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Do you know what ‘περί ανέμων και υδάτων’ means?

Updated: Sep 27

We use the phrase ‘Περί ανέμων και υδάτων’ (On air and water) whenever we want to show that someone is talking about generalities, that is, meaningless things.


This phrase, as well as others, has its roots in ancient Greek. It is believed that it derives from the title of the written work of Hippocrates "On air, water and places" (Περὶ ἀέρων, ὑδάτων και τόπων). The work of Hippocrates was precise and specific, but later in modern Greek the phrase ended up meaning talking about unimportant things. It is believed that was due mainly to the fact that Ancient Greeks used to ask ironically: ‘are you persecuting the wind? = «άνεµον διώκεις;’ which meant ‘are you trying to catch the wind running behind it?’.

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