LOLing in Koine (Greek Word of the Week)

So, here’s the sitch. Ur txting ur BFF & they tell a funny joke, rt? OMG, ur ROFLing 4eva! And, of course, desirous to explicate the amount and volume of your gelotological response to said stimuli, you endeavor to articulate it with the greatest degree of concision and the maximal amount of verbal economy, thus seeking out the optimal acronymous designation for such behavior. Fortuna has cast her benevolent gaze upon you, my friend, for close at hand lies nothing less than that beloved favorite of the texting masses, the very paragon of wit-ensouled brevity, the palindromic trigram: LOL.

White Jesus Loves to LOL

So, how do you say that in Greek (πῶς ἑλληνιστὶ λέγεται;)? Well, I have two options for you. The first: ἀναγελῶν (from ἀναγελάω) emphasizes, we might suppose, the aloudness of the laughter. The second: ἐκγελῶν (from ἐκγελάω) might put the focus more on the ejaculatory nature of the laughter. Both are good Koine verbs. We could, I guess, combine the two for greatest effect, producing ἐξαναγελάω, but such a word is not attested in our literature. One might also choose the finite form of the verb, thus ἀναγελῶ (I am laughing out loud) or ἀνεγέλασα (I laughed out loud).

Now, to the question of abbreviation. Perhaps we could simply do it up nomina sacra style: ΑΓΩ or ΑΓΝ, but I find that solution rather inelegant. Instead, let’s add some words for effect: ἀναγελῶ φωνῇ μεγάλῃ (I am laughing loudly). Now we have our acronym: ΑΦΜ.

Thx 4 rdng! L8r!

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About Daniel R. Streett

Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Houston Baptist University
This entry was posted in Word of the Week and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to LOLing in Koine (Greek Word of the Week)

  1. Murray Hogg says:

    I wonder how a first century Greek speaking teenager might respond to the above. Perhaps something like:
    Ὠ μὰ θεέ. ἐγὼ μὲν πρᾶγμά πω γελοιότερον οὐκ ἤκουων οὐδεπώποτε. ἀληθῶς, ὁμοιος, ΑΦΜών.
    (O ma thee! egō men gragma pō geloioteron ouk ēkouwn oudepōpote! alēthōs, homoios, APHMōn!)
    Or, like, whatever! 🙂
    Thanks for a very enjoyable post,
    Murray Hogg,
    Melbourne, Aust.

  2. Murray Hogg says:

    PS: Thanks also to Aristophanes, The Birds, Line 801!

  3. Sommer Roller says:

    Yes! This is greatness.

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