GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-06 > 1119971583
From: adam bradford <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] etymology of barbarian
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 11:13:03 -0400
The word "barbaros" is actually not grounded in any root, but is
onomatapaeic, with "bar bar bar" supposed to represent the
unintelligible sound foreigners made. It's almost as if we were to
call foreigners "Blahblahs". In Homer the word appears in its true
colors as "barbarophonos" - essentially, sounding like gibberish.
On 6/28/05, Mary Jo Neyer <> wrote:
> I am citing the Greek-English Lexicon by Liddell and Scott. Again, I
> apologize for the use of Roman letters, but I think the use of Greek
> letters would confuse people. On page 306 "barbaros" is defined as "
> not speaking Greek." The Greeks referred to themselves as Hellenes.
> Those who did not speak one of the dialects of their language were
> Remeber, much of Latin was derived from Greek. Almost any terminology
> used in Latin and Greek has, most of the time, originated in the Greek.
> "BARBA" in Latin does mean "beard". But the adjectival form is
> "barbatus" not "barbarus".
> Mary Jo
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