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Barbarians

is certainly not derived from the Latin barba (a beard), as many suppose, because it is a Greek word, and has many analogous ones. The Greeks and Romans called all foreigners barbarians (babblers; men who spoke a language not understood by them); the Jews called them Gentiles (other nations); the Russians Ostiaks (foreigners). The reproachful meaning crept in from the natural egotism of man. It is not very long ago that an Englishman looked with disdainful pity on a foreigner, and the French still retain much of the same national exclusiveness. (See Wunderberg.)

“If then I know not the meaning of the voice [words], I shall be to him that speaketh a barbarian [a foreigner], and he that speaketh will be a barbarian unto me.”—1 Cor. xiv. 11.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Bar
Bar
Bar
Bar (Trial at)
Barabas
Barataria
Barăthron
Barb
Barb
Barbari
Barbarians
Barbarossa [Red-beard, similar to Rufus]
Barbary
Barbason
Barbazure (or Blue-Beard)
Barbe (Ste.)
Barbecue
Barbed Steed (a corruption of barded)
Barbel
Barbeliots
Barber

See Also:

Barbarians