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Gratuitous Greek

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"I am the Alpha and the Omega."

Want to make something sound scientific and from the future? Just put Greek into it!

It worked for: Alpha Centauri, Gamma Radiation, proton ("first"), electron ("amber", since static electricity was first discovered in properties of amber), lepton ("small"), meson ("middle"), baryon ("heavy"), hadron ("thick"), atom ("indivisible"), photon ("light"), synthesis ("combination"), photosynthesis ("combination from light"), technology ("craft studies"), biology ("life studies"), psychology ("soul/mind studies"), cryostasis ("frozen standing still"), metamorphosis ("transformation"), Cybernetics ("piloting"), hexagons...

Common Greek letters to be used are Αα Alpha, Ββ Beta, Γγ Gamma, Δδ Delta, Εε Epsilon, Ζζ Zeta and Ωω Omega. Other Greek letters like Ππ Pi or Χχ Chi will rarely get used because it would confuse viewers, while letters like Ηη Eta or Κκ Kappa would rarely get used for risk of the viewer not understanding the connection and think maybe they're referring to the mountain? Or the other mountain? Or perhaps the Composer? Or even a river imp that likes cucumbers?

More rarely, actual Greek quotations may appear. Names drawn from Classical Mythology are rather more common, as are biblical/philosophical words such as "logos", "theos" and "agape", as well as Gnostic terms like "sophia" and "archon" in more postmodern series. Note, however, that it almost never matches its Latin counterpart in prominence. This is due to the fact that, while an average speaker of English might recognize quite a number of Greek words,note  chances are they would be unable to decipher the meaning of an actual sentence, something quite common when dealing with Latin, even with no prior background in that language. Greek might be part of the Indo-European language family, much like Latin, but it happens to be classified in a rather isolated subgroup. Let's just say, had it not been for Ancient Greece's powerful influence on European history, modern Greek would appear just as strange as, say, Albanian (which also forms part of the Indo-European language group).

This is a very old trope; some Roman authors had a habit of inserting Greek quotations into their works, and Latin acquired influences from Greek. At the time, Greece was seen as the source of culture, philosophy, science and learning in general, hence why science, mathematics, philosophynote  and such matters of academia have an addiction to do this, reinforcing the impression that if Smart People Know Latin, then really smart people know Greek (reinforced by the fact that most students of the two languages seem to agree that Greek puts Latin to shame in the difficulty department) and how everything in Greek sounds like futuristic Techno Babble. Also, the Greek language was pretty much the lingua franca for the eastern half of the Empire. This endured until the Renaissance. A part of why Rome is confused with Greece.

Part of why, in Science Fiction, if something is really high-tech or related to electronics/computing, people just put the suffix "-tron" on it (as with Tron Lines). Also see Gratuitous Latin, Xtreme Kool Letterz and The Backwards Я. Often part of a Mad Lib Thriller Title.

This is a subtrope of Gratuitous Foreign Language and really should be used with extreme care.


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    Ιαπωνικά Κινούμενα Σχέδια (Anime) 
  • The title of Neon Genesis Evangelion, literally meaning "New Beginning Gospel".
  • Gundam loves this trope. Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam had the Zeta Project, intended to produce next-generation Humongous Mecha; in addition to the eponymous Zeta Gundam, the Project also produced the Rick Dias (it was going to be the Gamma Gundam until Char Aznable protested) and Hyaku-Shiki (originally conceived as the Delta Gundam, which lead to the Delta Plus), and later stories introduce the Double Zeta and Superior Gundams, codenamed Theta and Iota respectively. Examples unrelated to the Zeta Project include the Nu Gundam and Alpha Azieru as well as the Xi Gundam.
    • The arcade game Gundam Try-Age goes even further with this trope with the Digamma Azieru, a variant of the Alpha that's named for an archaic letter that isn't part of the classical Greek alphabet (but is the root of the English letter F).
  • The most powerful spells - including one literally named "Kosmike Katastrophe" (Κοσμική Καταστροφή) - in Negima! Magister Negi Magi all have incantations in High Ancient, the series' term for Ancient Greek. The Omake features entire pages listing out incantations written in Greek and explaining the terminology (and occasionally, the physics behind the magic). Not for nothing does Ken Akamatsu take frequent research breaks.
  • Lambdadelta from Umineko: When They Cry. While her name in the VN is usually written as "Lambdadelta", she herself writes "ΛΔ". The firing sequence of the Siestas in the VN also counts, it's Japanese transliterated into the Greek alphabet.
  • Planetes's name is actually written in Greek (Πλανήτες).
  • Last Exile uses the Greek alphabet for in-universe text— but it's actually just English text transliterated into Greek.
  • The main Black Box technology in Full Metal Panic! is called a Lambda Driver.
  • It's common in anime fan-art to enhance magic circles and Instant Runes by adding strings of greek letters apparently produced by rolling your face on the keyboard, or direct - often incorrect - transcriptions of English words into Greek characters.
  • In the finale of Code Geass, Lelouch names one of his plans "Apate Aletheia." Apate was the Greek personification of deceit, while aletheia is a philosophical term that, at its simplest, means "truth." The Other Wiki has a lot more detail.
  • Overlord (2012): Each of the Pleiades battle maids has a name made of a Japanese or vaguely English name and a Greek letter (Yuri Alpha, Lupusregina Beta, Narberal Gamma...). Entoma gets two: her full name is Entoma Vassilika Zeta (Greek for Insect Queen).
  • Black Clover: All of Julius Novachrono's named Time Magic spells use Greek words. "Chrono" for time, "Stasis" for standing, "Grigora" for fast, and "Anastasis" for resurrection.

