Byzantine Empire in the 15th century) and modern Greek. Dhimotiki is presently the official language of Greece since 1976. It is spoken by approximately 15–25 million people worldwide.

Greek lettering tattoos can be an expression of pride for one's nationality or a dedication to one's heritage.

Tattoos Written in Greek

Despite the saying "it's all Greek to me," meaning that an expression is nonsensical, tattoos done in the Greek language are not an unusual occurrence on the BMEzine website where I find most of my pictures. Unlike Hebrew and Arabic (which use highly specific character sets), Latin (which has long been extinct), and Irish Gaelic (which has numerous dialects), Greek can be a fairly easy language to translate.

A Word on Finding Greek Translators

Many English words have a Greek equivalent and translations can easily be found using any number of English-to-Greek translators available online (although you should always cross-check to ensure meaning and spelling). Google Translate is always helpful, and this online Greek-English dictionary will translate the word of your choice into either modern or Ancient Greek and will show you the word using letters from both the English and Greek alphabets. Check out this Greek to Roman Transliteration Table to understand how to translate from the Greek to the Roman alphabet.

Checking for Accuracy

As with any tattoo that is done in a language that is not your own, make sure you do your homework. Double-check your translation with several sources.

  • A native speaker is your best bet—in this case, someone who speaks Greek as their first language, English as their second, or vice versa.
  • If a native speaker is not available to you, your next best bet is a scholar who has studied the language extensively.
  • Last but not least, there are several online translators who offer their services for free.

Although they can be very useful, keep in mind that it is important to ensure your translation is correct by either using several different online translators or confirming accuracy with native speakers on a Greek forum or message board.

Greek Phrases for Tattoos

in Greek lettersin Roman lettersin English

γνώθι σεαυτόν

gnothi seauton

know yourself

δος μου πα στο, και ταν γαν κινάσω

dos moi pa sto, kai tan gan kinaso

give me a place to stand, and I will move the earth

πίστη αγάπη ελπίδα

pistis, elpis, agape

faith, hope, love (from 1 Corinthians 13)

τα πάντα ρχει και ουδέν μένει

ta panta rhei kai ouden menei

everything flows, nothing stands still

και γαρ χους άλλο μηδέν, αυτή παρέστη

kai gar hois allo meden, aute pareste

when all is gone, there is still hope

ο πεπρωμένων φυγείν αδύνατον

o pepromenon phugein adunaton

it's impossible to escape from what is destined

νίψον ανώματα εμείς Μονάν Όψιν

nipson anomemata me monan opsin (a palindrome, read the same backward and forwards)

wash the sins, not only the face

Meaningful Greek Words That Make Great Tattoos

Agápiα (a-ga-pee): love

aγάπη: There are many different words for love (see list below), and agapi, universal love, is deemed the highest form.

Agathokakological (ag-uh-tha-kak-oh-loj-i-kal): good and evil combined

Αγαθοκακολογικό means good and bad at the same time, simultaneously.

Charmolipi (char-mo-lee-pee): joyful mourning, sweet sorrow

χαρμολύπη is a compound word meaning joy and sorrow, at the same time, conveying bittersweetness and having mixed feelings.

Eftychía (ef-tee-hee-a): happiness

ευτυχία: This word can mean bliss, joy, or contentment.

Elefthería (el-ef-the-ri-a): freedom

ελευθερία means freedom from slavery.

Elpízo (el-pee-da): hope

ελπίδαl hope; an ideal mantra for the eternal optimist.

Erotas (er-oh-tas): romantic love

έρωτας refers to intimate, physical, sexual love.

Filia (fill-ee-uh): friendship

φιλία is filial love, affection, and friendship.

Filoksenia (fil-o-ksen-i-uh); hospitality

φιλοξενία —"friend to the stranger”—describes a hospitable and welcoming attitude towards others, a what's-mine-is-yours attitude.

Kairos (cai-ros): right moment

καιρός means at the right time and place; the perfect moment when everything falls into place.

Meraki (mer-uh-kee): passion or absolute devotion

µεράκι has no easy translation; it means putting a part of your soul into what you're doing, taking actions that are full of care and love.

