If you are a fan of the movie, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” (and really, who isn’t?) then you are thinking of the common exclamatory expression in Greece and other Mediterranean countries.
But no Dear Reader. Today I am talking about OPA, Our Poetry Archive. OPA is an international online journal. In addition to posts on their website, https://opainternational.wordpress.com/, they publish an annual themed anthology.
This year the theme was Midnight. If you know me, you know I’m a night owl. Actually, a doctor once told me that I probably have circadian rhythm disorder. Sounds fancy. Might be true. Of course I do have to be awake and available during the day to interact with the world, but I am basically permanently on the wrong side of the clock. But I digress. This theme was made for me. I even wrote a poem titled “Midnight” years ago. To my delight, they published all three of the poems I submitted.
The full anthology is published here. https://opaanthologymidnightmoments.blogspot.com/. Yes, I shamelessly stole their banner image. To find mine, you can click my name in the list. Poets are in alpha order by first name. I’ll make it easy for you. Here’s the direct link to my poems. Note: If I had known that the picture they asked me to submit would have been so big on the page… Oy! https://opaanthologymidnightmoments.blogspot.com/search/label/JeanMarie%20Olivieri. At the bottom of each poet’s page is the full list of poets so you can easily browse the pages without the back button.
By the way, I knew opa was Greek but wanted to know more. In tonight’s linguist landslide of multiple websites (for verification and cross checking) I learned…
Opa is a common Mediterranean emotional expression. It is frequently used during celebrations such as weddings or traditional dancing. The word is flexible and has taken on many new meanings. It can also be used to express enthusiasm, shock or surprise. The actual meaning of “opa!” is more like “Oops” or “Whoops!” It’s used as an expression of shock and surprise, or just a way of getting someone’s attention, similar to “Hey” in English. Opa also appears in Brazil and Portugal, Albania, and other Slavic nations. Even modern Arabic speakers have borrowed it as an exclamation. They may pronounce it as “obah” because there is no letter ‘p’ in Arabic.
Who knew that one word could mean so much? Um… Duh…
How can one word do double duty
for hello and goodbye and
and anything in between?
Perhaps it’s because the word
makes us feel the warmth of connection.
Perhaps it’s the same reason why LOVE
is the biggest word in the universe.