• E-kalimera

What does the expression 'Κάνει την πάπια' mean?

Updated: Apr 19

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The expression 'κάνει την πάπια' (pronunciation káni tin pápja) is a very well-known and every day used Greek expression. It literally translates to 'he/she does (makes) the duck' which admittedly has no meaning in English. An accurate translation would be 'he/she is behaving like a duck'. But when is this expression used?

This expression is used when someone is pretending to be indifferent or have little to no knowledge about something going on although the contrary is true. The etymology of the expression is subject to debate which is not really the aim of this post. However, the expression in our opinion is a very likeable one, because who cannot easily imagine the seemingly innocent and naive look of a duck, although ducks are by nature a very vigilant and quite intelligent animal while their looks are deceiving?

So, have you ever behaved like a duck?