In today’s Greek language “οκουληκι” means worm, and the plural form, worms, is “σκουλήκια”. In the Biblical Greek original text we read in Mark 9:44 the word “σκωληξ”. Google Translate does not have a translation for this word, but Strongs app translates it “worm”. Did the Strongs app get it right?

If the last letter “ξ” is removed Google Translate recognises it and translates it “worm”. What does that little Greek letter “ξ” do to the word. Does it make the word into plural, or is the word still singular after the add on? Or does it change the word into something slightly different?

  • See modern Greek versions on youversion Bible.com. On duckduckgo search you find wordsense and wiktionary results. Such ques are better answered on Quora than here.
    – Michael16
    Jun 8, 2022 at 11:14

1 Answer 1


Modern Greek is not ancient Greek. The word for "worm" in ancient Koine Greek is simply σκώληξ (nominative masculine singular). Modern Greek has simplified the language in many respects and this is one of them.

Note that Mark 9:44 and 46 are disputed as they only appear in the Byzantine text; NA28 and UBS5 omit these verse. This means that on the basis of the UBS5 text, σκώληξ is a hapex legomenon (occurs only once in the NT) in Mark 9:48.

  • 2
    V44 and 46 are identical scribal additional from 48.
    – Michael16
    Jun 8, 2022 at 11:15
  • What is the difference between “σκωληξ” and “σκωλη”, please? Jun 9, 2022 at 11:55
  • @Constantthin - σκωληξ is ancient Greek word and σκωλη is the modern Greek word.
    – Dottard
    Jun 9, 2022 at 21:37
  • “οκουληκι“ and “σκωλη” both mean “worm” according to Google Translate. How do you explain the different spelling? Jun 9, 2022 at 22:55
  • @Constantthin - that bis a question for someone who knows more about modern Greek. However, according my modern Greek dictionary, all three are allowable in modern Greek.
    – Dottard
    Jun 9, 2022 at 23:04

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