A solution of the Lesbos v. Lesbians issue: RENAME Lesbos island «LesVos» and the people «Lesvians»

UPDATE: For some reason, this post has become THE most popular post in this blog, in 2007 -2009NEWSLesbos islanders lose lesbian ban court case (Daily Telegraph, 22/07/2008)

GR Lesvos.
Lesbos  via Wikipedia

«Lesbos islanders lose lesbian ban court case. The residents appealed to a court in Athens to ban the word, claiming that as the island’s inhabitants, they were the only true Lesbians. An Athens court rejected an injunction application by Dimitris Lambrou…»

Well, narrow-mindedness in Greece can sometimes be so monstrous, that it can also be utterly self-defeating:

People all over the world are now laughing their heads off about the recent NEW international «Greek naming dispute«: All this preposterous global stirrup was generated by certain irrational hard-headed inhabitants of Lesbos island in Greece, demanding (legally as well) that… (female gay) Lesbians should be denied the right of using the word «Lesbian», since it’s alleged to be a «copyrighted» Greek word, belonging only to the inhabitants of Lesbos!

  • Wow, maaan… AFTER THIS, nobody is likely to take seriously, any more, ANY other Greek «naming dispute» with anyone else (e.g. F.Y.R. Macedonia)!
  • However, a compromise solution between FYROM and Greece, based on a composite name for F.Y.R.Macedonia is actually a very reasonable idea, as I explained in other blog-posts: There are serious drawbacks in an unqualified name «Macedonia», for a small country which is only a small part of GEOGRAPHIC Macedonia. O.T.O.H. a compromise solution is NOT liked by fanatic Greeks and fanatic Slav Macedonians, alike.

However, a SIMPLE SOLUTION to the «problem» of these hard-headed inhabitants of Lesbos has probably eluded everybody:

  • ALL we have to do, as a country wishing to avoid… bad impressions every time the name «Lesbian» is confused with the local geographic identical term, is to RENAME the Greek island «LesVos» (with a V), also demanding that everyone else in the world uses the terms «LesVians» and «LesVos» instead of «Lesbians» and «Lesbos».


  • Lesvos, not Lesbos. Lesvians, not Lesbians!


Symbol of the Lesbian Movement
Symbol of the Lesbian Movement


  • NOTE: Not many people are aware of the fact that the Greek island of Lesbos has also enjoyed immense benefits in TOURISM, due to the historical connection between Lesbians and the world’s «first famous Lesbian», Sappho! In fact, every summer in Lesbos, an annual General Meeting of International Lesbian (gay) women is being held.

  • As a result, «Women-only» tourist events in Lesbos have been quite common:

Lesbos - TrippingImage by BR0WSER via Flickr

Giovanni Dall'Orto May 28 2006.Sappho (Wikipedia)

Α PERSONAL STORY: Many years ago, while on holiday in Mytilene (another name for Lesbos) I met a wonderful sensual woman from Austria, who turned out to be exclusively Lesbian, in fact -much to my dissapointment! However, we got to know each other rather well, afterwards, remaining «just friends».

We ended up dancing non-stop every night, while during daytime I would sit on the back seat of her heavy-duty motorbike, and we would then both go to Petra Beach and other areas of Lesbos, densely populated by female tourists, in order to… make passes (traditional «KAMAKI») at women!

Petra beachImage by RuiPereira via Flickr

  • Oh yes! Her name was Gabrielle Shechang, although I’m not sure about her surname’s spelling. She said she is a writer and a cartoonist, as well as a Lesbian top-activist.

  • I state this officially, since I AM LOOKING FOR HER, all these years…
  • Google searches I made, and other kinds of search, NEVER produced any results, although Gabrielle must be very well known in Austria, in Gay and Lesbian political circles.

We forgot to exchange addresses, except on the very last day, when I lost her in the harbour: She got on the boat, and our AGREEMENT that she would publish (in her Austrian Lesbians’ magazine) some articles I had written, was consequently not kept.

  • However, Ms. Gabrielle Shetshang told me that I was probably one of the very very few Greek heterosexual non-sexist men, whose views her Lesbian magazine would GLADLY publish, since my ideas were perfectly compatible with their viewpoints! So:


This is GEORGE ! We met in Lesbos, in the late eighties.


The reason she and I became friends very soon was (apart from my «heterosexual non-sexism») the fact that I exclaimed to her, as soon as she told me she «preferred women»:

If you’re Lesbian it’s GREAT! You and I have something IN COMMON:

  • We BOTH prefer women! 🙂

Lesbian oral tantra drawing

«what is Lesbian sexual Tantra» -click on the image to find out !

