Where Does The Word Lesbian Derive From?

The word Lesbian is commonly used to describe a woman whose homosexual or attracted to the same-sex.  Many of us who use the word lesbian may be surprised to know that the word lesbian derives from. It comes from an Island in Greece called Lesbos. Lesbos Island is the third largest island in Greece. Furthermore, according to Greek mythology, the Island is named after the Patron God of the island, Lesbos. Little is to be known about this Patron God of Lesbos island due to centuries of Empire rulings.

Also, Lesbos Island is home to the affectionate bi-sexual poetess Sappho. Sappho was born in 630 B.C., and worshipped Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love in many of her writings, and poems. Sappho wrote about her sexual attraction to both men and women and having sexual relationships and rituals with other women. She loved and adored women as she wrote love poems, music, and religions songs about women she fantasized about.

Sappho and Lesbians

Because of Sappho’s sexual relationships with other women on Lesbos island, this is why gay women are called Lesbians. In the late 1800’s, women actresses that had sexual acts on films with other women were once called, Sapphist.  Ultimately, no one is completely accurate on the true origin of the word Lesbian.  Julius Rosebaum wrote The Plague of Lust in 1901, and it discusses oral sex association in on the Island of Lesbos. Toward the mid 19th century, the word Lesbian could be found in more popular literature and arts.

During the time of Sappho, her writings were not looked upon as good and consequently, only one surviving piece of Sapphos remains, The Ode of Aphrodite. Plenty of her writings and poems were destroyed or rewritten due to her mentioning being a lesbian.

Did You Know?

Gay women were once called Sapphic.

Sapphic means:
  1. Relating to lesbians or lesbianism.
  2. Relating to Sappho and her poetry and writings.



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