Μπορίς Τζόνσον ἐστί πρωκτός

The title of this article is Ancient Greek. Μπορίς Τζόνσον ἐστί πρωκτός means “Boris Johnson is an arsehole.” It is pronounced, approximately, Boris Johnson esti proktos. And now you know why it is that a doctor who dons a rubber glove, lubricates their finger and sticks it up your backside is called a proctologist. It’s because proktos is the Ancient Greek word for arsehole. Don’t ever say that this blog isn’t educational. You may be wondering why it is relevant that Boris Johnson is an arsehole in Ancient Greek. Or more accurately you may be wondering why this is especially relevant today, as knowing that Boris Johnson is an arsehole is relevant every single day that the boorish one imposes his carefully tousled self upon the public consciousness.

The reason we are discussing the arseholishness of Boris Johnson in Ancient Greek today is because on the Twittersphere as an early Christmas present, a wee video of Boris Johnson is trending in which he mangles the opening stanzas to Homer’s the Iliad in Ancient Greek. Although he claims to be speaking the words in the orginal as might have been uttered by Homer himself, his accent bears as much relationship to anything that might be recognised by an actual Greek as the stripped twig that a chimpanzee uses to scratch its proktos does to the Antikythera mechanism. In fact, just by intoning the phrase Boris Johnson esti proktos you are pronouncing Ancient Greek with considerably greater accuracy than our soi-disant Classical scholar of a Prime Minister is apparently able to.

The video was posted to social media by a Tory fanboy, who triumphantly flourished “Your move, Labour” as he was apparently secure in the knowledge that the object of his boriscrush was in an intellectual league of his own. And this would be true. It’s just that the league we are talking about is the one that teams of uncoordinated five year olds get relegated to. See, the thing about posing as a scholar of Ancient Greek is that it’s a very easy thing to do when your audience knows bugger all about Ancient Greek. Then you can wow them with your apparent erudition and they’ll all think that you’re a genius because you can quote things at them in a language that they don’t understand. They just have to take your word for it that what it is you are quoting is in fact what you say it is. That’s what makes it a cheap party trick, and not an actual exercise in erudition.  All the more so when you are taking at face value the word of a known liar.

The problem with posting such things to social media is that then they can be scrutinised by those who do actually know considerably more about the subject than Boris Johnson claims to. His discourse in Ancient Greek was heard by some real Classical scholars who pointed out a number of interesting things about it. The first was that Boris Johnson’s Greek pronunciation is dire and bears little relationship to the sounds that a real Ancient Greek would have used.

Ancient Greek was pronounced differently from the modern Greek language, as you might expect of a language that has been attested for several thousand years the sounds of the language have evolved. However it’s a fairly safe bet that the Ancient Greek letter y was pronounced like German ü whereas in modern Greek it’s pronounced like English ee, while the letter ph was probably pronounced like a p followed by an h, and not like an f as it is in modern Greek. Boris Johnson doesn’t bother with any of these niceties. He just speaks Greek as though it were English, complete with that very peculiar pronunciation he has of the vowel oo, which he utters as though it were ew. Johnson doesn’t do things, they’re things he’s going to dew. And now I’ve heard that I can’t stop hearing it. I’ve added it to the long and ever lengthening list of “Things about Boris Johnson that really dew get my goat.”

This comes as no surprise to anyone who has heard Boris Johnson, who is hailed by his fans as being fluent in French, speaking in French. His accent is atrocious. It’s shockingly bad. My Spanish is fluent, but my own French is limited. I can read a newspaper, engage in a basic conversation. I don’t claim to be fluent. However I do know that my French pronunciation is considerably better than Boris Johnson’s, who comes out with a toe-curling accent that the cast of ‘Allo ‘Allo would be embarrassed by.

Boris Johnson’s party trick is to quote random pieces of Ancient Greek text, when I lived in Spain my party trick was to speak Spanish with an exaggerated English accent, much to the hilarity of my Spanish friends. And I was still pronouncing it better than Boris Johnson speaks French or Ancient Greek.

