From here.
From here.

Whenever people disagree, name calling is a typical reaction. Hence violetwisp

accused me of “lots of xenophobia” (here).  Since I thought it would be interesting and perhaps morbidly amusing, I decided to do a post on Xenophobia.

Xenophobia is sort of a medical term (medical definition here). Since the plain, ordinary definition and the medical definition are the same, this distinction is without a difference. Apparently, the term xenophobia is primarily used by people who don’t believe in sin. If you disagree with their belief in wide-open borders, you are not evil; you just have a serious medical condition.

I first ran into the term xenophobia when I was a kid in school. Part of the lesson involved describing our enemies, then the Russians of the USSR, as xenophobes. Strangely, when the teacher portrayed the Russians as xenophobic, he intended to inspire sympathy. The teacher observed that Russia was one of the Slavic states. The Slavs are generally located in an area where geographic barriers did not prevent their enemies from assailing them. In fact, they were assailed on all sides, so much so that history has memorialized the horror they experienced with this word.

slave (n.) Look up slave at Dictionary.comlate 13c., “person who is the chattel or property of another,” from Old French esclave (13c.), from Medieval Latin Sclavus “slave” (source also of Italian schiavo, French esclave, Spanish esclavo), originally “Slav” (see Slav); so used in this secondary sense because of the many Slavs sold into slavery by conquering peoples.

This sense development arose in the consequence of the wars waged by Otto the Great and his successors against the Slavs, a great number of whom they took captive and sold into slavery. [Klein]

Meaning “one who has lost the power of resistance to some habit or vice” is from 1550s. Applied to devices from 1904, especially those which are controlled by others (compare slave jib in sailing, similarly of locomotives, flash bulbs, amplifiers). Slave-driver is attested from 1807; extended sense of “cruel or exacting task-master” is by 1854. Slave state in U.S. history is from 1812. Slave-trade is attested from 1734.

Old English Wealh “Briton” also began to be used in the sense of “serf, slave” c.850; and Sanskrit dasa-, which can mean “slave,” apparently is connected to dasyu- “pre-Aryan inhabitant of India.” Grose’s dictionary (1785) has under Negroe “A black-a-moor; figuratively used for a slave,” without regard to race. More common Old English words for slave were þeow (related to þeowian “to serve”) and þræl (see thrall). The Slavic words for “slave” (Russian rab, Serbo-Croatian rob, Old Church Slavonic rabu) are from Old Slavic *orbu, from the PIE root *orbh- (also source of orphan), the ground sense of which seems to be “thing that changes allegiance” (in the case of the slave, from himself to his master). The Slavic word is also the source of robot.

Otto the Great reigned from 962 until his death in 973. Centuries later, the nation we call Russia began to form, but the wars and depredations continued. Here is a long List of wars involving Russia. When we think of slaves today, because it is part of our recent history, we tend to think of  the black slaves of the pre-Civil War era. Yet, ironically, that word slave hearkens back to members of the white race.

So it is that the more I thought about the application of that term xenophobia to the Russians and other Slavs, the more confused I grew. Of course, I also began to realize that the Slavs were not the only people plagued by conflict. War and strife seems ever part of the human condition. So I wondered. What foolishness possessed someone to come up with the term xenophobia?

xenophobia (n.) Look up xenophobia at Dictionary.com
1903, from xeno- “foreign, strange” + -phobia “fear.” Earlier (c. 1884) it meant “agoraphobia.”

Agoraphobia refers to an abnormal fear of being in crowds, public places, or open areas. I have not discovered how the meaning of xenophobia changed from agoraphobia. All I can say is that we are supposed to be careful about who we trust. Don’t we tell our children not to trust strangers?

Nevertheless, we have a curious problem. Few of us stop to think how complex our society has become or how much we depend upon people we don’t know — strangers.  We go to the supermarket, and we buy food prepared by strangers. We go to the dentist or the doctor’s office, and we get drilled, stuck by needles, cut and stitched, …… Isn’t our terror of the procedures bad enough without a strong distrust of the dentists, doctors and nurses? We buy our cars and drive them at 70 miles an hour, confident the steering wheel, the tires, the brakes, and so forth will work, that the road is safe. Why? Nothing could go wrong?

