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?
Etymology, Etymology, and more Etymology
as well as grammar, usage, euphemism, slang, jargon, semantics, linguistics, neologism, idiom, cant, and argot.
The critically-acclaimed board game
consists of tough questions about the nuances of the English language.
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.
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."
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
Copyright 1998-2009 Blair Arts Ltd. All rights reserved.