|About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us|
You are not logged in. [Log In] Wordsmith.org » Forums » General Topics » Q&A about words » barbarianism Register User Forum List Calendar Active Topics Search FAQ
#779 - 03/20/00 07:48 AM barbarianism
I once heard that the etymology of the word barbarian and related words is that it comes from
"bar bar" which is said to be the noise made by "barbarians" when they speak or something like that. Can someone confirm or deny this?
#780 - 03/20/00 12:41 PM Re: barbarianism
I was told the same thing by a professor in an english class at college, called "the history and grammar of the english language" my prof really knew his stuff, so i believe him.
#781 - 03/20/00 04:10 PM Re: barbarianism
Loc: Ohio USA
The OED seems to express that it was not so much who barbarians were, but who they were not. They were not Greek.
There is probably a tie-in that the northern coast of Africa was known as the Barbary States.
#782 - 03/22/00 01:49 PM Re: barbarianism
Loc: Chicago, IL
There is a step missing in this etymology, I think. In Latin "barbarian" only means "non-Roman" and was not originally pejorative.
The Greek/Latin word "barba" means "beard" (cf. English "barber"), and since Greek and Roman soldiers were required to be clean-shaven (until the Emperor Hadrian grew a beard), it seems likely this is the direct origin of the word "barbarian". Perhaps "barba" then came from the "bar bar" sound made by those that didn't speak Greek.
#783 - 04/02/00 08:26 PM Re: barbarianism
Loc: Sydney, Australia
My classics teacher supported the theory that the Greeks named other non-Greek tribes as barbarians because of the bar-bar sound of their speech. In Alexandrine times the saying of "all non-Greeks are barbarians" was used by all those who had classical education often as a put-down to the uneducated hoi polloi. However I do not think that the origin of barbarian had much to do with the beards of the non-Greek tribes as the Greeks themselves did grow beards, as one can see on the depictions of battles and heroes on the plethora of ancient Greek pottery and statues._________________________
Forum Stats 8816 Members
Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members Gya, MichaelD, Rudolph, Cowboy_Monkey, eptekar
8816 Registered Users
Who's Online 0 registered (), 14 Guests and 4 Spiders online. Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
wofahulicodoc 76 LukeJavan8 70 endymion6 52 A C Bowden 33 Cowboy_Monkey 21 May 4 Tromboniator 2 hogmaster 2 Jackie 1 eptekar 1
wwh 13858 Faldage 13803 Jackie 11613 tsuwm 10527 Buffalo Shrdlu 7210 LukeJavan8 7187 AnnaStrophic 6511 Wordwind 6296 wofahulicodoc 5560 of troy 5400
Board Rules · Mark all read Contact Us · Wordsmith.org · Top
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.
Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat
© 2014 Wordsmith