[Ads-l] "lesbian" from 1808

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Mon Mar 20 11:00:05 EDT 2017

I have sent the following citation to the OED some years ago:

1732 William King _The Toast_ in Emma Donoghue _Passions Between Women_

(1993) 259 I'll deny, that thou art taught How to pair the Female Doves,

How to practice _Lesbian_ Loves.

Fred Shapiro

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET>
Sent: Monday, March 20, 2017 10:43 AM
Subject: "lesbian" from 1808

I note that the OED has "lesbian (not fully updated), adj., sense 2, "...relating to sexual relations between women", only from 1890.  Under "Sapphic", Draft additions September 2016, it has 1808:

1808   Edinb. Med. & Surg. Jrnl. 4 477   The disease seldom proceeds so far except in women who have indulged in Sapphic and Lesbian habits.


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