Zappeion Hall

By: | Post date: July 2, 2023 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

The Zappeion, Zappas Hall, Athens Exhibition Centre, is not named for Frank Zappa, but for national benefactors Evangelos and Konstantinos Zappas. (The cousins were from what is now Southern Albania, and their surname is Zhapa in Albanian; so the similarity with Frank is coincidental.)
The gardens of the Zappeion were a gay beat, which made the Zappeion a familiar topic for the speakers of Kaliarda, the Romani-based queer cant of Greece.
Kaliarda-speakers were both erudite and deeply cynical in their humour, and their name for buildings like the Zappeion is one of many gems they came up with.
To name such buildings, they had to come up with a name for people like the Zappas cousins: National benefactors. As far as they were concerned, though: τζαζ-μπερντέ-πουροι.
  • dzaz, Romani džas: “to leave, to drive out”
  • berde < Turkish slang belde, anagram of bedel “price”: “money”
  • pouros, Romani phuro: “old”
Old men throwing away their money.
Hence the Zappeion was a τζαζμπερντεπουρότσαρδο.
  • tsardi < backformation from Turkish çardak “villa”: “hut”, (also in mainstream slang) “house”
A house built by old men throwing away their money.
There is a respite of greenery, small as it is, in the National Gardens next to Parliament, that continues on to Zappeion Hall, and concludes on this light rail walkway to its south. The Acropolis towers over one end of it; the Panathenaic Stadium over the other. There’s a small cafe here that would make sense as a hangout.

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