A question on the meaning of ginwskw

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Mon Aug 7 08:19:51 EDT 2000

At 9:13 PM +0100 8/7/00, Peter Osborne. wrote:
>I have a question on the meaning of ginwskw.  Most of you will no doubt be
>aware that, although the lexicon meaning of this word is essentially "to
>know", it is used as a euphemism for sex relations.  I have heard it argued
>that this implies that ginwskw refers to a more intimate form of knowledge
>than the other Greek words for knowledge.  For example "to know by
>experience".  I would be interested to hear comment on this.

The fundamental original difference between the two verbs is that between
French CONNAITRE (recognize as familiar) and SAVOIR (know as a fact) or
between the analogous German verbs KENNEN and WISSEN. In fact, however,
there are numerous instances wherein the actual usage of GINWSKW and OIDA
overlaps and they can be said to be synonymous, so it's not all that easy
to pin down without oversimplification. It would be worth studying the
definitions and examples in an unabridged lexicon.


Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad at ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

More information about the B-Greek mailing list