The Greek Kamaki

Aerial view of beach in summer with people. Zakynthos, Greek Islands, Greece

Matteo Colombo/Getty Images

Summer romances in Greece divide up on national lines. Young foreign women have no trouble finding a Greek "boyfriend" - while young foreign men may have much more of a challenge finding a willing Greek gal who wants to while away the summer with him, and most foreign youths end up with a summer romance with someone from their own country or another nation other than Greece. That's because there is no female equivalent of the Greek 'kamaki' - a slang term that means "spear" in Greek.

What is a kamaki? It's a young Greek who devotes his summers to conquering as many pretty foreign women as he can, returning to his gang of male friends to boast about his conquests.

Natural Habitat

This one is a no-brainer - of course, the beaches of both the mainland and the Greek islands. The one pre-requisite is a good flow of the "right" type of tourist - young women, especially those traveling alone or in a small enough group that the local kamakis can handle them - though the occasional older "cougar" may find herself in demand as well.

Kamaki The Movie

As a well-defined stereotype, of course, the "kamaki" has spawned a movie of the same name. But it uses the term in one of its alternative meanings - as a promoter or more general charmer. And the "kamaki" in the film are primarily foreign youths, not native Greeks. The filmmaker's definition of "kamaki" explains it: "A Kamaki is essentially an individual who possesses that rare gift, that certain charm, and charisma that allows them to convince someone to do something they don't want to do or are not sure of.

This could include buying something the Kamaki is selling, doing something the Kamaki's 'victim' isn't convinced is a good idea, or going to bed with the Kamaki."

Is the Kamaki an Endangered Species?

In an ever more politically correct world, along with a less conservative society in Greece, the answer is yes.

Decades of tourists have made even the most beautiful foreign female solo traveler a more common and thus less desirable prey. But there will always be some young Greek yearning for a foreign adventure without ever leaving home... and a foreign girl who left home for just that.