Sunday 18 February 2007

Words of Interesting Origin: lesbian


definition: a female homosexual or woman who is primarily attracted to other women.

origin: The word lesbian comes from the Greek Island of Lesbos, where the poet Sappho lived in 600 B.C. Sappho was an intellectual and poet who wrote many love poems to other women. Although much of her poetry has been destroyed by religious fundamentalists, the few poems of Sappho that remain speak clearly to her love and infatuation with women.

It is unclear when the word "lesbian" was first used to describe women who love other women, but the first usage can be traced back to the 1800s. It came into popular use in the lesbian feminist era of the 1960s and 1970s.

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