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  1. @ omadeon :

    ευχαριστούμε για την επίσκεψη και το σχόλιο στο
    όπου, αφήσαμε το παρακάτω ως απάντηση:

    καλά για την αγγλική γραφή και προφορά (όντως το Lesvian με v προφέρεται διαφορετικά από το lesbian με b), αλλά σε σχέση με τον ελληνικό όρο, ποιός θα μπορούσε να είναι;

    εκτός κι αν. σε αντιστοιχία με τα αντίστοιχους αγγλικούς όρους που προτείνετε, να έχουμε στα ελληνικά τα Λέσβιος / Λέσβια ή Λεσβία (για τη δήλωση καταγωγής από το νησί) και το λεσμπία (από το lesbian) δηλωτικό του ερωτικού / σεξουαλικού προσανατολισμού

    αντίστοιχα για το ουδέτερο τις λέξεις λεσβιακό (για το νησί) και λεσμπιακό (για το σεξουαλικό χαρακτηρισμό)

    κατά τα άλλα, διαβάζοντας το post εύχομαι όλος αυτός ο θόρυβος να έχει και κάτι θετικό, δηλαδή να σας βοηθήσει να ξαναβρεθείτε με την Gabrielle καθώς όπως μάλλον γνωρίζετε οι λεσμπίες (σύμφωνα με την ορολογία που προτείναμε παραπάνω) δεν παύουν να είναι πολύ ενδιαφέρουσες και θερμές γυναίκες

  2. A ha ha, indeed!

    (brief summary for non-Greek readers: What this gent has said, is that in Greek we STILL have a problem of confusion between «lesbians» and «Lesvians», but it might work out, somehow; this is because «b» in Greek is confused with «v» anyway; but we can still use «mp» which in Greek sounds «b»)…

    I think the whole story is basically nonsensical, anyway. It might even be an attempt by those people in Lesvos to want free… advertising for their island, by creating this issue!…

    Maybe they DO want the world to know all about Sappho, and the Lesbian conference each year in the island, etc…. 🙂

  3. Hi, Omadeon!
    I got another solution to restore pride and dignity among our poor compatriots LesVians (the inhabitants of LesBos, excuse me… LesVos):
    Let’s use the other word which signifies the female homosexuality… Sapphism (in greek «σαπφισμός») derived from Sappho the Lesbian (or the Lesvian? I’ve been confused…).
    I’m jocking of course and i enjoy this kind of conflicts between our tradition & greek/orthodox heritage trustees and the enemies of our glorious nation!

    P.S. Where is the «Tsopanaraioi» tag»?

  4. Hi Zalmoxis!

    Unfortunately the (internal) Greek problem seems unsolvable! 🙂
    There is no way to distinguish between Lesvians and Lesbians in Greek.

    However, my suggestions mightl save our face internationally!

    The «Tsopanaraioi» tag is alive and well, except that there are so many new tags now that it was probably over-shadowed by them. (Will have a look in a minute to see what happened to it).

  5. Just think of it this way, if for example a group of people wished to call themselves «The Londoners», though they may have no connection to London. It is a matter of confusion if nothing else. And Greece has every right to continue with naming disputes. Was it not Bill Gates that tried to copy-write everything, including «Word». And China has insisted that the rest of the world refer to Taiwan as a region and not a country and the rest of the world has happily complied.

  6. @Elizabeth
    I’m afraid there is SEVERE logical / semantic confusion here. E.g.
    Your example of a group of people calling themselves «The Londonders» is quite clearly NOT a pre-existing term in Language, but a kind of Trademark. In this case, you could be right (more-or-less).

    I.e. if there was NO international term such as «lesbian» and suddenly someone decided to start «The Lesbians», of course people who had been originally called «Lesbian»(tm) from an island «Lesbos»(tm) would have a right to complain (and might even win their case in court).

    Now, the above are FACTS. LOGIC. FINITO:
    NO possibility for dispute, it’s like saying «1+1=3». SORRY.

    I.e. it is IMPOSSIBLE for Greece (or anyone else) to DICTATE to the world, to stop using a common international word, which also exists in dictionaries, because of a «copyright» or «geographic right».

    Well, human language is KNOWN to occasionally require what is called «DISAMBIGUATION». There are hundreds of words with multiple meanings and a country CANNOT prohibit an established alternative meaning of a word, just because of self-centred interest to impose ONE alternative meaning of a word at the expense of other meanings, other Semantics.

    So, as regards your statement
    «Greece has every right to continue with naming disputes»
    – YES, Greece has every right to be STUPID, ARROGANT, SELFISH and NATIONALISTIC, as well as totally IRRATIONAL, and also get away with it in a light-hearted sort of way.

    – WHY? Because everyone knows (by now) that Greece is FULL of such shit. And Greece is ALSO forgiven, because people Also love Greece.
    (At least Lesbian women HAD loved it, which is why they held their annual World Conferences every year in the island of Lesbos, which has also generated lots of… free tourist advertising).

    I mean, look at it another way:

    WHY do you think that the singer Sting (and others) called their music group «Police», when they started it?
    – Because, in this way, they got LOTS of FREE ADVERTISING.

    So, logically, the Greek island of Lesbos, just like Sting and the group «Police», actually BENEFITS from the fact that the same word is used by Lesbian women all over the world.

  7. I found some good jokes about all this in some new links.

    Here is the best joke:


    «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.»


    There is also someone else whose comment proposes «LesVos» instead of «Lesbos», as a solution:

    By Kanhef

    Posted Wednesday 30th April 2008 14:06 GMT
    Thumb Down

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

  8. We need no LesVians! Give us more LesBians!

    It’s funny that Greeks have such a problem with semantic issues! Since Neogreeks accept as national adjective the word «asshole», how is the Lesvians’ allergic reaction to being called «lesbians» justified?

  9. Hm…..
    I’m afraid you lost me, there, Dennis.
    I had no idea modern Greeks accept «asshole» as an adjective.
    As regards Lesvians, they never had a problem with Lesbian women. I bet very few people in Lesvos agree with the idiot crusaders, the ones who created the «problem».


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