Meaning of Romaika in English:

Romaika

noun

(also Romeca)
  • 1Apparently: a traditional Greek dance (not identified). Chiefly with the.

    Usually described as a circle dance; it is possible that the various circle dances described in different accounts were erroneously assumed to be the same dance.

  • 2The vernacular language of post-classical Greece; = "Romaic". Now chiefly historical.

Pronunciation

Romaika

/rə(ʊ)ˈmʌɪkə/ /rə(ʊ)ˈmeɪɪkə/

Origin

Early 17th century (in an earlier sense). As adjective from modern Greek ρωμαίικη (in ρωμαίικη γλώσσα Greek language), feminine of ρωμαίικος Greek. Although there is no documentary evidence in support, the use as noun probably reflects a misapprehension by early foreign travellers to Greece of modern Greek ρωμαίικα (adverb) ‘in Greek style, the Greek way’ (from ρωμαίικος + -α, suffix forming adverbs), in χορεύουν ρωμαίικα ‘they dance the Greek way’. The underlying scenario is that Western travellers may have asked their dragomans what dance was being performed in front of them, and that the latter might have replied ‘χορεύουν ρωμαίικα’, which was apprehended by the travellers as the name of the dance. No parallel or similar modern Greek noun denoting a traditional dance is found in Greek authors or used by present-day speakers of the language, which is unsurprising in view of the fact that modern Greek ρωμαίικος merely means ‘Greek’, and is therefore too unspecific to denote a particular dance. Moreover, if a specific Greek noun denoting the dance existed, one would expect it to be masculine, since it would reflect an underlying noun phrase whose head is χoρός dance; many modern Greek names of traditional dances reflect this pattern, e.g. modern Greek καλαματιανός, lit. ‘dance from Kalamata’, τσάμικος, lit. ‘dance from Chameria’ (modern Greek Τσαμουριά), etc.