(Greek > Latin: foreign, strange, outlandish)

Don't confuse this element with barba- which means "beard".

A female proper name, from Latin, feminine of barbarus "strange, foreign, barbarous"; previously from Greek barbaros.
A form of paralalia (utterance of a vocal sound other than the one desired) that is shown when speaking a foreign language.
barbarian, barbaryn (older spelling)
1. Historically, someone who is not a Greek; then it became a person living outside the boundary of the Roman empire and its civilization; applied especially to the northern nations that overthrew them; followed by anyone who existed outside the realm of Christian civilization.
2. A rude, savage, alien, wild, uncivilized person.
3. An uncultured person, or someone who has no sympathy with literary culture.
4. Applied by nations, generally depreciatively, to foreigners; thus at various times and with various speakers or writers: non-Hellenic, non-Roman (most usual), non-Christian.
5. Uncultivated, uncultured, crude, unsophisticated, uncouth: "The artist accused the public of having barbarian tastes."
6. A foreigner, one whose language and customs differ from the speaker's.

From Greek barbaros, "non-Greek, foreign, barbarous," from an Indo-European imitative base barb, "to stammer, stutter; and unintelligible." The Greeks were quoted as saying that foreigners sounded as if they were saying, "Barbar, Barbar," which was, for the Greeks, unintelligible.

Barbarian, from Latin barbarus. It seems to have signified, at first, only a foreign or a foreigner; but, in time, it implied some degree of wildness or cruelty.

—Samuel Johnson; A dictionary of the English Language;
3rd Edition; 1765.
1. Without civilizing influences; uncivilized; primitive: "barbaric invaders".
2. Of, like, or befitting barbarians: "a barbaric empire; barbaric practices".
3. Marked by crudeness or lack of restraint in taste, style, or manner; such as, "barbaric decorations".
1. An act, trait, or custom characterized by ignorance or crudity.
2. The use of words, forms, or expressions considered incorrect or unacceptable; a specific word, form, or expression so used.

Barbarism versus barbarity

There is a significant difference in meaning between barbarism and barbarity. Both denote some absence of civilization, but the word civilization itself has several different senses, one the opposite of barbarism, the other the opposite of barbarity.

On the one hand civilization may refer to the scientific, artistic, and cultural attainments of advanced societies, and it is this sense that figures in the meaning of barbarism. The English word barbarism originally referred to incorrect use of language, but it is now used more generally to refer to ignorance or crudity in matters of taste, including verbal expression: "The newspaper would never allow such barbarisms."

On the other hand, civilization may refer to the basic social order that allows people to resolve their differences peaceably, and it is this sense; that is, civilization as opposed to savagery that figures in the meaning of barbarity, which refers to savage brutality or cruelty in actions: "The reports of the terrorists' barbarity in the way they treated their hostages has been worse than anyone could have anticipated."

1. Savage brutality or cruelty in actions or conduct.
2. A cruel or savage act.
3. Brutal or inhuman conduct; cruelty.
4. An act or instance of cruelty or inhumanity.
5. Crudity of style, taste, expression, etc.
barbarization, barbarisation (British)
Any act that makes people primitive and uncivilized.
1. To make crude or savage in behavior or speech.
2. To become crude or savage or barbaric in behavior or language.
barbarocracy (s) (noun), barbarocracies (pl)
A government or rule by barbarians: Barbarocracy can be exemplified by that of Italy in the past or by the German emperors.

Related "foreign, strange" word families: allotrio-; xeno-.