    Βιντεοπαιχνίδια (Video Games) 
  • The E-series robots from the Sonic The Hedgehog series (well, numbers 100 to 123 anyway), the most famous being E-102 Gamma and E-123 Omega. E-100 Alpha is called ZERO in the games, but is known as Alpha by Word of God. E-121 is named Phi, even though 121 should be Chi and 120 should be Phi.
  • In Bomberman Tournament for the Game Boy Advance, all of the towns are named after Greek letters.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Omega RYNO-4-Ever
  • The various incarnations of Omega Weapon in the Final Fantasy series.
    • Final Fantasy VII likes random smatterings of Greek text spelling English words. Like the shot bar in Junon, or signs for the Golden Saucer, and the letters displayed in the elevator in the reactors.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has the skills Omega and Alpha. Omega, the Signature Move of Llednar, is an extremely powerful ability that can generally kill in one hit. Alpha, described as the "Fatherspell of Omega and Ultima," is a move used by the Final Boss that has a similar effect to Omega, but also strikes all adjacent tiles to the one that it targets.
    • Final Fantasy XIV also goes even deeper than the rest of the series as of Shadowbringers and Endwalker. With the reveal of the Ancients, whose society and language are modeled after Classical Mythology, absolutely gratuitous amounts of Ancient Greek has been seeping into characters, locations, terms and even attack names. The terms used are not only lifted from mythology but from obscure Greek philosophy as well, with words like entelechy, dynamis and telos being thrown around willy-nilly.
      • It gets even crazier with the Sage class, which was fittingly released with Endwalker. Every single one of its skill names is in Ancient Greek. As an example, every class in the Healer role (which Sage falls into) has its own name for its revive spell. For the White Mage, this is Raise, for the Scholar, it's called Resurrection and the Astrologian's is called Ascend. Sage? EgeiroMeaning .
      • Omega or more specifically, the Omicron race that created it in this continuity also engages in its own form of Gratuitous Greek involving the Greek alphabet. While Alpha has appeared all the way back in Stormblood as a character in the Dimensional Rift raid series, Endwalker reveals that this was also the name of their homeworld of Alphatron. Eta, Lambda and Delta appear as infantry-level weapons of varying sizes and shapes, Stigma as the series of Master Computers that control their entire race, and Chi as a Tactical Superweapon Unit gone missing that has even more firepower than Omega.
  • Kingdom Hearts series has an interesting use of this. The series centers on a certain kind of weapon called "Keyblade", which is simply the English words key + blade, i.e. a blade shaped and has a function like a key. However, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep reveals that the swords are merely recreations of the one and only "χ-Blade", which is pronounced the same as the former but with the Greek letter χ-"khi" replacing "key". Indeed, one of the protagonists, Ventus, actually lampshades this when he doesn't realize that what the villain says about "kee-blaed" isn't quite what he thinks it is. Seeing that the Greek language has a significantly longer history than English, it's probably meant to symbolize that it's very old and very, very powerful compared to ordinary keyblades.
  • In EarthBound (1994), the PSI levels are measured through Greek Symbols, not numbers. The levels usually go Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Omega, but occasionally you'll see Sigma mixed in there as well.
  • Grow Series: The mobile versions of Grow Cube and Grow RPG have Japan-exclusive extensions called Grow Cube Omega and Grow RPG Sigma.
  • Half-Life, being a series that centers on a team of theoretical physicists fighting an alien invasion of Earth, is full with lots of references to modern physics, which is using the Greek alphabet as symbols for new discovered and defined units and constants in Real Life.
    • Most famous is the lambda λ (the lambda) as the official symbol of the series, which also is the logo of a research project that plays a central role in the first game. Since they made the now iconic orange suits made famous by the main character, the lambda is on his chest, and as such later became the symbol of the human resistance started by his former coworkers. It also is the symbol for the decay constant, which is an important part in the calculation of the Half-Life of radioactive elements.
    • In the first game there is also the Tau Cannon, which apparently fires subatomic particles known as the Tau, which are related to electrons and named after another greek letter.
  • Sigma, Big Bad of the Mega Man X series.
    • Ax-Crazy psychopath Omega from Mega Man Zero.
    • Omega-Xis, the main character's alien partner from Mega Man Star Force.
    • The third through fifth installments of Mega Man Battle Network used Greek letters to refer to the different boss tiers. The weakest version was not marked with a Greek letter, though.
    • Gamma (the final boss) from Mega Man 3.
    • The remastered soundtracks for Mega Man Zero, barring the first, have Greek names that correspond to a theme of their game. The second game's soundtrack is Idea, note  the third Telos, note  the fourth Physis, note  and the fifth Mythos. note 
  • Pokémon:
    • Arceus from Diamond and Pearl is known as the "Alpha Pokémon". More than that, "αρχαίος" (arceos/archeos) is a greek word meaning ancient, derived from "αρχή" (arche), which means "beginning/origin".