We have friends of a sort, people who care about us, many whose names we will never know. Yet we have enemies too. That is why trust is a good thing, but we must do our best to verify that those we would call friends are worthy of our trust. The lives of our family, friends and neighbors depend upon being right.

There is a complete list “Of Twisted Words” posts at the first post in this series, OF TWISTED WORDS => FEMINISM.


  1. I believe this past week event in San Bernardino has infected a lot of people with both xenophobia and agoraphobiathia.

    Seems to me to be a pretty healthy infection for us all to contract in my opinion. Also seems that Obama and Clinton must have gotten an immunization shot to prevent these two infections.

    Then again, perhaps the fact that they have an army of secret service protecting them at taxpayer expense, the condition is of minimal concern to them.
    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The suffix “phobia” derives from “fear of,” but in modern use carries the flavoring of “an intense or irrational fear of.” I suspect that the concerns about Islamic Syrian refugees and similar persons coming to the US is not properly classifiable as “irrational.” This seems especially true in light of recent developments, including that the jihadists in the San Bernardino attack passed inspection (for the female’s admission to the US) and raised “no red flags” despite travel to jihadist countries and contact with other jihadists.

      The implication that potential asylum seekers could pass similar inspection with similar results is high.

      As for President Obama and his ilk, I think the protection is one part of this. But that does not explain the same affinities (for jihadists and communists) expressed on college campuses across the United States by professors and ultimately their students, who have no such protection and typically fight against the right of armed self-defense. In those cases, I think it is merely a naive acceptance of these factions as sharing a common enemy in America.

      The “Black Lives Matter” thugs, the “occupy wall street” movement (in lower case as they hate capitalism), the Communist Party USA that shared servers and headquarters with the John Kerry campaign, the Students for Justice in Palestine with their “boycott divest and stab” campaign against Israel, the green movement … all of these have frequently featured American flag burning, and all are popular on US campuses. And yet many of them dream of the killing of most of the members of the others.

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for pointing me here Tom. I’m not quite sure what to make of it. Perhaps xenophobia wasn’t accurate. I was trying to make the point that there’s a certain small-mindedness to promoting the idea that we shouldn’t help these people from another culture, when if they were our neighbours, most of us wouldn’t hesitate, regardless of the risk. People are people, and yet we draw these artificial barriers around those we can’t see right in front of us, or those we designate in the ‘them’ category. I think it was this attitude that some of the teachings of the character Jesus tried to overcome.


    1. Violetwisp: Great to meet you here. Thanks for the clarification. Very helpful. Jesus did as you say. He also clearly recognizes evil as well. ““You have minds like a snake pit! How do you suppose what you say is worth anything when you are so foul-minded? It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.” Matthew 12:34-37

      We should be wise. Jesus suggested that as well.

      Be blessed. God is with you.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. @violetwisp

      When Bush sent our troops into Iraq, I had no idea whether what he wanted to do would work. What people believe makes a huge difference, and what Muslims believe is quite different.

      Think about the difference between a Christian martyr and a Muslim martyr. The Christian achieves martyrdom refusing to deny Christ. The Muslim achieves martyrdom in combat slaughtering the enemies of Allah. The Christian sees everyone as a soul in need of salvation. The Muslim sees Muslims and enemies of Allah.

      Can anyone become a Muslim? Yes, but there is a severe penalty in this life if we refuse.

      Anyway, until our current president helped to precipitate the “Arab Spring” and pulled out our troops in Iraq and left a power vacuum, we were doing something to help those people. Now we just have lots of violence and mayhem.

      What can we do? NATO could move forces into the area. We can help the refugees and bomb ISIS into oblivion. But inviting these people into Europe and the United States is just lunatic.

      Does Obama ever make any sense? What has he done right?

