Opa! (Greek expression)

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"Opa" exclaimed by a waiter in a Greek restaurant in Chicago while lighting saganaki on fire

"Opa!" (Greek: Ώπα) is a common Greek emotional expression. It is frequently used during celebrations such as weddings or traditional dancing.[1] In Greek culture, the expression sometimes accompanies purposeful or accidental plate smashing.[2] It can also be used to express shock or surprise, especially when having just made a mistake. Opa is also used in Italy (similarly to mazel tov in Jewish culture), by some of the South slavic nations, like Serbians, (to express shock or surprise), by Israelis and by Arabs in the Eastern Mediterranean, who sometimes pronounce it as "obah", especially when picking up or playing with children. In Russian culture it is used during the short phase of concentration on a action, the expectation of successful process during the action and the subsequent completion of it, for example, when throwing a basketball into the basket, getting off the bike or picking up a child. It is used in Russia also in enthusiastic atmosphere and surprising moments. It's also an expression in Brazilian Portuguese!

The expression was popularized in American culture by the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding.


  1. ^ Pattakos, Alex (17 May 2015). "Everybody Say 'OPA!'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  2. ^ Regula, deTraci. "Opa!". about.com. Retrieved 19 April 2015.

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