back to article Lesbians turn on lesbians in battle of Lesbos

Residents on the Greek island of Lesbos have declared that they alone have the right to call themselves lesbians, and yesterday launched a legal action against the Greek Gay and Lesbian Union (Olke) designed to wrest back control of the word from aficionados of Sapphic luuurv. Local activist Dimitris Lambrou states in his …


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  1. Charlie


    Not to be pedantic (cough) but surely it's Lesbian when referring to the islanders and lesbian when referring to gay women?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    "Lesbians turn on lesbians in battle of Lesbos"

    I've seen the film......

    Mines the dirty Mac....

  3. Chris Collins
    Thumb Up


    Plenty of hot Lesbian on Lesbian action, 20 deg C today in Greece:

  4. Craig Errington
    Paris Hilton

    Mud wrestling is the only answer

    Lesbian on lesbian contest is the only way to settle this dispute

    Paris because...well.

  5. Chris


    But what about sapphists who live on Lesobs? I don't think they've thought this through properly.

  6. Moz


    How can you have a Gay and Lesbian Union? Doesn't that make the whole lot heterosexual?

  7. Dave Ross
    Paris Hilton

    I parsed that as...

    Lesbians "turn on" lesbians...

    Paris for no particular reason, honest... ;)

  8. Anonymous Coward


    a Lesbosian, probably better than being a Higgs Boson (less prodding)

  9. Mark


    This is LESBOS!!!

  10. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Garrison....

    Ah, it's threads like this that make it all worthwhile.

    Er, keep it cle... oh, never mind.

  11. Anonymously Deflowered
    Thumb Up

    Playmobil scene, please!

    that is all.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    expect similar action soon...

    ... from Dick van Dyke

    Paris. You know/wish she's been there.

  13. tranquil

    re: the registers proposed compromise

    ... and if enthusiasts of the ancient Greek poet Sappho want there word back?

  14. Ash

    This thread...

    ... means nothing without pictures!

    I'm looking at you, Ms Bee.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does this mean..

    .. you can get male Lesbians?

  16. hugo tyson
    Paris Hilton

    Appelation Controllee?

    One can't help but be reminded of the fuss made by idiot Merkins when the Black Dyke Mills brass band went on tour... Should residents of Victoria (Oz) also complain that we think they're tall-hatted besuited gentlemen and crinoline-and-bonnet-wearing ladies from the Age of Steam when they refer to themselves?

  17. quin parker
    IT Angle


    Google is putting up some interesting ads on this story.

  18. lokiprime


    @ AC

    Male Lesbians are called Transvestites :D

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Would they be satisfied...

    ...if the lesbians only had platonic relationships?

  20. Hollerith

    what happened to Lesvos?

    That is an alternative name for the island, and I thought they were taking this up.

    'Lesbian' for women has been used for well over 150 years, so it is a bit late. Barn door, horse, etc., folks. It's like objecting to the word 'gay' being 'hijacked' when it's had the homosexual meaning since the early 1800s, if not earlier.

    I also take exception to the idea that having the word 'Lesbian' associated with gay women mans that all residents of the island are suffering from psychological 'rape'. It is only if you think lesbianism is an evil, deranged, poisoned, warped way of life. But surely in the Euro zone, we don't feel that being called 'gay' when we're not is something so terrible that we will be rendered insane.

    And fellow El Reg posters -- wouldn't it be wise to assuem that lesbians are amongst you? Would you say some of these posted words to the face of a lesbian colleague?

  21. Anonymous Coward


    "...continue to use lesbian with gay abandon..."


    An old cowboy went to a bar and ordered a drink.

    As he sat sipping his whiskey, a young lady sat down next to him.

    After she ordered her drink, she turned to the cowboy and asked him, "Are you a real cowboy?" He replied, "Well, I have spent my whole life on the ranch, herding cows, breaking horses, mending fences. Yep, I guess I am."

    After a short while, he asked her what she was.

    She replied, "I am a lesbian. I spend my whole day thinking about women. As soon as I get up in the morning I think of women, when I eat, shower, watch TV, everything seems to make me think of women."

    A short while later she left and the cowboy ordered another drink.

    A couple sat down next to him and asked, "Are you a real cowboy?"

    He replied, "I always thought I was, but I just found out that I'm a lesbian."

  22. Big Al

    So very...

    ... tongue in cheek, this story.


    The heart because, well, it just had to be.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Lesbians, but only in Greece.

    Not trying to be fanny, but we should stiffly resist any attempts to mud wrestle this thread away from good clean, shaven, fun -- and stop being punning linguists.

  24. Anonymous Coward


    The potential for jokes about this story is huge. One thing I would say, the inhabitants of Lesbos had better be in bloody good shape - the lesbians I know brook no stupidity and are bloody good in a fight (a few are very competent at martial arts and at least one is good with a sword). I sure wouldn't argue with them!

    Please do a playmobil on this story!!!