      When the persecution of Christians started in Iraq, did Obama invite the Christians here. Think of all the Iraqis who worked with us. Have you wondered how many are still alive? We had good information on those people. Did Obama invite them?

      I don’t know what motivates Obama, but it ain’t charity.


    3. Violet,

      We need to be exporting authentic American ideals, not importing poverty, and people who have no interest in ever becoming American.

      Why not have the blessed UN get it together and set up lavish ten cities for refugees in all that empty Middle Eastern desert?

      That way they will be with the people they love, in their own cultures, near their native lands.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. There doesn’t seem to much zonophilia for America these days. With that guy we have in the White House everything was suppose to change. Sigh! I just don’t understand what went wrong.



  3. Very interesting! I love exploring words. Kind of ironic, but xenophobia “can also be exhibited in the form of an uncritical exaltation of another culture.” That is actually the ultimate fear of the foreign, when we refuse to acknowledge or admit they may have flaws and set them on a pedestal. Some Native Americans call this the “magic indian syndrome” and relate it as one of the root causes of poverty.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Interesting observation.

      The so-called tolerant folk do go on and on about race and culture. They are obsessed with our differences. Instead of just dealing with the practical advantages and problems, they use our differences to separate us, and then they rave about diversity. Hence, we are bringing millions of immigrants into our country, but we are not even getting them to learn English. Who needs that kind of diversity? As you said, long after the Indian Wars ended, Indians remain on reservations.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑


Life through the eyes of "cookie"

Rudy u Martinka

What the world needs now in addition to love is wisdom. We are the masters of our own disasters.


Supplying the Light of Love


Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Recovering Legalist

Living a Life of Grace

Write Side of the Road

writing my way through motherhood

Freedom Through Empowerment

Taking ownership of your life brings power to make needed changes. True freedom begins with reliance on God to guide this process and provide what you need.

The Lions Den

"Blending the colorful issues of life with the unapologetic truth of scripture, while adding some gracious ferocity.”

In My Father's House

"...that where I am you may be also." Jn.14:3

Allallt in discussion

Debate and discussion: Reasonable, rational and fair

PUMABydesign001's Blog

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts.” Ronald Reagan.


Finding Clear and Simple Faith


Author Alexander Hellene - Sci-Fi - Urban Fantasy - Fantasy - Culture - Art - Entertainment - Music - Fun

John Branyan

something funny is occurring

Because The Bible Wasn't Written In English

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Fr. Pietraszko's Corner

Discovering Truth and Love

Victory Girls Blog

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Through Ink & Image

...Pursuing a God Inspired Life

D. Patrick Collins

liberating christian thought

Healthy Mind Ministry

Sharing the Gospel message of hope, strength, love, and peace through Jesus Christ to those who are hurting in their soul or spirit. This is the mission of Healthy Mind Ministry

Conservative Government

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Night Wind

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

In Saner Thought

"It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to detect and expose delusion and error"..Thomas Paine


Faithful servants never retire. You can retire from your career, but you will never retire from serving God. – Rick Warren


"Fear Not, Only Believe." Mk. 5:36

All Along the Watchtower

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you ... John 13:34

The Bull Elephant

Conservative and libertarian news, analysis, and entertainment

Always On Watch: Semper Vigilans

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Family Foundation Blog - The Family Foundation

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Dr. Luis C. Almeida

Why Complicate If You Can Simplify?


Heal the past. Free the present. Bless the future.

Dr. Lloyd Stebbins

Deliberate Joy


The place where you can find out what Lillie thinks

He Hath Said

is the source of all wisdom, and the fountain of all comfort; let it dwell in you richly, as a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life

quotes and notes and opinions

from a Biblical perspective




The view from the Anglosphere

bluebird of bitterness

The opinions expressed are those of the author. You go get your own opinions.

Pacific Paratrooper

This WordPress.com site is Pacific War era information

Running The Race

Hebrews 12:1


Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.


My Walk, His Way - daily inspiration

Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

Kingdom Pastor

Living Freely In God's Kingdom

%d bloggers like this: