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A Philistine or a Derogatory Term that Stuck..?

June 19, 2013

Category:Ancient Greek buildings and structure...

I Category:Ancient Greek buildings and structures in Athens (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philistine – definition: a person who is lacking in or smugly indifferent to cultural values, intellectual pursuits, aesthetic refinement

In my last couple of years of school, I studied Greek and Roman mythology. It was an extra course for my ‘A’ level exams (English school) Our teacher was the sweetest woman and she made the course so much fun! Trying to keep the Gods and their off spring correct as well as ensuring we used the correct name for each region was; at times, challenging but interesting. Apart from the occasional quiz or crossword, I don’t really use this knowledge on a day to day basis. Some school coursework is for pure enjoyment after all. I did join an archeology group later on and still love historical sites, so some of the enthusiasm has endured.

My latest book, Ockleberries to the Rescue actually has a goddess in it – so maybe all that knowledge is not lost.

Procession of Philistine Captives At Medinet-habu.

Procession of Philistine Captives At Medinet-habu. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I saw today’s word and its meaning, I wondered how to approach it. Once I began researching and found the ancient civilization of  Philistine, I questioned why this societies name could be linked to such a derogatory word in modern times. As you can see from this link – there is a ream of explanations:  It is interesting to see when these people were living and trading they were actually more advanced than their neighbors. It is possible other societies ‘bad-mouthed’ them and the word became common usage.

If you would like more information on them here is a link :

The origin of words is so interesting and also how their meaning and usage change.

Have you found words that have surprised you? Their origins, meaning or how they have changed in modern times.



  1. It’s quite strange how words we use nowadays, are actually derived from acts and people many years before us. Very fascinating.


  2. Yes! Condensation and Exercised. Both still in use, but with different meanings than was used long ago.


  3. I had no idea that the definition of Philistine was so derogatory. It’s really fascinating how words come to be; I love linguistics and the study of word origins.


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