1. People & Relationships
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

What is the origin of the word lesbian?

By

Sappho of Lesbos

Sappho of Lesbos

Question: What is the origin of the word lesbian?
The word lesbian means a female homosexual or woman who is primarily attracted to other women. Where did this word come from?
Answer: 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.

  1. About.com
  2. People & Relationships
  3. Lesbian Life
  4. Herstory
  5. What Is the Origin of the Word Lesbian?

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.