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Is it an insult?

2 Answers

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Not really - I always thought it means 'tough guy'

by (2.4k points)
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It is not an insult.  It means “tough guy”.  Usually a guy from the working class/lower class, with special appearance, speech and behavior.

Depending on the context it may also mean successful or very competent:

Ο Γιάννης βγήκε πρώτος στο Μαραθώνιο.  Αν είσαι μάγκας, κάν' το κι εσύ.  =  Giannis ended first place in the Marathon run.  If you have the guts, go ahead and do it too.

"Μάγκας" is a slang word in Modern Greek.   It probably originates from the Turkish word "manga" (small army unit).

by (32.9k points)
How about "τζάμπα μάγκας"?  "Cheap tough guy"?  Does not make sense....
"Τζάμπα μάγκας" is someone who pretends to be brave, daring or bold, when he knows that he will not have to prove his claims.