I’m noting this down so I can revisit it when I have time to research this.
In Cypriot Greek, the verb μάχουμαι has at least the following meanings:
- to put effort into doing something
/'maxume na a'kuso 'tambu la'li/ (I’m trying to hear what he/she is saying - adapted from here).
- to annoy, to annoyingly demand
/'panda 'maxume su na 'ertis/ (I’m always asking you to come - from here.
“Stop bothering me” is
/'men mu 'maʃese/.
What about the following use though?
/'eteʎoses tin erɣasian su/? (Have you finished your essay yet?)
/'maxume/(I’m working on it)
That is clearly not the second meaning, the second meaning requires a recipient (usually a living thing, not exclusively though). It’s very similar to the first meaning, but it also feels a bit different: Meaning 1 takes a subjunctive verb as complement, and this use doesn’t. Also, Meaning 1 emphasises the effort required to complete that task. This use emphasises the ongoing aspect.
I could find one spontaneous metalinguistic comment online:
A: If you had a Cypriot/Greek version of this, it would be awesome!
/'maxume/, the so-called work in progress
This person glosses
/'maxume/ as “work in progress”.
Let me know what you think about this via email or in the public chatroom.