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We're not cunning linguists: What's Greek for 'frivolous lawsuit'?

by Jeremy Hooper

Hey, lesbians: Did you know that every time you use "the l word" to describe your sexual orientation, you are offending the delicate sensibilities of an entire island populace?

200804301031At least that's what some residents of the Greek Island of Lesbos are claiming. Three residents from the birthplace of Sappho are fighting in court to have a local gay group, the Homosexual and Lesbian Community of Greece, to stop using the word "lesbian" in its title:

Island, gay group, battle over "lesbian" name [AP via CNN]

It remains to be seen if the plaintiffs will successfully finger 'lesbians' for their own personal usage. But if so, we hear the stone structures that are in place to keep the sea from flooding the island have some complaints about the hijacking of their own dyke-y name.

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Your thoughts

You are cunning enough! That was great.

Posted by: LOrion | Apr 30, 2008 11:18:46 AM

Yes! This is awesome. I LOVE it!

It's about time someone from Lesbos got annoyed.

"'My sister can't say she is a Lesbian,' said Dimitris Lambrou. 'Our geographical designation has been usurped by certain ladies who have no connection whatsoever with Lesbos,' he said."

I don't understand why gay people even like this stupid terminology. Heterosexual men aren't called "straight" while heterosexual women are named after Corfu, or Santorini, or some other island somewhere. Why should the situation for homosexuals be different?

Posted by: David | May 1, 2008 1:57:21 AM

There is a story that the term lesbian actually derived from the island of Lesbos - famed, once in the distant past, as the site of the world's leading manufacturers of high quality dildos.

I do not know of the story is true - probably not - but still, entertaining.

Posted by: Suricou Raven | May 1, 2008 6:17:01 AM

Just as my wife finally, reluctantly, started to use "lesbian" instead of "gay woman"!

This is so stupid, but at the same time, I can sort of imagine a straight woman from Lesbos getting *really* tired of jokes and snickering. Don't think they'll win. Don't think they'd consider the Edwardian-era "Sapphic" a good compromise, either, even if it does sound a bit prettier.

Wait until some American tells them about the controversies over sports team names we have here!

Posted by: GreenEyed Lilo | May 1, 2008 9:19:42 AM

"The term lesbian originated from the poet Sappho, who was a native of Lesbos. Sappho expressed her love of other women in poetry written during the 7th Century BC." - BBC report on the issue.

There, looks like the rumor was half-true. Lesbian did derive from the island, but not due to their thriving sex-toy export industry.


Posted by: | May 1, 2008 3:38:23 PM

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