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The primordial Greek loan word used to label them was tribades which means "those who rub each other"; what are they more commonly called nowadays?




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Answer: lesbians

According to the Guardian magazine (Emily Wilson's essay Lady of Lesbos): " The Greek verb lesbiaze means "to fellate".

Until the end of the 19th century, the usual English terms for lesbian practices did not draw on classical literature. Women could be "lovers of their own sex" or, in the more frank Greek loan word, tribades (literally "rubbers"; the words rubster and fricatrice were also used in the 17th century).

The OED cites no usage of lesbianism in the modern sense before 1870, when it was used to argue that Swinburne's obsessive interest in Sapphic love was just as "loathsome" as sodomy.

The words matter. It was through Sappho that female homosexuality came to be understood as a distinct sexual orientation, and as a distinctly sexual set of practices. Sex between women was often not seen as sex, but as harmless touching and kissing. Sappho's poetry was a reminder that desire between women could be as intense as heterosexual desire."

http://books.guardian.co.uk/lrb/articles/0,6109,1137390,00.html

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Call me old fashioned, but isn't the phrase "lovers of women" [is] actually more descriptive and accurate than "rubbers"? I think you'll find there's more to lesbian love than just "rubbing"! Think about it, that's all I'm suggesting.
i.onions at & at &ntlworld.com
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