Opa, Moonshine and Other Colloquial Delights

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Don’t you just love that person in your life who always seems to be “in the know” about various remote, trivial facts that most people have likely never even thought of, much less taken time to research?

My kids and I ran into a man we know at the grocery store the other day. We wound up spending a good 15 minutes or so, listening to him weave stories together that propelled us toward the rest of our day knowing quite a few more interesting facts than we’d known when our brief shopping spree began. I was amazed as he took us on a little tour through words covering everything from why Greeks shout, “Opa!” when they smash plates to why moonshine is called moonshine, and other word-origin delights. He also had my 10-year-old laughing up a storm, saying the whole cultural thrill is somehow lost if paper plates are used. (Wait. I wonder where the phrase, “laughing up a storm” comes from?)

There we stood, in the nut aisle, exclaiming, “Wow!” and, “I never knew that!” time and again. It’s really like some sort of superpower, being able to go from a casual wave in passing to providing 15 minutes of enriching, educational conversation in the middle of your local grocery store. Little did I realize when I walked through the sliding glass doors that day, I’d be leaving knowing more than I knew when I arrived.

People like our grocery-store-friend take hard knocks sometimes. They’re often described as “eclectic,” (as though that’s a derogatory term) “odd,” or a bit “out there.” Personally, I’d much rather spend two hours at a party listening to interesting trivia than someone droning on about how busy, tired or dissatisfied with life they are.

Think how fun it might be if every party guest came to a gathering prepared to share one interesting, little known fact. Wouldn’t this be better than gossip, dirty jokes or contentious political debates?

And, just so I don’t leave you hanging, in case you’re still wondering:

Opa: This little Greek expression is shrouded in mystery. Some say it means “oops” while others are convinced it’s an acronym that has something to do with family, friendship and joy. (I tried to Google Translate it and it comes up the same in Greek as in English.) There are also those who say “Opa” is a lifestyle (like Hygge) not just a word. The whole breaking-plates custom is said to be an ancient tradition where wealthy people wanted to prove their friendship with poor people; so, they invited them to dine with them and break their plates.

Moonshine: Think about it. A covert activity made under cover of darkness – or, the shine of the moon! Logical, right?

My impromptu rendezvous at the grocery store, and this post, make me want to launch a “Share Trivia Day” campaign. Who’s with me?


Writer Bio

Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.

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