Nostalgia (nos-tal-gee-uh); nostalgia, homesickness

iνοσταλγία is an ache for home, a painful desire to return.

Paracosm (pare-uh-kos-mos): imaginary world

Παράκοσμος para, meaning beside, and kosmos, meaning universe—refers to an immensely rich and detailed imaginary world like the fantastic universes invented during childhood play.

Psyhi (psee-hee): soul

ψυχή or psyche, means soul or spirit.

Philokalist (fil-oh-kal-ist); lover of beauty

φιλοκαλιστ is a term for a person who loves beauty and can find beauty in everything.

If you're tattooing the word "love" in Greek, you'll want to know all seven different words for love.

If you're tattooing the word "love" in Greek, you'll want to know all seven different words for love.

Long line of text: @alison_greed has a lovely example of a Greek phrase tattooed vertically down the upper spine.

Single Greek letter: Check out this bold and beautiful lyre-like omega by @sorrymyhandsarecold.

Micro lettering: A good artist will be able to ink the letters very small, like this example by @seventattoolv.

Greek language elements: The Greek words can be used as a background or subtle design element, as in this example by @boting_tattoo.

Minimalist text: Greek lettering looks great in elaborate fonts or in minimal sans serif, like this example by @tattoobyulash.

Greek Alphabet

Αα Alpha

Νν Nu

Ββ Beta

Ξξ Xi

Γγ Gamma

Οο Omicron

Δδ Delta

Ππ Pi

Εε Epsilon

Ρρ Rho

Ζζ Zeta

Σσς Sigma

Ηη Eta

Ττ Tau

Θθ Theta

Υυ Upsilon

Ιι Iota

Φφ Phi

Κκ Kappa

Χχ Chi

Λλ Lambda

Ψψ Psi

Μμ Mu

Ωω Omega

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2007 Jaclyn Popola


Paige on July 15, 2019:

I was hoping to get I am enough tattooed in Greek on my body. Multiple translations give me the same: είμαι αρκετά. I’m a girl

Eva on April 28, 2019:

I was wondering what the translation for “Don’t overthink it” in greek is. I cannot seem to find it anywhere. Or even stop overthinking it.

evacharl on May 21, 2018:


Θα γίνω καλύτερος άνθρωπος από τον πατέρα μου. the exact translation for that, is "I will become a better human than my father " if you want exactly the phrase i will be a better man than my father, then its translated " Θα είμαι καλύτερος άνδρας από τον πατέρα μου" but man isnt the same as human in greek.

Tattoofanatic71 on May 18, 2018:


Since you seem to be the expert here I wanted to find out what the greek translation for "I will be a better man than my father" is. I have researched it alot and believe I have the correct translation but I want to be 100% sure.

Thank you

James on August 25, 2017:

Hey guys can someone tell me if this is correct "My Family is My Strength": Η οικογένεια μου,είναι η δύναμη μου

Irianna on May 14, 2017:

OMG. the last tattoo is ALL wrong!!! WTF??????? It's καταδικασμένοι and not καταδιγασμένοι. Also this tattoo doesn't make sense in greek. The translation of this tatoo in english is: Everyone is more beautifull because we are doomed. WTF? Also "Everything is more beautifull because we are doomed" should be translated like this " Όλα είναι ποιό ωραία γιατί είμαστε καταδικασμένοι" I'm greek btw.

giorgos on May 14, 2015:

Translating into Greek language from English is quite hard if you have a sentence...You must specify:

1. Your gender

2. To whom you are refering to

3. Specify some words if they are adjectives or adverbs

Many words are the same in English but in Greek they are different.

anna on October 02, 2014:

please!! don't get a tattoo in a language you don't know!!!