    • The third gen remakes Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire not only have the last and first Greek letters in their names, their mascots Groudon and Kyogre now have the Greek letters omega and alpha added to their Tron Lines respectively. There's even a post-game plot called the "Delta Episode", and Rayquayza's Mega Evolution also incorporates the letter Delta into its design.
  • The God of War franchise has a random Omega coupling the "of" in the logo.
    • Omega shows up everywhere in the game too; even the experience point meter is a big Omega (Filling up a large letter Z with red fluid wouldn't look nearly as cool). The games do take place in ancient Greece though.
  • Makai Kingdom has a Large Ham main character, Overlord Zetta [sic], the most badass overlord in the entire cosmos! He has a daughter named Petta, whose might be derived from "penta".
  • The Murakumo series of Robot Girls in BlazBlue are named Lambda-11, Mu-12 and Nu-13. The Stinger at the end of the fourth game also implies the existence of an Alpha-1.
  • The final chapter of Xenogears is named 'Alpha and Omega.' The game also directly quotes the Bible verse at the top of the page in its intro.
  • The Trauma Center series loves this: Under the Knife's GUILT are named after the Greek names for the seven days of the week, New Blood's Stigma are named after the Greek names of various parts of the body, and Under the Knife 2's Neo-GUILT are named after four - you guessed it - Greek-derived philosophical concepts.
  • Tunnel B 1 names it's levels and objectives after Greek gods. You'll come across levels called Aristaeus, Eurydice, Persephone, Cerberus, Oceanus, Styx, Athena, Artemis, Charon, Aphrodite, Demeter, Tartarus, Hestia, and the like.
  • Omega, alias for Naoki Maeda used in the song "MAX 300", the That One Boss song of DDRMAX: DanceDanceRevolution 6th Mix
  • Backyard Skateboarding: Welcome to the Ultimate Skatepark SKATE STATION ALPHA!
  • G-Darius uses Greek letters for all its zone names; previous games used the Roman alphabet.
  • Mass Effect series has a station called Omega a warring, violent place, and last place before the Omega 4 relay; that no ship ever comes back from.
    • The Asari, being Greeks IN SPACE, are strongly associated with Greek place names. They live, for instance, in the Athena nebula (and are matriarchal). Illium, also, is deliberately close to the Latinate form of Ilion, Troy.
  • One of the playable ships in Gradius Gaiden is called Falchion β.
  • Subject Delta, the Alpha Series and half the locations in BioShock and its sequel.
  • In the Soul Series, while several characters are actually Greek, several of those characters' primary weapons are named for Greek letters. In chronological order: Sophitia's Ω Sword, Aeon Calcos/Lizardman's χ Sword, Cassandra's ϝ Sword, and Patroklos's ς Sword. In addition, in Soul Calibur V, Patroklos and Pyrrha's alternate fighting styles after mastering Soul Calibur and Soul Edge are referred to as α Patroklos and Pyrrha Ω.
  • In the original Starcraft, the different colors of Terran units and buildings represented different "Squadrons" of the Confederate Military, which were named after Greek letters: Alpha Squadron, for instance, was the "first-in, first-out" Blood Knights led by General Duke. Additionally, the "Protoss," the "firstborn" of the Xel'naga, just happen to have a name that means "first" in Greek.
  • The denominations of the further stages in Metroid evolution are Alpha, Gamma, Zeta and Omega, in that order.
  • All of Aika's specials in Skies of Arcadia are named with a Greek letter: Alpha Storm, Delta Shield, etc.
  • In System Shock, most of Citadel Station's levels are divided into four quadrants- Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta.
  • Oddly, McNinja Chipp Zanuff of Guilty Gear has four moves that are this: Alpha Blade, Beta Blade, Gamma Blade, and Delta End.
  • The Flaming Sword in Beyond Oasis is called Omega.
  • The four Communicators in Bionic Commando are identified by the first four letters of the Greek alphabet.
  • The Cybernetic Consciousness, in the Alien Crossfire expansion of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, have base names that all use Greek letters (Alpha Prime, Beta Crossing, etc.), as well as personal names; the leader is known as Aki Zeta-5.
  • The mutated corpses from Dead Space are called necromorphs. Even though "dead shaped" doesn't make any sense.
  • Lambdadelta from Umineko: When They Cry. While her name in the VN is usually written as "Lambdadelta", she herself writes "ΛΔ". The firing sequence of the Siestas in the VN also counts, it's Japanese transliterated into the Greek alphabet.
  • Maplestory features Greek in an unusual way, trying to pass it off as an ancient language that is still used on occasion, mainly for town name signs. Some of the letters were slightly altered, however. Possibly justifiable that this fantasy culture planet would use any Earth languages, as there have been many in-universe crossovers between their planet and Earth throughout history.
    • Though whether they learned those languages from us, or we learned it from them, that's another matter.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series' lore, the Magna-Ge, aka "Star Orphans", are the et'Ada ("original spirits") who fled during the creation of Mundus (the mortal plane) with their "father", Magnus. One of these Magna-Ge is known as Leλ, spelled with the lambda.
  • In The House of the Dead, most bosses have a type number along with their tarot-themed code name, but the final bosses of the second and fourth games have Greek letters instead. The Emperor is Type Alpha, while The World is Type Beta.
  • Genshin Impact names its seven elements in Greek: Anemo, Cryo, Pyro, Hydro, Electro, Geo and Dendro.

