I recently requested a word from Greek which means, "knowing when to break the rules". The question I asked generated a lot of fine responses, but unfortunately it could not remind me of the original word that I had heard from my friend.

Even more recently, I asked my friend which word he had used, and he replied with epikaria or epicharia. However, we are both having a hard time finding this word in any dictionary. It does, interestingly enough, show up on Google searches.

Does Greek have the word epikaria or epicharia?

  • 2
    Could have it been epikeia, by any chance? (See also this definition.)
    – Rafael
    Mar 31, 2017 at 16:16
  • @Rafael Thanks, Rafael! I'll look over that one closely.
    – ktm5124
    Mar 31, 2017 at 19:08
  • 2
    @Rafael Επιείκεια was actually already suggested in the original question. As I wrote there as well, I eventually think that this is indeed the term.
    – Helen
    Apr 2, 2017 at 18:48
  • 1
    @Helen I'm pretty close to accepting that answer in my original question. Thanks a lot for your helpful feedback.
    – ktm5124
    Apr 2, 2017 at 19:07
  • 1
    Sorry, it seems my brain keeps undigging possible candidates... Επιορκία - oathbreaking.
    – Helen
    Apr 3, 2017 at 17:03

3 Answers 3


Could the word have been ἐπίκαιρα (epícaera)?

This is the neuter plural of the adjective ἐπίκαιρος (epícaerus, second declension two-termination). It could also potentially be an adverbial form, though I'd expect ἐπίκαιρον instead for that.

This adjective means either "at just the right time", "for only a certain time", or in medicine, "very serious". It comes from the noun καιρός meaning "the right time", suggested in a (now sadly deleted) answer to the other question.

This is the closest word I can think of which pertains to timing.


Short answer: No :) I'm a native Greek speaker with some knowledge of ancient Greek and neither epicharia nor epikaria rings a bell, while Google doesn't return anything that can lead to associations. (Epicharia seems to be the name of a saint, but its form can easily be recognized as, precisely, a constructed name.)

  • What is your opinion of the other proposed answer: "ἐπίκαιρα"?
    – brianpck
    Mar 31, 2017 at 13:46
  • @brianpck I think there is a point there, but couldn't think/find a word with the OP meaning.
    – Helen
    Apr 1, 2017 at 4:13
  • @brianpck For the record, I think that επιείκεια is most probably the word (wrote so at the original question as well).
    – Helen
    Apr 2, 2017 at 18:49
  • I was surprised to see many down votes, so I edit this to keep only the strict answer to OP's question.
    – Helen
    Apr 4, 2017 at 18:25

Another similar-sounding word with similar meaning: ἐπιορκία (pr. epiorkia). Oathbreaking, false swearing.

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