Giorgos on September 11, 2014:

"My Family is My Strength": Η οικογένεια μου,είναι η δύναμη μου

Giorgos on September 11, 2014:

Brave and loyal: Γενναίος και πιστός

MK on August 26, 2014:

I am want to get "brave and loyal" tattooed on my shoulder blade, but want a correct translation. Anyone know enough greek to translate that for me? Thanks.

just saying on August 22, 2014:

that is not greek for dangerous thoughts it simply means hazardous

Giorgos on June 20, 2014:

Too many mistakes in these pages...too many, my eyes are hurting

Elene on May 29, 2014:

My God the last one is soo terribly wrong. And it has different meaning too. (which doesn't even make sense.)

magda on April 11, 2014:

the last is translated so wrong and mean another thing and so dangerous thoughts and beatifull what the f .. if you dont know dont right it wrong

jb22 on March 21, 2014:

how do you say, "My Family is My Strength"

spped on February 06, 2014:

Αν δεν δημιουργήσεις το πεπρωμένο σου, η μοίρα σου θα σου επιβληθεί.

Zeynep on November 04, 2013:

Please can someone translate this sentence to greek? "If you do not create your destiny, you will have your fate inflicted upon you.'

greco on August 10, 2013:

''Please can someone help translate these names into the greek alphabet.






It is:




radeshnee on July 19, 2013:

Please can someone help translate these names into the greek alphabet.





Giorgos on June 05, 2013:

Some of those tattoos are missing letters or misspelled...

lennie on April 17, 2013:

Hi i need 'Acts, not words', is it "Πράξεις, όχι λόγια' mail me

kym on February 18, 2013:

λουλούδι μου

this is my flower in greek

Maia on January 06, 2013:

Hello. i'm thinking about getting a tattoo in greek letters

i would like to know how to write "I feel alive" in greek.

Brandy on December 30, 2012:

My mother just passed. I would like to put her name then "may her memory be eternal" can someone help me with that in greek please.

Νίκος on December 16, 2012:

Dear. Naomi 123


pipis on October 22, 2012:


Ζήσε την κάθε στιγμή-γέλα κάθε μέρα-αγάπα πέρα από λέξεις

naomi123 on October 03, 2012:

hi there im 50% greek and im wondering if anyone can help me how the fraze. live everymoment- laugh everyday- love beyond words. in if possibly modern greek and ancient so i can compare the style. im doing a design for my bedroom and want to paint that in my art work. thanks so much

Evaggelia on September 25, 2012:

stay strong, live life : μείνε δυνατός, ζήσε τη ζωή

About fonts to write your name Amaryllis (what a wonderful name by the way) you should try the "Mystral" font, it's in Microsoft Word Office too. I just love it to write anything in Greek... it's like the whole word is written with one line. At least that's something I like and it's quite difficult to find such a font avaliable for Greek.

Amaryllis on September 19, 2012:

I'm looking for Greek fonts to design my tattoo, especially "elegant" ones. Can somebody help me with this? Thanks!

Jo on September 02, 2012:

Jo 1 second ago

Hello, I need the following to be translated in Greek can anyone please help? Thanks! My email is

"Stay Strong Live Life"

Jo on September 01, 2012:

Hello, I need the following to be translated in Greek can anyone please help? Thanks!

"Stay Strong Live Life"

Yess on July 24, 2012:

Can some one please help me translate this verse in Arabic please "love is patient love is kind it always protects and it always persevere "

Zoee Eliakidou on July 16, 2012:

Seize the day in Greek is: ?????? ?? ????. If you can find the Greek alphabet then the letters are: Alfa (the 1st letter of the Greek alphabet, the same as the latin A), Delta (4th, like a triangle), Ro(17th, is the same as the latin P), Alfa(1st), Xi(14th, 3 parallel lines), Epsilon(5th, the same as the latin E), Taf(19th, the same as the latin T), Ita(7th, the same as the latin H), Mi(12th, the same as the latin M), Epsilon (5th, the same as the latin E), Ro(17th, the same as the latin P), Alfa(1st, A). The Greek alphabet is easy for the english (france, italian, spanish, portugese, german) speaking people, because in fact, what you call "latin alphabet" in fact is the Greek alphabet of the 7th century B.C. I, who am a Greek, use a Greek alphabet of the 5th century B.C. I suggest you give it a try to learn Greek, you 'll find it easy, after all, the 30% of all the above mentioned languages is still in Greek. If you need any extra help don't hesitate to ask me. Greedings from Greece.