    Επιτραπέζια Παιχνίδια (Tabletop Games) 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Alpha Legion use this in a way that's both slightly understated and exaggerated. Their name aside, their leaders are Alpharius and Omegon. Also, as part of their force's trademark of extreme secrecy and subterfuge, to all outsiders, each and every one of them identified themselves with "I am Alpharius," as Alpharius was the only member widely known to those outside the Legion since they needed at least one public face. During the Horus Heresy, they didn't name their ships rather than designate them with the names of Greek letters.
    • The Tau of Warhammer 40,000 are named for a Greek letter and use Greek letters in names of attack teams (well, in Dark Crusade: Sigma, Theta...)
  • An timeline for Task Force Games' game Starfire in Nexus magazine #6. The Terran Federation's Survey Command issues Omega Contingency orders to govern the use of starship weapons against hostile aliens.

    φανταστική φαντασία (Fanfiction) 
  • For some reason Claude occasionally slips into Greek in Fire Emblem: Three Houses: Fifth Path, despite Greece not existing and him being half-Almyran, which is a culture more akin to the Middle-East.
  • In New Hope University: Major In Murder, JP Laettner, the Ultimate Fraternity Brother, comes from the Chi Chi Chi fraternity. This becomes a major clue in implicating him for the second murder; his victim made a point of repeating the "Ex" syllable three times in the recording of her final moments, and while it sounded as though she was stuttering, she was actually saying "X-X-X," giving a clue to his fraternity name.

    Μουσική (Music) 
  • The name of the dark metal band Achrostichon sounds cool and profound, but the term actually means a poem where taking the first letter of each verse gives you the title of the poem.
  • Cat Stevens' "Rubylove" has a verse entirely in Greek.
  • They Might Be Giants recorded a (modern) Greek version of their song Number Three (sung entirely by John Linnell as opposed to both him and John Flansburgh), including changing the verse about buying a guitar to buying a bağlama. They cheerfully admit that native speakers of Greek have described their pronunciation as "crappy."
  • Deathspell Omega’s song title “Apokatastasis pantôn” (Ἀποκατάστᾰσις πάντων) is Greek for “Recreation of everything”. “Hétoïmasia” (Ἑτοιμασία) means “Preparation”. “Epiklesis” (Επίκλησης) means “Invocation”. A couple of EP/album titles are based on Greek terms: Kénôse is derived from Κένωσης (Kénosis), meaning “emptying”; and Paracletus is derived from Παράκλητος (Paraklitos), meaning “comforter” or “advocate”. Part of the lyrics to the first “Obombration” are in ancient Greek (the rest are Latin). And of course, the band’s name is itself an example. As is par for the course with this band, all of their uses of Greek have religious implications; detailed information can be found on their page.
  • Their fellow countrymen Blut aus Nord have also used this trope several times. In particular, half the song titles on Deus salutis meæ are in Greek (though two are written in the Latin alphabet; the album title, for its part, is an example of Gratuitous Latin), and that's not all. There's detailed information on the band's page.
  • Italian Goth/industrial metal band Helalyn Flowers' fifth and sixth albums are titled Nyctophilia("love of night") and Airesis(the root of "heresy"), respectively.

