Ancient Greek: Different Names for the Same Thing (Part 1)

With many languages, you come across words with very similar meanings to one another. The more words relating to a concept there are, the more important the concept is to those speaking them.

These are examples of those kinds of words:


  • aglaia (ἀγλαΐα) splendor, beauty, adornment
  • kallos (κάλλος) beauty
  • kallone (καλλονή) beauty *(a rarer form of kallos)
  • autokallone (αὐτοκαλλονή) ideal beauty, absolute beauty
  • eumorphia (εὐμορφία) beauty of form, symmetry
  • euchareia (εὐχάρεια) grace, charm, beauty


  • kaka (κακά) evil things, bad things, shameful things
  • kake (κάκη) wickedness, evil, vice
  • ateria (ἀτηρία) mischief, evil
  • aisylos (αἴσυλος) unseemly, evil, godless
  • moktheria (μοχθηρία) wickedness, depravity, evil
  • poneria (πονηρία) vice, knavery, evil


  • hasis (ᾆσις) singing, a song
  • hasma (ᾆσμα) a song, lyric ode, hymn
  • aoide (ἀοιδή) song, the art of song, the theme of a song, a spell
  • elegos (ἔλεγος) a song, melody, lament
  • melisma (μέλισμα) a song, melody
  • mousa (μοῦσα) song, music, eloquence
  • hymnos (ὕμνος) a hymn, ode, song in praise
  • ode (ᾠδή) a song, ode, song of praise, spell
  • eumolpia (εὐμολπία) a sweet song
  • philymnos (φίλυμνος) a loving song


  • thanatos (θάνατος) death; or the god, Death
  • lipopnoe (λιποπνόη) death
  • moros (μόρος) fate, destiny; doom, death
  • potmos (πότμος) destiny, lot, death
  • diaphthora (διαφθορά) destruction, ruin, blight, death
  • kataphthora (καταφθορά) destruction, ruin, death
  • olethros (ὄλεθρος) destruction, death, plague