However a more serious error in Boris Johnson’s party trick was pointed out by a Classical scholar on social media, who noted that although Johnson was claiming to recite the opening passage of Homer’s the Iliad, he had in fact omitted line 8, lines 17-18, and then he ended the piece with some random piece of text from an entirely different work. It’s as though you tell people that you are going to declaim Hamlet’s soliloquy, and after saying To be or not to be, you say is this a dagger I see before me.

But even if he was quoting it accurately, so what? It doesn’t require anything other than normal intelligence to remember a quote. As exercises in intellectual activity go, it’s on precisely the same level as remembering all the Scottish cup finalists and the scores since WW2 to date. There’s no more intellectual merit in remembering a passage that you studied in childhood than there is of remembering M. Marsaud est dans le jardin beep beep from your French class at school. It’s exactly the same as remembering the lyrics of David Bowie songs, or being able to recite a poem. All it proves is that you can remember something, and as we’ve seen in the case of Boris Johnson and the Iliad, he can’t remember it properly. But then he can’t remember his children’s names either. All we have learned from this episode is that Boris Johnson is as crap a classical scholar as he is at telling the truth in politics.

However there is a quote lifted directly from a venerable Ancient Greek text which sums up Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson perfectly. It comes from the play The Frogs by Aristophanes, verses 739-40
πῶς γὰρ οὐχὶ γεννάδας,
ὅστις γε πίνειν οἶδε καὶ βινεῖν μόνον
It translates as “Of course he’s a gentleman, fucking and drinking are all he knows.”

And with that, I am definitely taking a few days off for the holidays. Καλὰ Χριστούγεννα! That’s Ancient Greek for Merry Christmas!

You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.
Donate Button

If you have trouble using the button, or you prefer not to use Paypal, you can donate or purchase a t-shirt or map by making a payment directly into my bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information.

Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.

newbook My new book has just been published by Vagabond Voices. Containing the best articles from The National from 2016 to date. Weighing in at over 350 pages, this is the biggest and best anthology of Wee Gingerisms yet. This collection of pieces covers the increasingly demented Brexit years, and the continuing presence and strength of Scotland’s independence movement.

You can order the book directly from the publisher. Ordering directly means that postage is free. You can order here –

You can also order a book directly from me. The book costs £11.95 and P&P is an additional £3.50, making a total of £15.45. To order just make a Paypal payment to weegingerbook@yahoo.com, or alternatively use the DONATE button below. Please make sure to give me your postal address when ordering. Orders to be sent outwith the UK will incur extra postage costs, please email me for details. If you can’t use Paypal, or prefer an alternative payment method, please email weegingerbook@yahoo.com

61 comments on “Μπορίς Τζόνσον ἐστί πρωκτός

  1. JSM says:

    Reblogged this on Ramblings of a 50+ Female and commented:
    Merry Christmas!

  2. […] Wee Ginger Dug Μπορίς Τζόνσον ἐστί πρωκτός The title of this article is Ancient Greek. Μπορίς Τζόνσον ἐστί […]

  3. panda paws says:

    as seen in a video on twitter – why is everyone worrying about Boris Johnson as PM? I’m sure he’ll look after us like we were his own children…

    Merry Christmas everyone.

  4. Bob Lamont says:

    Bravo Sir, priceless 👍 Enjoy your break, Craciun Fericit to you and yours from the east on the Continent, enjoy and savour a well earned break with those you love.

  5. Mark Russell says:

    You always raise a smile, Paul. A rare gift these days. All the very best best..

  6. Alba woman says:

    I think you are very happy WGD and your writings reflect your state of mind…..your sense of humour is at its peak…..thanks so much for your most enjoyable and informative reflections.
    Have a great holiday….best regards to Peter

  7. Molly McC says:

    Paul, to you and Peter and the WGD, the best of everything this Christmas and all through 2020.

    To each and every visitor to the blog, your family and friends…special “Cheers” to Jack and Sam.

    Nollaig Chridheil.

    Hugs from Snowy Canada.

