The word malakas derives from the ancient Greek word "malthakos", which means "spoilt, well-used to luxuries of life".
In modern Greek, the word malakas is used metaphorically in everyday speech to define the individual that uses no common sense, who instead repeats the same mistakes many times over, while maintaining an attitude of self-righteousness.
Malakas can also be used in a variety of ways, in modern Greek, according to the circumstance and the way the word is stressed:
In a phrase such as "Poor malakas", it is used affectionately.
In a vulgar form it literally means "wanker".
Surprisingly though, its main everyday use is as a vocative form of displaying one's befriending: "Yassou re malaka!" (in the same way that Australians use the word "bastard" and the British use the word "mate").
For a change of pace, let's hear it from a Greek brother that e-mailed us with his comments:
As a native Greek i was very thrilled to visit and surf through your site. I just hope that the MALAKAS who hacked into your site will burn eternally into hell. Please do keep up the good job.
I would only like to make a few suggestions. In your site, with the meaning of the word malakas you have missed probably THE most important meaning of the word. According to this meaning, if somebody is called like that could mean that his/hers brains have gone bad due to extremely often masturbation!!! So it is very often that, if somebody calls someone else like that, it is probably because the offender party is implying that the offended party is masturbating way to much and cannot think properly like everybody else. It also means that the offender implies that the offended does not enjoy much success in the opposite sex for whatever reason, and that is the reason for masturbating that often.
Another meaning -less famous though, particularly outside Greece- is that somebody is evil i.e: has a bad soul, and enjoys to hurt people mentally and physically. In this case if this person is a male is called as it is (malakas), but if it is a woman she is called malakismeni or malako (MALAKISMENH or MALAKO if you use upper case). To give you an idea about the meaning of malakismeni in English, you could tell that: "This woman is a bitch"
Finally, if somebody would like to call somebody else "malaka" but in the superlative degree that almost no-one can reach, and therefore he/she is standing on top of all other malakas'es, he will call him: "arximalaka" (for males), or "arximalako" or "arximalakismeni" for females. It doesn't make any difference in meaning, and have exactly the same meaning.
Right on bro! Keep reading and you'll be a "master of your domain" - I think this joke fell through as Seinfeld has never been shown on the Greek TV.
Anyway, the usage of malakas has escaped the Greek borders and is known by other nations and cultures, especially in countries where part of the population is of Greek heritage or origin (USA) or exists as an established minority (UK). So don't go out on the streets screaming malakas! thinking no-one knows what you are saying!
Lastly, in Philippino the word malakas means "strong".
In the Philippino tradition, Malakas is also the equivalent of Adam in the Jewish / Christian religions, it's the name of the first man God created.
Here's a nice Philippino Power T-shirt for you. I found this item listed on eBay but because it's a used item I did not bid for it. Yuck!