    Τηλεοπτικές Σειρές (Live-Action TV) 
  • Moonbase Alpha in Space: 1999
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • The Omega Directive (but the Prime Directive is interestingly NOT called the Alpha Directive)
      • This one is something of an exception. The name of the Omega Directive is related to its subject matter (Elimination of Omega particles), not its importance or ranking order.
      • Omega particles themselves are an example.
    • access codes contain those
    • Betazoids, perhaps
      • And Deltans
    • The quadrants of the galaxy: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta.
    • And Attack Pattern Alpha.
  • There's also Alpha-5 and Alpha-6, helpful robots from Power Rangers.
  • Omega, the legendary Time Lord from Doctor Who
    • Alpha Centauri, a character from The Curse of and The Monster of Peladon. (Technically, an unnamed ambassador from the star system of that name.)
    • One episode mentions that, in school, the Doctor was nicknamed Theta Sigma.
    • In The Evil of the Daleks, the first three Renegade Daleks with the Human Factor are named Alpha, Beta, and Omega.
    • The "Old High Gallifreyan" alphabet looks suspiciously like Greek.
  • The Alpha and Omega bomb from Beneath the Planet of the Apes
  • Dollhouse uses the military alphabet to name its characters, but no doubt Alpha was selected for a significant character's name because of its cool Greek-ness.
    • Plus, for symmetry with Alpha, Echo with all her personalities uploaded at once was called Omega.
  • The eponymous space station of Babylon 5 names most of its Starfury squadrons after Greek letters and orbits a planet named Epsilon III. Psi Corps uses the letter as its insignia and all members wear it on a badge. Earth also fields the Omega-class destroyer and many many ships named after mythological figures.
  • Kamen Rider Ghost has Takeru and Makoto's finishers be named Omega Drive for no apparent reason.
  • The "555" in Kamen Rider 555 is officially translated as "Φ's" ("Phi's" or "Faiz"), and the letter Phi is the motif of the lead character Kamen Rider Faiz. The series' theme song is titled "Justiφ's" (Justiphi's, Justifaiz, Justifies). The other Kamen Riders in the series are Kaixa (Χ Chi) and Delta (Δ). The series' Mooks called Riotroopers are even given the Omicron (Ο) as a symbolic Greek letter, despite it not thematically part of the name. All of the Greek letters are motifs for the characters' armors and arsenals. The masks/visors all resemble the letter (yes, the Riotroopers' visor consists solely of a giant featureless circle).
    • The Kamen Riders in the Non-Serial Movie Paradise Lost are Psyga (Ψ Psi) and Orga (Ω Omega).
    • Kamen Riders appearing in the show's action stage shows are Alpha, Beta, and Gamma.
  • The TV series GRSSK. Seems the logo designers forgot that Sigma doesn't make an "e" sound.
  • In Xena: Warrior Princess , in the episode "The Titans", Gabrielle supposedly chants in Greek. What she says is actually a mix of casual Greek salutations, like "Hello" and "Good morning" along with some weird stuff like the Spanish word for "night" ("noche") and the name of a Greek olive oil company. This was very puzzling for Greek people when it first aired as it did sound familiar, but unless one would access the Internet for the script, Gabrielle was just speaking utter crap with a horrible Greek accent. Her chant reads: "Thank you very much, so-so, hello good morning, hello good night, hello good night". The chant that turns the titans back to stone reads: "Hail! Hail! Hail! Hello hail! Good hail! Mupolita, Mupolita, Chania, Heraklion, Elais, motanis, hello, hello". It doesn't make much sense, especially the part with the random meaningless words (mupolita and motanis), the two Greek towns (Chania, Heraklion) and a Greek olive oil company (Elais).
  • Ultra Hawk 1 and its Alpha, Beta, and Gamma flying components from Ultraseven.
  • In Dead Rising: Endgame if you look closely at the cages as the gang walks by the cages you'll notice they're labeled with Greek Lettering. Presumably the good doctor's naming method was naming them after the Greek Alphabet.
  • There's a Key & Peele sketch about fraternity branding, here. What starts as Omega Pi Omega (properly ΩΠΩ) ends up being something… different. The mistake is that they use an uppercase letter omega Ω, but a lowercase letter pi π.
  • QI mentioned an 18th century British scientist write down quite a few of his observations in Greek, so that only a gentleman would be able to read it, because it involved penguins engaging in necrophilia.
  • Only Connect previously had its contestants choose questions by Greek letters (alpha through zeta). Apparently they got complaints that this was pretentious, so they responded by replacing the Greek letters with Egyptian hieroglyphs.
  • What We Do in the Shadows (2019): One episode has Nadja conducting a seance using a Greek incantation... and an unbelievably hammy delivery.

    Λογοτεχνία (Literature) 
  • Greek letters are often part of a Mad Lib Thriller Title, as lampshaded in the Discworld novel The Last Continent.
  • Edgar Allan Poe's How to Write a Blackwood Article, a parody of the (apparently poorly written) horror stories in the magazine Poe wrote for, has the narrator being told to include some random Greek in her story just because the letters look cool:
    "The very letters have an air of profundity about them. Only observe, madam, the astute look of that Epsilon. That Phi ought certainly to be a bishop! Was there ever a smarter fellow than that Omicron? Just twig that Tau!"
  • The different social classes in Brave New World are Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Epsilon.
  • Roman authors, particularly ones who had studied philosophy, frequently drop Greek quotations into their works, making the trope Older Than Feudalism, though not in its present form.
    • You also got the weird example of some authors, particularly later ones, favouring Greek grammar and syntax over more orthodox Latin despite not actually using Greek - as one author put it, "Writing in Greek with Latin words."
  • Thomas de Quincey liked to flaunt his education by following his Roman idols in also liberally dropping untranslated Greek into his prose (in his case, he was mainly writing English).
  • Anthony Trollope's The Chronicles of Barsetshire mentions famous physicians named Sir Lamda Mewnew and Sir Omicron Pie.
  • In the Village Tales novels, with all its Oxbridge sorts and clergymen passing through, even the Rector, a whip-smart working class lad from the Black Country who went through Keble Oxon on a bursary and a lot of prizes, doesn't blink at using "adiaphoron" – "things indifferent," a term of art in Anglican theology – in a casual sentence, and Sher Mirza the musicologist and composer is chivvied by the Duke of Taunton (Eton, Christ Church Oxon, and a Classicist as a matter of course) into composing fugues and variations upon the Seiklos skolion … which, the lyric having first been given in the original Greek, the Duke, the Rector, and his curate all translate in varying styles, starting with the Patented Ducal Snark version.
  • Averted in The Radiant Dawn. Greek (and Norse) is used multiple times because of the origin of the magic used in the book. However, due to Artistic License – Linguistics, the Greek and Norse used is modern Greek and modern Norwegian, which are as different from the ancient languages as modern English compared to the King James Bible.
  • Interestingly averted in The Mortal Instruments, despite the regular use of Gratuitous Latin and the fact that Shadowhunters are usually educated in both Classical languages. While it is mentioned that some texts, such as the Book of the White, are written in Greek, nobody seems to drop any Greek phrases to anybody that would not be expected to already know the language anyway, even though they often do so with Latin.
  • Comes somewhat unexpected in the nonfiction computer science book "AIQ": the foreword rants about the usual nonfiction cliche of every math formula halving the sales and every Greek letter decimating it, or whatnot. Cue Executive Meddling bluntly defied: "Whatever itnote  was, we said no δαμνεδ way."

    Κόμικς (Comics) 

    Διαδικτυακά Κόμικς (Webcomics) 
  • In Haru-Sari, Cortinon named all the elves he was studying after greek letters. The only one named was the young Chi-min (Omicron).
  • Gunnerkrigg Court has Gamma and Zimmy (Word of God says the latter is a diminutive of "Zeta").
  • Tales Of Gnosis College has this all over the place, from the inscriptions on the base of a campus statue to entire scandalous passages from Procopius read (in the original) in lectures.

    Διαδικτυακής Προέλευσης (Web Originals) 
  • All the artificial intelligences introduced six seasons into Red vs. Blue are named after letters of the Greek alphabet. They all come from a single intelligence, the Alpha, that had parts of it that controlled specific emotions grafted off and turned into intelligences of their own. The letter each AI is matched with is somewhat significant; take Omega, named after the last letter, who's made from the Alpha's hatred and as such, is very likely to end you.
  • Some lines in Greek Ninja.
  • Wikis such as All Species Wiki or Fictional Taxonomy Wiki have to make up a species name instead of taking a canon one (even those that are explicitly Binomium ridiculus), in following scientific norm, there's lots of Greek and Latin. For instance, Pikachu is Astrapomys ceraunopereius - "lightning mouse with thunder cheeks".