  8. Jeez, Paul, don’t do that to folk!
    You transported me back over half a century with that headline.
    I recall my dad, fresh from the shipyard, still in his red lead stained overalls, popping his head ’round the bedroom door while I was memorising Greek vocabulary.

    He glanced at the text book, saw what was to him a jumble of indecipherable scribbles, smiled, and joked:-‘Need any help?

    His face beamed with pride that his son, and sons, were getting the education that he never had.
    There is a lump in my throat when I recall the sacrifices that my parents made for us.

    This dear man built the Queen Mary, the Queen Elizabeth, and the QE II. He had a couple of pals helping him with the heavy lifting.

    This, from Casca in ‘Julius Caesar’ :-

    “Nay, and I tell you that, Ill ne’er look you i’ the
    face again:
    but those that understood him smiled at
    one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own
    part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more
    news too:

    Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs
    off Caesar’s images, are put to silence. Fare you
    well. There was more foolery yet, if I could
    remember it.”

    Perhaps we’ll all be transported to the penal colonies for tearing down Boris ‘scarfs’ from his ubiquitous image.
    Christos, we have at least five years of ‘foolery yet’ from this terrible human being.

    Peter, hide Paul’s lap top!
    Have a Happy Peaceful Restful Holy Christmas, both of you.

    • Molly McC says:

      Jack, my father in law also worked on the Queen Mary. When we took him to see it and do the tour, in Long Beach, decades ago, he took great pride in pointing out “this and that”.
      Impressed the hell out of the Americans also doing the tour!

      Thanks for the memory.
      Awra Best

    • Bob Lamont says:


  9. Marconatrix says:

    Far be it for me to support BJ … but IIRC until a few decades ago, if not still, it was ‘traditional’ in public schools to pronounce Latin and Greek more or less “as English”, since they were dead languages so who cares? It does matter if you’re interested in historical linguistics or trying to figure out how the poetry of a particular language worked, but not really to the average ‘classical’ classics student, less still an arrogant anglocentric upperclass schoolboy.

  10. Andy in Germany says:

    I have to admit my German still has an English accent and I’ve lived here nearly 20 years…

    • My brother in law, Belfast born polyglot, speaks German French and Italian in a thick Andersonstown accent. A joy to hear and I have witnessed the delight of native speakers in these lands, especially when in a tavern imbibing.

      Marconatrix, I recall our English Lit. Master pronouncing Keats’ ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ ‘as English’, with the ‘sans’ like ‘sands’ without the ‘d’.

      Similarly we were taught Latin and Greek ‘as English’, with e.g., ‘phi’ pronounced ‘f’.

      However I’ll argue ’til the cows come home that they are far from ‘dead’ languages.

      This From ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ ;-

      ‘I saw pale kings and princes too,
      Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
      They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
      Thee hath in thrall!’

      ‘Pale warriors, death pale were they all.’
      The Labour Party crushed by Britannia?

      Must dash; that bird is not going to baste itself, you know.


    • Welsh Sion says:

      Relax, Andy.

      English speakers think I’m Eastern European.
      French speakers think I’m Flemish.
      Welsh speakers KNOW I’m from North West Wales.

      Happy Festive Season!

    • Don McKillop says:

      My German still has a Scottish Aussie accent after near on 53 years married to the best woman in the world, and yes she is a German Aussie from Lubeck. Go back to Glasgow and Lubeck every 18 months or so. Roll on the 28th of April 2020. May I add a very merry Christmas to all who read the WGD, not forgetting Paul and Peter. Finally you have Boris whom is a member of the trio I like to call the new three stooges; Boris, Trump and our very own Morrison.

  11. Belter Paul. And you and Peter have one too. Huge thanks, as always.

  12. David Agnew says:

    Ο Μπόρις Τζόνσον είναι κόπανος. Ένας τρελός από τον Λαράρ που είναι υπεύθυνος για την Κακιστοκρατία. Είθε να ζει σε ενδιαφέρουσες εποχές και να είναι ο τελευταίος ΠΡΩΘΥΠΟΥΡΓΌς του Ηνωμένου Βασιλείου. Μάιος 2020 είναι η χρονιά που τελικά συνειδητοποιεί τον εαυτό του ότι είναι ένας κόπανος.

    Καλά Χριστούγεννα εξαιρετικός φίλος μου

  13. Contrary says:

    ‘If it were done when ’tis done, then t’were well it were done quickly’ – Lady Macbeth advising a quick independence referendum would be prudent. She got her husband into the top job after all, so good advice. (Despite later problems)

    ‘Out out damn spot…’ – Ahh, indelibly marked by the taint of unionism, Lady Macbeth curses their insidious taint and invokes the spirits to cast out the demons that plague her.

    ‘Hubble bubble toil and trouble’ – the boiling cesspit cauldron of Westminster stirs in its own evil mix of machinations to foment discord and lies across the isles.

    I was so shite at English at school, I had to read that play three years in a row, got there eventually, but had to commit some of the quotes to long term memory. I always say them in a ye olde Scottish dramatic voice with much gesticulating.

    All, Have a very good Christmas, winter solstice, Saturnalia, or whatever you may be celebrating!

  14. bringiton says:

    Once the plebs realise that Brexit means Brexit,BoJo will have to resort to addressing them in a foreign language in order to hide his catastrophic failures.
    All the best Paul to you and yours over the festive period.

  15. Ken2 says:

    Pompous made of clay. Never had a worthwhile job in their lives or cared about anybody but themselves. The deluded PM and the sycophants.

    They stole from the Greeks as well. Marbles.

  16. Petra says:

    Wishing Paul, Peter, the dug and all of you duggers a very Merry Christmas X

  17. Cubby says:

    A merry Christmas to WGD and all you Indy supporters.

  18. X_Sticks says:

    Merry Xmas to you and Peter. I hope you have a peaceful day.

  19. mumsyhugs says:

    Special Xmas mumsyhugs to everyone (and the dug!) and to our amazing public services who keep us safe and look after us when things go wrong. Xxx

  20. Michael Flynn says:

    Spoff on, Mosson!

  21. Wee Chid says:

    Thanks for the laugh. Needed it. Bloody hate christmas and new year. Spent this morning greetin fur ma Maw – she’s been deid 30 years next year.

  22. mumsyhugs says:

    I feel your pain XXX lost my own dad 2 days before Xmas 20 years ago and his funeral was the day before the new millennium when everyone was whooping it up. All I can say is they’re never truly gone while you remember them, and that a little bit of them lives on in you and your family. In my case, I know a wee bit of him is in me, my 3 children (who absolutely adored their granda,) and my 4 grandchildren. 🙂

    Take care my friend xxx

  23. Petra says:

    And as we have all lost so many of our loved ones over time Wee Chid X and mumsyhugs X and feel that pain, the pain that you feel, we soldier on in memory of THEM, our children and our grandchildren now. More than anything we hear and feel the pain of hundreds of thousands of people all over Scotland who are REALLY suffering right now and we say NO MORE. NO BL**DY more. WE have had enough. We will stand up for you who fought and have passed away.We’ll fight for our future now. Like you guys I can’t stand much more of this. Get together and feckin fight for our homeland. Our Nation.


  24. Bibbit says:

    My lang-deid, boxing-docker o’ a grandfaither used to muse to me, as he pleated ma hair, afore schule,

    ‘An ounce o’ bluff is worth a ton o’ knowledge’.

    The people who buy the Daily Mail and the Daily Express have elected the Government they deserve. Hell mend them.

    Time to say ‘Adios’ Scotland.

  25. aLurker says:

    O/T but interesting.
    “A map of the Orkneys with ancient and modern names by Peter Andreas Munch”

  26. Craig P says:

    A top tip I learned at university, in order to *appear* clever (the great thing about it is you don’t actually have to be clever) is to memorise half a dozen Shakespeare soliloquies on different subjects, and spout them off when the right moment comes.

    Your fellow impressionable teenagers will be hugely moved and your chances of getting laid increase by 200%. Young ladies love a young man who *appears* to be clever.

    I think Boris Johnson has spent his entire adult life copying an idea I came up with when I was 18.