Hayley on July 11, 2012:

Can anyone translate

Seize the day in Greek capital letters?

Bill on July 05, 2012:

Love with passion - ??????? ?? ?????

Samantha Genesis Grace - ??????? ??????? ??????

twetybrd09 on June 20, 2012:

okay i would like a tattoo and i want it to say love with passion in greek but i cant find how to spell any of it in greek so how would it look ????? and how do you spell samantha genesis grace in greek??? plz help lol

argi hellas on June 03, 2012:

haha the last tattoo..??????????????...haha wrong...??????????????...if you want to have a tattoo in greek,just check it first..@michaelg love of glory is, ????? ??? ???? or a more powerful meaning, ???? ??? ????

Greek 4 ever on June 02, 2012:

Hi there to all i ahve posted this before a long time but i ll say it again i will be pleased to help you with any translations needed at cause this site does not displays greek charachters! feel free to contact!!

Greetings from Greece!!

michaelg on June 01, 2012:

Hey I need help!! Need to figure out how to spell ”love of glory” in Greek lettering

Dennis on May 28, 2012:

The phrase is: I rather die on my feet then live on my knees

ross Shannon on May 27, 2012:

what is strength and honor is greek ?

steven on May 24, 2012:

Hi guys

In june I'll have a new tattoo on my arm...

Kai gar hois allo meden, aute pareste

When all is gone, there is still hope

but i want it in this

? ?????? ?????? ??? ??? ????????? ---- is this the correct writing...i want to be sure...thx guys

chris sorvi on May 20, 2012:

Hi to all of you if you have any questions about spelling words in greek send me email in and i'll be happy to respond

Chris on May 18, 2012:

carpe diem = ?????? ??? ????

Matt on May 17, 2012:

What would be the Greek equvillant to Carpe Diem?

H. Carl on May 09, 2012:

I just happened upon this site and noticed the many and egregious mistakes of spelling, accentuation, and misuse of Greek words. For example, "??????" is not even a Greek word (the artist thought it meant "beautiful"). Even if it was, an acute accent never falls on an initial vowel; rather, there should be a smooth or rough breathing mark (?,?). The Greek word "?????" is used in Classical literature with the meaning "beauty of form," but only with reference to plants. The made-up word "??????" is not attested in any Greek literature. Learn how to research languages before permanently marking your bodies, people.

KS on May 05, 2012:



KS on May 05, 2012:

Toni - family in greek (lower case) is "??????????"

antreas on May 03, 2012:

if you want to ask something for greek letters or words add me on fb and ask :)

Tom on April 27, 2012:

Hi guy, can anyone translate "Do or Die" into Greek font please, will be much appreciated?

Toni on April 26, 2012:

I was just wondering if someone could translate family into the lower case letters

cp on April 18, 2012:

hey guys,im greek :)

if you want to have a tattoo written in greek you sould REALLY find someone to translate the word or phrase you want to get correctly. most of the tatoos above are written wrong. don't trust just anybody when you're gettin a tattoo cause theres no turning back option :\

the "dangerous thoughts" sould be "??????????? ???????"

the "Everything is more beautiful because we are doomed" "?? ????? ????? ?????????? ????? ??????? ??????????????"

also the word "?????????" it's just a greek female name.

the right word is "????????".

zoe on April 17, 2012:

I have researched that my name means life and translated is ???

if i were to have it tattooed like this............




would it say the same thing?


stelios on April 12, 2012:

hey amy. the most names you write does not translate in greek.

no 5 in greek is ????? eveybody needs help or tranlsation can contact me at

Jamie on April 08, 2012:

Hello anyone who can help translate... I want to be 100% sure this is the correct translation before I permanently ink myself.

The phrase is "Choices are the hinges of destiny."

I believe it is translated as:

???????? ????? ?? ?????????? ??? ??????????

and this is pronounces Ep-lo-yes ee-nay ee men-des-edes too pep-ro-meno.

is this correct?


