Greek phrase on t-shirt: help me help you
January 2, 2009 11:03 PM   Subscribe

Greek translation filter: I got a t-shirt from Delphi with a Greek phrase embroidered on it a few years ago and I have forgotten what the phrase means. It seems to say "EN OIDA OTI OYDEN OIDA," though the "O's" are diamond shaped on the shirt and the "D's" are rendered more like slightly askew triangles. Any guesses?

I would love it if the phrase was "KNOW THYSELF" but I have a feeling that this is not the case.
posted by Curry to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: no.. that translates to "One thing I know is that I know nothing." Know thyself is "Gnothi s'auton." [γνῶθι σ'αυτόν]
posted by phaedon at 11:14 PM on January 2, 2009

Furthermore, Socrates is credited with the "EN OIDA" quote, although I don't think the source is Plato, rather Diogenes Laertius (The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers), whereas "Know Thyself" is more commonly associated with the Delphi.
posted by phaedon at 11:22 PM on January 2, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks, phaedon. The quote on the shirt is attributed to EOKPATHE (the "O" is like an upside down horseshoe with a line under it). Is that Socrates?
posted by Curry at 11:24 PM on January 2, 2009

Yes, except the E's are actually S's. That's the greek letter Σ (sigma) which looks like a crooked E but is not. The "P" in Greek is an "R" in English and so on and so forth.
posted by phaedon at 11:28 PM on January 2, 2009

Response by poster: You're the shit, phaedon. Extremely learned for a fat 12-year old hispanic kid. "One thing I know is that I know nothing" is an awesome slogan, for a t-shirt and in general. I love the interwebs.
posted by Curry at 11:32 PM on January 2, 2009

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