    • weegingerdug says:

      The difference is that you grew out of it.

    • Craig, the mid Atlantic ‘locker room’ braggadocio inherent in the phrase ‘get laid’ recalled in this tired old mind Bette Davis observation about a young starlet,

      “She’s the original good time — who was had by all.”

      Perhaps those young folk ,the young innocents ,in your eyes, as you ‘To Be or Not To Be’ dazzled them with your intellect, were not a naive as you thought.

      They may have considered you the ‘good time who was had by all?’

      The Faculty bike?

      Just a thought.

      Nevertheless you sparked the following quote in me from Oliver Goldsmith’s epic ‘The Deserted Village’, inspired as Goldsmith witnessed a village and farms destroyed to make room for the local lord’s landscaped gardens.

      The Village Schoolmaster

      “While words of learned length and thund’ring sound
      Amazed the gazing rustics rang’d around;
      And still they gaz’d and still the wonder grew,
      That one small head could carry all he knew.
      But past is all his fame. The very spot
      Where many a time he triumph’d is forgot.
      Aid slighted truth with thy persuasive strain.’

      I doubt that our fellow students were ever ‘gazing rustics’, do you?

      Goldsmith closes his masterpiece exhorting ‘Poetry’ to:-

      “Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain;
      Teach him, that states of native strength possest,
      Tho’ very poor, may still be very blest;
      That trade’s proud empire hastes to swift decay,
      As ocean sweeps the labour’d mole away;
      While self-dependent power can time defy,
      As rocks resist the billows and the sky.”

      Scotland’s ‘self dependent power’ will defy the ‘swift decay of trade’s proud empire’.

      See what you started, Craig?

  27. Ken2 says:

    Johnston was brought up on EU public money. His privileged lifestyle from young was funded EU public money. His privileged education was entirely funded on (EU) public money. Born in NY brought up in Brussels funded by EU (public money). Taxpayers paid for his privileged education. He did not learn very much just how to cheat the system His father was an EU diplomat.

    Ditto Farague. Troughed on EU (public taxpayers) monies for years. Cheating the system.

    Colluded with system from which they had most to gain.

  28. Bob Lamont says:

    EU, private, or State money matters little to these parasites, even the fate of the UK financially is a game of monopoly to them, it will never be them but somebody else who pays, they are con-artists with a long pedigree….
    Eton has produced a line of them throughout history, automatically enrolled as members of an elite club who from cradle to grave are cosseted and protected, producing nothing for the common good, only benefiting themselves and “friends”… England’s voters may still be mesmerised but there are precious few Scots swallowing it any more. Brexit and the recent GE ably amplify the divergent paths we are on, when even Davidson has twigged that her brand of conservatism is dying, it is only a matter of time before she or someone else speaks out before the fiction self-destructs, even in England…
    Strange really to consider the heft this Conservative elite has exerted and continues to extend in influence far beyond it’s meagre membership even in most recent times, it’s recent increase in numbers memorably referred to as “entryism”.
    Make no mistake, it is not conservatism which is dead but it’s current variant at the hands of this particular Elite, and the brotherly Marc Fwanfois hedge fund pirates add the Bob Hoskins common ouch – In London
    The Scots may not rattle the masses in the UK, but we can sure as hell can rattle the foundations of these pillocks in Scotland. And despite the Herrod and Pacifier Quay’s best output, they’re only putting off the day they are gubbed…

  29. Statgeek says:

    I thank you for your concise and informative article on political Arsehollery.

    Merry Crimbo!!

  30. BLMac says:

    The declaimers of ancient odes are demonstrating a parrot’s level of intelligence.

    If they had written the ode, then I would be impressed…

  31. Contrary says:

    I found this link to a crowdfunder to fund litigation against the uk government should they refuse a section 30 order – they will only collect donations if it reaches target and if it is needed – and they have put a time limit on it, so only 19 days to go. I think it reaching its target would demonstrate how serious the Scottish people are about a referendum going ahead. More information on the site:


  32. Petra says:

    Thanks for the link Contrary. Nineteen days to go! Let’s get moving.