STARDUST on April 08, 2012:




4 ????

5 ?????

amy on April 06, 2012:

Hello all, I know that some of the postings are really old but I was wondering if anyone can help me. I am trying to get confirmation that these translations are correct. I am Greek but do not know the language well. Just want to double check. Thanks, Amy

Claire - ????

Jack - ????

Benjamin - ????????

Sarah - ????

Thomas - ?????

fotini on April 01, 2012:

Make sure that your translation is correct and don't trust translating'd better ask from a native speaker to translate a word or phrase to saddens me that people have tattoos wich are completely nonsense!It's as if i wrote ''grate hopes'' instead of ''great hopes''..wouldn't it be ridiculous?

fotini on April 01, 2012:

kat:''live with joy and purpose ''=''???? ?? ???? ??? ?????''

susan:"Damien,?? ????? ??? ?????"

Mauricioserna on March 30, 2012:

This is mine:

Mk on March 29, 2012:

Can someone please translate "Bear patiently, my heart, for you have suffered heavier things"

karka24 on March 28, 2012:

How do you spell : It's all greek to capital letters in Greek ???

DZ on March 12, 2012:

How about "Strength from life"?

Susan on March 01, 2012:

How does "Damien , my little miracle " look like in Greek ??? Please help. Thanks ~

Kat on February 25, 2012:

How do I write "live with joy and purpose" in greek?

Άγγελος on February 22, 2012:

@Megan Always Love = ??? ????? ?????

@zoe grandpa = ???????

for more help feel free to email me

Greetings from Athens,GR.

zoe on February 16, 2012:

how is grandpa in greek letting please.

Megan on February 12, 2012:

Yes! I would still love a translation please! for the words "always love". thank you!

evi on February 12, 2012:

sorry guys new mail, I used my old one on the above comment :

evi on February 12, 2012:

hi, do u all need still translation? if yes I can do the translations for u!just let me know which of u still want it or u can e mail me and ask me in scottish I am native greek speaker,and I work as a translator. so feel free... kai vasili einai polu malakia to tattoo kai h metafraseis pou exoun kanei!

Megan on February 12, 2012:

Hello! I want to get the words "always love" tattooed on me in Greek. Can someone please help me?! I'd like to see it in it's greek translation and how it's said in english if at all possible.

Thank you so much!

vasilhs on February 08, 2012:

katadikagmenoi???ti malakia einai ayth re kanate or8ografiko???0xa0x0a0xa0xax0x0a :P

Marcie on February 07, 2012:

Can someone tell me how to write "The beautiful things are difficult to attain" in greek. Thanks


persa on February 04, 2012:


"embrace your fears" in Greek would be:

"????????? ???? ?????? ???".


"My family" in Greek would be:

"? ?????????? ???".

?LSO, CAUTION: The last tattoo pictured is wrongly translated in English, wrongly spelled and wrongly stressed.

"EVERYBODY is more beautiful for we are doomed", is the proper translation.

"? ??????? ????? ??? ?????? ????? ??????? ??????????????" AND NOT: "??????????????".

Slappy work...

Danny on January 30, 2012:

My family in Greek please

hades on January 30, 2012:

can some one translate "embrace your fears"

Katerina on January 29, 2012:

I'm greek and i can help, so here's my mail Kate_rina93@hotmail, contact me and i can translate you word, senteces and names from english to greek

Linda on January 29, 2012:

Thought: If you DO use Greek lettering for your tattoo remember that if you do not use capitals you HAVE to make sure the accents are placed where they are supposed to be; in Greek the right placing of the accents is very important.You want your tattoo to be correct and not just cool looking..;-)

stav on January 25, 2012:

hmmmm, that didn't come out right!

stav on January 25, 2012:

Could someone pls translate the below text into english and also does it make sense. thankyou

????? ??? ????? ?? ?? ?????, ???’ ? ?????? ????? ??? ?????? ??? ?????, ??? ? ????? ??????? ????, ? ?? ?????????? ?? ??????????? ?? ?? ?????.