    Skull and crossbones because it's very dangerous to incur the wrath of lesbians.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    male lesbian

    "A male lesbian is a physiologically heteosexual male who wishes he'd been born a girl. He feels alienated by the social standards of gender roles. He may be a crossdresser or consider himself transgendered, but he is probably not transsexual. His ideal would be to be able to be his feminine self in a relationship with a biological female. If he is open about this, he may be ridiculed by both the gay and straight communities."


  26. Eponymous Howard


    You mean Trivial Pursuit has been lying to me all these years? It says they are called Lesbosians.

  27. Paul

    Can't we all just get along...

    Surely the most satisfactory result would be for the island to issue it's own ".les" domain...which would then make them a few bob through all the registrations ?

  28. Anonymously Deflowered
    Thumb Up

    @quin parker

    "Big Wet Fannys

    Thinking of buying? Compare 100s of retailers' prices at"

    Good old yellow.... erm, I mean Good old google ads.

  29. Eden

    I need

    Citizenship so I can delcare myself officially a Non Dom Lesbian (Male).

  30. Kanhef
    Thumb Down


    Just change the official Anglicization to 'Lesvos'. End of problem. Or call it 'Midilli', but the Greeks wouldn't be too happy.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sappho, fragment 28


    Hadst thou felt desire for things good or noble, and had not thy tongue framed some evil speech, shame had not filled thine eyes, but thou hadst spoken honestly about it.


    Seriously, this peurility of comment is embarrassing to me (straight male). Watch your videos and I'll watch mine but don't discuss, as some kind of entertaining freaks, women who just happen to like women.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Sappho-quoting AC

    Don't worry pet, as a real-life lesbian (the lady-loving kind, not the Greek kind) it's taken in good humour. We're not scary man-hating militants y'know! I love blokes, I just don't wanna shag them.

    Anyway, as the island is really called Lesvos, this is surely only an issue for the Lesvians in the UK? I'm very puzzled. Publicity grab methinks. Greeks never refer to their islands by the Anglicised name. I mean, no Kerkyran would say they were from 'Corfu'.

    Gay Girly Geekette, who knows that Aphrodite could kick Sappho's arse.

  33. David

    Male lesbians...

    ...certainly exist. I have met a gay man who came from Lesbos.

  34. Anonymous John

    What next?

    Will the Canary Islands object to a certain yellow bird being named after them?

  35. Paul Charters

    @moz makes it another organisation that discriminates against straight people...

  36. alyn

    Cunning Stunts

    What are the residents of Phuket called?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    erm history

    Didn't lesbians get their name from the women only religion based on this island many many years ago.

    Just like the word vandal, lesbian comes from a quite appropriate historical source relating to a people with whom it was first associated.

    This greek chap is a muppet who doesn't understand how language works.

  38. Pierre

    Re: male lesbian (Tanya Cumpston)

    ""A male lesbian is a physiologically heteosexual male who wishes he'd been born a girl. He feels alienated by the social standards of gender roles. He may be a crossdresser or consider himself transgendered, but he is probably not transsexual. His ideal would be to be able to be his feminine self in a relationship with a biological female. If he is open about this, he may be ridiculed by both the gay and straight communities.""

    So, just a new name for Emo kids then?

  39. Stephen Hurd

    Uh... they're greek?

    So the island is not "Lesbos" nor "Lesvos" but Λέσβος

    What's the problem again?

  40. Blubster

    It should be easy..

    to tell lesbians from Lesbos islanders - the islanders don't wear donkey jackets.

    Mine's the one with the furry muff

  41. Jamie
    Paris Hilton


    Almost makes as much sense as the Women Rights groups in Canada wanting the name of a small viallage in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador changed to something other than Dildo as it is demeaning and degrading to women, who cares if it has had this name for over 100 years.

    Instead put on a bikini and some baby oil and wrestle.

    do I need a reason for the avatar with this type of article.

    PS. Where is the IT angle (had to be stated)

  42. Anonymous Coward

    vandals and lesbians

    Yes lesbians did get their name after the particular women only based religion on this island - to be 'like a lesbian' is very old and as such has its origin from the association with the ruling female population at the island during the antique period. It does seem odd that they would be 'embarrased' by something which has its origin in their own history. It is not even a negative association. Vandals on the other hand have got their name 'vandalized' by the historically constructed defamation by the Romans. Vandals: originally a tribe living somewhere on the northen coast of what is today Polen. By the early vikings they were named something like 'wendes' which is related to the english word 'friends'. The vikings called this tribe for 'friends' presumably because it was one of the (few?) non nordic tribes with which they dealt with as friends. During the folk time of tribe movements in europe (after the birth of christ somewhere between year 0 up to approx year 400) the tribe formerly known by the Vikings as 'friends' moved south through europe down through spain and to north africa. After initially being abused and treated disrespectfully by Rome they mobilized and eventually succesfully sacked Rome. By being succesful in their seizure of Rome and inflicting noticable destruction on the city Rome had been 'vandalized'. So while the word 'vandal' originates from the word 'friend' it is no more associated with this originally positive meaning.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Oh, my sweet potatoes!!!!