    ..”As the action would be initiated in the Court of Session, Scotland’s supreme courts, it requires both an instructing solicitor and an advocate.

    In this action, Elaine Motion of Balfour+Manson LLP has been chosen to act as instructing solicitor.

    Alongside Elaine, she will be instructing Mr Aidan O’neill to Act as Advocate.

    If these names seem familiar, it is because they should be.

    They have an acute recent experience of arguing matters with respect to the current constitutional situation, on top of their years of experience in law in general

    Elaine Motion was instructing solicitor in the revoking Article 50 case (Wightman), Prorogation of Parliament Case (Cherry) and the recent Benn act case (Dale Vince) when she instructed Aidan O’Neill QC in all three cases to act as an advocate.”..


  33. Petra says:

    From Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp:-

    …”However, the Good Friday agreement sets a precedent. It allows for Irish re-unification referenda once every seven years, if all the people of Ireland support one being held. Seven years is the precedent. This is possibly why Labour has realised it is unwise to say no to a second referendum and are pressing the case that an SNP majority in the Scottish Elections in 2021 (seven years after 2014) would trigger a section 30 order.”..


  34. Petra says:

    Some facts, from 400, to be found in ‘Scotland the Brief’.

    A reminder of what Scotland possesses. That’s Scotland with 8.4% of the UK population and 1% of the EU population.

    10% of Europe’s wave potential power.
    25% of the UK’s renewable energy generation.
    25% of Europe’s offshore wind and tidal power.
    32% of the UK’s landmass.
    34% of the UK’s natural wealth.
    40% of the UK’s offshore wind and tidal power.
    60% of the UK’s timber production.
    62% of the UK’s offshore maritime area.
    63% of the UK’s natural gas production.
    70% of the UK’s fish landings.
    90% of the UK’s total fresh water.
    90% of the UK’s hydropower.
    96% of the UK’s crude oil.

    We have £17.456 worth of exported goods per head, more than twice the rest of the UK’s exports of £8,648.

    We have an economy worth £32,800 per head (2018). £900 higher than the UK’s at £31,900.

    We have the most educated people in Europe – 47% of those aged 25 to 64 have university, college or vocational qualifications, which is 4% higher than the UK and 15% above the EU average.


  35. Ken2 says:

    The Scottish (SNP) Gov has the funds and the right to fund any necessary legal action. Through taxation as long as people in Scotland vote SNP.

    A prominent QC was totally opposed to Scottish Independence. In the belief a Referendum should not take place and was illegal. Until the EU Brexit vote when the lucrative EU funding for EU legal matters and business could decline. Belief and moral structure.

    Legal eagles. Vultures. Buyers beware.

  36. Ken2 says:

    Scotland 8.4% of the UK & NI Pop.

    England 55Million. Wales 3.5Million. NI 1.5Million Scotland 5.2Million (approx)

    Scotland 12% of England/Scotland pop.

  37. Ken2 says:


  38. welshsion says:

    Condolences to the family of Alasdair Gray and his ‘extended Scottish family’:


    “Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation,”

  39. Petra says:

    Condolences to the family and friends of Colin Weir. Sad too that he didn’t live to see his country become independent.

    ”Colin Weir – described by Scotland’s first minister as ‘true friend’ of SNP.”

    RIP Colin.


  40. Petra says:

    Here we go again!

    Mike Russell has an article in the National, entitled ‘The role we have to play to boost Scottish independence support’ with the contents being construed, in one quarter, as meaning that he’s relying on the WBB.

    ..”At the start of this new decade we need to put into the hands of every single member, adherent and supporter the material that will allow them to convince their family, friends, neighbours and workmates of the case for independence and the threadbare nature of the opposing arguments. Material like the paper you are reading (The National).


    And on they come, being duped as usual. Par for the course now. No mention of the SNP’s plan.

    Our plan (the SNP) is to distribute An Independent Scotland: Household Guide to every household – all 2,460,000 of them! To achieve that, I am asking you to join me in making a donation to this specific project.


Comments are closed.