In recent years the place (or plight) of women in ancient society has attracted much attention. Their legal position, the attitudes towards them on the part of men, the characterization of women in drama, the personality of known and spectacular individuals like Sappho and many other topics have been studied at considerable length from various points of view. It is on the surface, then, somewhat surprising that scarcely any attention has been paid to a topic which in another discipline, linguistics, has proved very popular of late, the question of women’s speech. Sixty years ago the idea that women exhibit a distinctive form of speech was already current; Jespersen devoted a chapter of his Language: its Nature, Development and Origin to ‘The Woman’. Since then with the growth of interest on the part of linguists in sociolinguistic questions an impressive body of literature relating to this topic has accumulated.