    They should make the female inhabitants of the island (fit ones of course) fight the fit lady-loving ladies for the name. This should happen once a year and involve very brief swimwear and lots of oil.....

    This is the best news story ever!!!!

    Paris - Because nothing else seems right.

  44. Cameron Colley

    Offesive language...

    This would all be "solved" if people used language correctly.

    Alas, the ingorant are destined to take over.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @vandals and lesbians

    You meant 'fwendes'?

    Indeed, the one with the picture of Elmer Fu... Righto, Never Darken Your Doorway etc. Yes, I heard you first time thanks

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Look on the bright side

    At least Boris Johnson hasn't commented on it yet.

    Did he ever actually apologise to all those places?

  47. Curtis

    I can't blame them...

    I wouldn't sleep with a guy either


  48. Juliette Martens

    That must be

    a blow to the lesbians!!

    Er - ah, uhm, maybe not.

    Happy queensday everybody - at least we DID get a little logo on

  49. oldfartuk
    Paris Hilton

    @ Title

    Ok, so if there successful, will there next be an action by Farmers and Landscapers to stop them using the word 'Dyke' ?

  50. Anonymous Coward

    I vote for a Playmobil reconstruction

    sad boffin, 'cause that's me!

  51. Peter Howardson

    Sappho and Aphrodite

    I thought that lesbians got their name from the island being associated with the poet Sappho, who lived there and who was particularly noted for her poetry about other women. Anglicised references to her, obviously much later, referred to her as Sappho of Lesbos, giving English the words 'sapphic' and 'lesbian' through association with her.

    Aphrodite would have had a big edge over her in a fight, being divine. Not exactly a fair fight. Although maybe Sappho could have taken inspiration from Sc...I'm going to have to look up the spelling..Scheherazade and repeatedly put Aphrodite off by composing poetry about her but not finishing it.

    I could have brought the tone of this post down by ending it with the question "or did you typo when you wrote 'kick'?", but I won't.

    Oh dear :)

  52. Dave


    It won't be farmers, it'll be the Dutch. They've been using dykes for a long time. Think of the boy who stuck a finger in one...

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: oldfartuk

    And after that the lumberjacks will want their faggots back.

  54. MarmiteToast
    IT Angle

    re: re: oldfartuk

    And us brits will want to be able to "bum a fag" again seeing as they're so expensive these days.

  55. Robert Hill
    Paris Hilton


    All I want to know is - who has the URL for the Eressos resort live webcam!?!?!

    I'll be on Google the rest of the day, methinks...

    Paris, just because she has as little to do with IT as this story.

  56. Dave Edmondston


    Surely the residents of the island are, erm, 'Greek'?

    This is like people on the island of Arran calling themselves Aryan; we all know what that lead to...

  57. James


    I bet the inhabitants of the island of Arsebandit are watching the outcome of the case carefully.

  58. Luther Blissett


    No-one thinks of the Jordanians. Very odd.

  59. TrishaD

    Re: Lesbian Transvestites


    One of the few advantages of being transgendered is that you can happily ignore all labels such as 'straight' or 'gay' and have sex with whoever you like..

  60. This post has been deleted by its author

  61. Anonymous Coward

    Re: male lesbian

    That depends on how exactly you define "male". It's not exactly easy to come up with a good, robust definition of "male" even in the strictly biological sense. Transsexuals make things even more confusing, though at least they know whether they're male or not.

    Still, apparently transsexual lesbians do exist. (There was even a fairly entertaining episode of Dark Angel based around this.) For male lesbians, though, you might be better off looking in Second Life - apparently some of the in-world lesbians are males in real life and it's caused huge amounts of e-drama in the past. (Probably still does - I don't really follow Second Life-related news anymore, and I'm not sure it'd really count as news either.)

  62. Jeff Paffett

    Lesbian and Proud

    As a British resident on Lesvos, I'm trying to get my male Greek friends to wear "Lesbian and Proud" badges. Not much success so far...

  63. James O'Brien

    For the love of god

    I have known many "lesbians" in my time and although alot of the practice good hygiene, most of the tree hugging hippie "lesbians" didnt know how to use a razor. Please tell me that these ones dont braid their underarm hair.

    (How do you hide money from a Hippie? Put it under the soap)

    /mines the rubber one, no not the used one.

  64. mez

    Just to clarify...

    To all confused would-be linguists, yes, the Greek name for the island is Lesvos and the female residents are called Lesvies. But gay females are also called "lesvies" in greek, not lesbians, so, there's your problem.

    Which is not a problem at all, because the common name for the island is Mitilini and the residents are called Mitilinii (yes, I know, it looks better in greek).

    Don't believe me? Try and call a random girl from Mitilini "lesvia" and see what happens :)

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