lol on January 21, 2012:

hahaha some of the pictures are so wrong... hahahaha

efi on January 21, 2012:

george: ?'????? ??????, OR ?'????? ??????, OR capitals: ?'????? ??????

michael c lynch on January 16, 2012:

Ciao, Piacere di conoscerti in giorno, Come stai e il tempo nella tua zona? Spero che 'tutto va bene e vestito spero che leggerete più avanti in una buona condizione della mente, io sono il signor Michael so che si può essere una sorpresa come mi sono posta oggi stavo dando un'occhiata Ricerca di un amici nuovo cliente e mi raccolto interesse in voi, se avete il tempo di sapere cosa sto offrendo valutata in soggetti racchiude e vedere cosa succede in futuro sarò molto felici se potete Scrivimi direttamente alla mia casella di posta elettronica a ( per permettere

anch'io ti invio i miei dati a lavorare il vostro business scegliere soggetti e dirvi di più su me stesso.

Devo aspettare la vostra risposta.

Vostro nel reguards ....

Sig. Michael

ecco la mia mail ( per favore io come voi a contattarmi direttamente al mio indirizzo e-mail, non nel sito si prega se si vuole veramente essere interessato a darmi la possibilità di fare affari Provera me, sarò in attesa di tua mail

che così io ti manderò i miei dati valutato soggetti grazie e Dio vi benedica

il tuo amico

Michael! E-mail:-working4you @,

PSA Sto cercando di costruire e creare posti di lavoro della nuova economia con molte persone con exzamples racchiude altri più salvati così come i vostri sudditi valore disegno vendite dei visitatori e promuovere la tua attività mi puoi aiutare con qualsiasi cosa in una sorta di soldi in banconote come alcuni ricavato sarà devoluto per aiutare le organizzazioni di carità!

beckiee: Βεcκιεε on January 12, 2012:


As above is spelt : ?? ???v?

so below: ?? ?????

As within: ?? ??????

So without: ?? ???????

GEORGE on January 12, 2012:


Daniella on January 10, 2012:

I'm thinking of getting a Tattoo on my wrist for my Papou who passed away 2 years ago of cancer. I just want to be sure I spell everything right, so can someone please tell me how to write "I love you, Papou" in proper Greek?

Thank you

paul on January 09, 2012:

How you remind me

Translated to Greek ...please

and the name Noelle also

Stephanie on January 04, 2012:

I was wondering if it would be possible for someone to translate, "As above, so below. As within, so without." To greek for me please.

Thanos Alexioy from Kavála, Greece on January 04, 2012: thats my facebook account for any1 who would like a translation i am 100% greek so... add me if you need me

Nikos on January 01, 2012:

Joanne you need the transaltion in modern or ancient Greeks?

joanne on January 01, 2012:

does anyone know the greek translation to the saying;

wonder is the beginning of wisdom

dave on December 11, 2011:

i got tattooed on my hands, many words are poverty

Marianna on December 08, 2011:

Hi guys! I have some translations for you..

@Anita: "love to live and live to love" = "????? ?? ???? ??? ???? ??? ?? ??????"

@Armin: "Be As You Wish To Seem " = "?? ????? ????? ??? ????????? ?? ????????" This translation is in modern greek,sorry i couldn't find the ancient one..!

@Tyler: your name spelled in greek is: ??????

Hope i helped! :)

vycka on December 01, 2011:

is it 21 in greek ? ?????? ???

tyler on November 30, 2011:

how do you spell tyler in greek?

Armin on November 30, 2011:

Hello, can anyone help me with finding the ancient greek translation of the famous Socrates quote:

"Be As You Wish To Seem "

I need it to be precise and accurate. Please e-mail me at:

or post on here, thank you for your time.


Megan on November 28, 2011:

Can somebody please translate "stand for something or you'll fall for anything"... Please and thanks :)

Anita on November 27, 2011:

Please translate "love to live and live to love

Liam on November 24, 2011:

So this -- “ ???????? ?? ???????? ?????? ???? ?? ???????? ??? ?? ???? " Means "If you have to crawl to live, stand and die" ? Check my spelling please thanks !