    Ταινίες (Film) 
  • In Up, the dogs are named Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Epsilon and so on. (One of the dogs who aren't identified by name is presumably Delta.) It's also possibly that Dug's name is actually a corruption of Omega.
  • Star Wars uses Greek letters to designate imperial fighter wings (generally speaking: Alpha and Beta for TIE fighters, Gamma and Eta for TIE Bombers, Tau and Mu for Assault Gunboats and Omicron for TIE interceptors).
    • The letters pop up in other, usually Imperial, contexts as well, such as the Lambda-class shuttle seen in Jedi. The Rebels more often use Latin letters, i.e. X-, Y-, A-, and B-Wings.
    • The Lambda shuttle actually resembles a lower-case Greek lambda when viewed nose first.
  • The Omega-13 from Galaxy Quest.
  • Alpha Beta base in Airplane II: The Sequel
  • Lenin in Soviet and Russian films is particularly fond of the Greek superlative particle άρχι- or archi- (think "archdeacon" and "arch-nemesis"). His speeches and conversations in these films are filled with words like arkhivazhno ("arch-important", of utmost importance) and arkhislozhno ("arch-difficult"). Truth in Television.
  • In True Lies, Harry Tasker works for the top-secret Omega Sector.
  • The eponymous creatures in the Alien franchise are often referred to by fans as "xenomorphs", after a line by a character in the second film. The world means "alien form" in Greek.

