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--- In [log in to unmask], Andreas Johansson <andjo@F...> wrote:
> I'm afraid this is terribly OT, but I figure this is the place I
can ask with
> the highest chance of someone actually knowing the answer.
>
> In an online discussion, the origin of the word 'anti-semitism'
came up. It's
> clearly a poorly chosen term, since it doesn't denote hostility
towards
> Semites in general, but specifically towards Jews (who don't
necessarily speak
> any Semitic language!). Indeed, these days, the label is very
commonly applied
> to Semitic-speaking Arabs. Does anyone know when the word was
coined, and
> whether there's some comprehensible reason that this misleading
formation was
> chosen?
>
>                                                 Andreas

from

http://www.etymonline.com

anti-Semitism - 1881, from Ger. Antisemitismus, first used by Wilhelm
Marr in 1880, from anti- + Semite (q.v.). Not etymologically
restricted to anti-Jewish theories, actions or policies, but almost
always used in this sense. Those who object to the inaccuracy of the
term might try H. Adler's Judaeophobia (1882).

David Barrow