Opa (Greek expression)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"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, such as Serbians and Croatians (to express shock or surprise), by Israelis and by Arabs in the Eastern Mediterranean, who sometimes pronounce it (In Arabic, due to the absence of the letter 'p') as "obah", especially when picking up or playing with children, as well as Albanians for similar reasons. In Romanian and Russian culture it is used during the short phase of concentration on an 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 also used in enthusiastic atmospheres and surprising moments. The expression also appears in Brazilian Portuguese and in continental Portugal Portuguese.

The expression was popularized in American culture by the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding.[citation needed][dubious ]


  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.

External links[edit]