    Πραγματική ζωή (Real Life) 
  • Fraternities and sororities in general.
    • Pearls Before Swine parodies this with Zeeba Zeeba Eetas (which they say stands for Zeta Zeta Epsilon).
    • Monsters University combines Greek letters with monster-related words to name its fraternities and sororities, such as Roar Omega Roar, Python Nu Kappa, and Oozma Kappa.
    • Also the joke motto of Unseen University: “Eta Beta Pi” (Also seen in Revenge of the Nerds).
      • Family Matters had a joke that Waldo's cooking school had just one fraternity: "I Eta Pi." Which is a use of Gratuitous Roman Alphabet within Gratuitous Greek.
    • Delta Tau Chi fraternity ("Delta house") in Animal House.
    • MADtv (1995)'s Kappa Kappa Kappa sorority deserves special mention. The Unfortunate Implications are played for all they've got.
  • Mathematics, science and technology in general:
    • Fundamental constants. Pi (π= 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288...), Phi (φ, the golden ratio), etc. Which makes a whole lot of sense when you remember that those constants were first mentioned by... The Ancient Greeks.
    • The vast majority of list of medical roots, suffixes, prefixes and other terms are based on Ancient Greek. This is sensible as it was Hippocrates, an Ancient Greek, who divorced medicine from mere superstition (ending the belief that plagues were caused by Gods) and redefined it as a serious profession based on empirical observation.
    • In physics, the three "traditional" types of radiation are alpha (essentially a positive helium ion with a charge of +2 or -2 depending on how you write it), beta (a free electron) and gamma (electromagnetic radiation). With derivatives like delta rays, omicron particles, etc. Physical constants and variables are frequently represented with Greek letters.
    • Also, the subatomic particle zoo, the likes of which include the aforementioned electrons. The heavy leptons are the muon and tauon, with the corresponding mu-neutrino and tau-neutrino, and there are mesons named pi meson (or pion), eta meson, rho meson, upsilon meson, and one particle called the J/Psi because it couldn't be decided which of two groups deserved priority in naming.
    • The Bayer designation method of naming stars, e.g. Alpha Centauri.
    • Making unnamed planets called "Star Constellation Orbit": Gamma Hydra IV, Epsilon Canaris 3, Omicron Ceti 3, with some fuzzyness turning into Ceti Alpha 6, Beta Niobe, Psi 2000, etc.
    • In software development (and other technological fields, note that technology is from the Greek words τέχνη (téchnē, "craft"), and -λογία (logia, "word/lecture/study"), thus τεχνολογία is roughly "craft studies") the use of "alpha" and "beta" to designate in-progress prototypes. Alpha being generally a prototype that's still being tested within the company and beta being a test type that's been released into the field (either to select people or to the general public) but is not a final mass-production release.
    • Dinosaur names get this in a big way. The word dinosaur is itself derived from Greek meaning "terrible lizard". Tyrannosaurus is Greek for Tyrant Lizard (the Rex is Latin for King) and the list just goes on, and on.
    • Chemistry gets it too. A lot of the elements, even those weren't recognised until relatively modern times. Hydrogen is derived from the Greek for water making (hydro genesis), helium from Helios, a Titan of Greek myth, lithium from lithos, the greek for stone. It's not exclusively Greek, but its definitely well represented.
    • Any newbie med student who's ever had to spell terms like "sphenoid", "sphygmomanometer", or "ptosis" on a pop quiz has due cause to resent this trope.
    • Suffice it to say, this trope is absolutely ubiquitous in the mathematics and sciences. The Other Wiki has an extensive list of examples.
  • Romans were big fans of this; according to contemporary and later sources, Romans of the late Republic and early Imperial era tended to use quite a lot of Greek in their speech (which was seen as a sign of cultivation and intelligence, and no doubt they also thought it was downright cool). Caesar is said to have quoted a Greek play in Greek when crossing the Rubicon. Caesar also gave the world its most refined case of Beam Me Up, Scotty! ever after Shakespeare reported his dying words as the Latin "Et tu, Brute?" If Caesar said anything at all, it was the Greek καὶ σὺ τέκνον? (that reads "Kai su, teknon?"), which translates to "You too, my son?" in English and "Tu quoque, Brute, fili mi?" in Latin. Incidentally, one of Caeasar's assassins, Casca, himself called for his brother's help in Greek when Caesar seized his arm.
    • Caesar's only words confirmed by the contemporary sources were "Ista quidem vis est!", "This is violence!", when one of the senators grabbed his toga.
  • The Organization Of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts, aka OMEGA
  • Alpha is the callsign for the International Space Station.
  • A river delta (or anything that has a triangle, such as a Delta wing) is named after the Greek letter Delta because of the shape. On Gor survivors from a battle that took place in a delta, and a group inspired by them to commit acts of Civil Disobedience, were informally referred to as the "Delta Brigade."
  • The "X" in "X-mas" is really a "Chi". As in "Christ". Not so blasphemous after all!
    • The title Christ is itself derived from a Greek term meaning "anointed one", a translation from the original Hebrew word that is rendered in English as "messiah".
    • A great many English religious and theological words come from Greek by way of Latin. A common trajectory for a word was: Hebrew word (e.g. malach, "messenger"—used both for human messengers and God's heavenly servants) was translated into Greek (angelos, again meaning "messenger"). That word was then taken directly into Latin, but specifically for religious use (so Latin had its own word nuntius for a normal messenger, and used the Greek-derived angelus for God's heavenly servants). Other languages then took variants of "angel" to refer to the spiritual beings. You can trace similar origins for English words like "liturgy", "baptism", and even "priest" (from the Greek presbyteros, "elder").
    • Incidentally, the page quote would not have been gratuitous in the original text, as the New Testament was written in Greek. (On the other hand, the writings that comprise the NT were written mostly by Jews to an audience of Jews and Romans, so writing in Greek is in keeping with the scholarly sense of the trope.) Although keeping the "Alpha and Omega" in English translations does have a better ring than changing it to "A and Z".
    • One of the prayers in a Catholic church service is the Kyrie, named after the Greek Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison (Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy). It's normally recited or sung in the same language as the rest of the service, but Greek is used during Lent.
  • All three letters in the name of TEX, Donald Knuth's typesetting system, are Greek, although this is masked (or ignored) when writing the name using an "e" as the middle letter
  • The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has the letter Omega on its emblem, signifying finality.
  • The uTorrent client's name is actually written with a Greek letter (µTorrent); the name should actually be read out as either "mu-torrent" or "microtorrent."note  The latter of these is due to the less-fully-featured version being called "Bit-Torrent".
    • A similar case exists with the "µ-law" audio compression algorithm.
  • Alpha and Delta, but not other Greek letter names, are part of the NATO spelling alphabet. Hence, Delta Force and Attack Pattern Alpha.
  • In Dallas, Texas, there is a fairly major thoroughfare called Alpha Road. In a commercial zone in the northwest corner of the city, there are side streets that play off of the name: Beta Road, Gamma Road, Sigma Road and Omega Drive.
    • There also exists 3 counties named Delta in the United States. Two of which are named after the Greek letter Delta. One in Texas (northeast of Dallas) and the other in Michigan (near the border with Wisconsin, northeast of Green Bay). Both were named for their triangular (or in the case of the Michigan county, formerly-triangular) geographic shape.
  • Wolves' pack rankings used to be referred to as "alpha" for the leaders, "beta" for another high-ranking wolf, and "omega" for lowest-ranking. It was determined that this was misleading (the researchers got much of their data from captive animals taken from the wild and tossed into the lupine equivalent of Attica) and should no longer be used, because it implies that a wolf fought for dominance, whereas actual wolf packs usually are just parents and their offspring - like a human family. Not that this stops fictional works from still using the "incorrect" terms; for example, the film Alpha and Omega.
    • Which is the origin of terms of like "Alpha Male" and the tropes like Alpha Bitch.
  • After the naming convention of generations ran out of English letters with Generation Z, people born from 2011 to around 2030 are designated Generation α. We won't have to worry about running out again for a while, because with this convention, Generation ω won't come until near the turn of the 25th century.
  • A problem with older academic texts in Britain is that the "classical tradition" was so deeply engrained in British universities, after centuries of practice, that an implicit assumption was that a Gentleman would have had an Education that involved inculcation in Latin and Greek. Otherwise that Gentleman would not be at Oxford or Cambridge. Therefore even as late as The '80s, it was not uncommon to find older textbooks that would suddenly break off and make an academic point in Greek, or quote a Latin aphorism, with no translation provided. This also bedevilled the study of languages, as the asumption from several centuries previously was that Latin was the yardstick all other lesser languages were measured against. Therefore every language would be taught as if its grammar and structure was Latin - even when Latin grammar simply did not fit. note