02022-12-07 | Language | 2 comments

This morning I learned that the first two syllables in the word Barbarian, which derives from the Greek word Bárbaros, represents the sound a foreign language made to Greek ears. Barbar is somewhat similar to our blah blah. Persian, Egyptian, even the dialect of Greeks living at the edges of Greek influence–it all sounded barbaric to the Greeks. And to Athenians all other Greeks were probably barbarians.

So, one side claimed everyone else was a Barbarian, and the other side replied that it all sounded Greek to them.


  1. Elisabeth

    What you write reminds me of this… When I was studying the Tibetan buddhism I learned this sentence : « When I’m here, I go there and when I am there, there is here. » I hope the translation is good…

    I believe that we can be a stranger to ourselves. We have this stranger in us as the book of Albert Camus « L’Etranger ». If we get to know him, he learn a lot about ourselves… As in the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh.

  2. anne

    the brits have a great coat brand called – barbour.

    wonder if they did a spin on the word “Barbar” (ian)
    Great outdoor coat for country life. Tough, long lasting, practical


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