people of Epirus. But a modern theory (put forth by Ger. classical historian Georg Busolt, 1850-1920), derives it from Graikhos "inhabitant of Graia" (lit. "gray"), a town on the coast of Boeotia, which was the name given by the Romans to all Greeks, originally to the Gk. colonists from Graia who helped found Cumae (9c. B.C.E.), the important city in southern Italy where the Latins first encountered Greeks. It was reborrowed in this general sense by the Greeks. Meaning "unintelligible speech, gibberish" is from 1600. Meaning "Greek letter fraternity member" is student slang, 1900.
"It was subtle of God to learn Greek when he wished to become an author -- and not to learn it better." [Nietzsche, "Beyond Good and Evil," 1886]
The Turkish name for the country is Yunanistan, lit. "Land of the Ionians," hence Arabic, Hindi Yunan. Greek gift is from "Æneid," II.49: "timeo Danaos et dona ferentes." The Gmc. languages originally borrowed the word with an initial -k- sound (cf. O.H.G. Chrech, Goth. Kreks), which was probably their initial sound closest to the Latin -g- at the time; the word was later refashioned.