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Immigrant

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Immigrant

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:12 pm

• immigrant •


Pronunciation: im-ê-grênt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A person, plant or animal that moves by whatever means into a new territory, that migrates to a new locale.

Notes: Today's Good Word is the noun from the verb immigrate. Do not confuse this word with emigrate. The prefix im- is a variant of Latin in "in" while the e- on emigrate is a remnant of ex "away, out of". The same applies to emigrant, a person who migrates away from a place and immigrant, a person who migrates to a place. Remember today's word has a double M but emigrant does not. The neutral verb migrate and its noun, migrant, indicate movement from one place to another without a specific plan or direction, as migrant workers do. While all these nouns may also be used as adjectives, migrate has its own adjective: migratory, as in migratory birds.

In Play: Although the US is a nation built on immigration, the unusually large number of undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central America has become a political issue: "Will Doolittle says that he could not run his company today without the help of immigrants, documented or not." From 1892 to 1954 more than 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island, the major entry point for immigration over that period.

Word History: Today's word comes from Latin immigran(t)s "immigrating", the present participle of immigrare "immigrate". This verb came from in "in" + migrare "migrate", very straightforward. Where migrare comes from is another question. Latin had a verb meare "go, pass by", which probably comes from the same source as the mi- in migrate. Another stem in Latin was gregare "collect, gather together". The original root of this word is simply gre- and it might have gone into the making of migrare, though exactly how is unclear. (It is clear, however, that we must thank Evelyn Allen for suggesting today's often confused word. Thanks to Bobby and his teacher, Brooke Thompson, at Bear Mountain School in Bellevue, Washington, for finding the link to the Ellis Island Website.)
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Re: Immigrant

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:35 am

Were the people who came to the American Colonies from England immigrants? When they got here they were still technically in England. If they weren't immigrants, then I have few immigrant ancestors. All of my ancestors who were living in 1776 were in the colonies, and most of them had come from England.
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Re: Immigrant

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:11 pm

And to that I would add that I doubt Paul Revere
said "The British are coming". More like something
akin to "The regulars are coming" or even 'redcoats',
because they were still British, and few would understand
it.
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Re: Immigrant

Postby call_copse » Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:27 am

Personally I would say that immigrant status may be considered independent of political boundaries. Thus movement of tribes prior to the establishment of such in the early dawn of mankind could still be considered migration, thus the protagonists immigrants. Presumably in that respect we are all descended from immigrants - perhaps apart from a few people whose ancestors lingered in the cradle of mankind, wherever that may be if it does even exist (East Africa may be the best bet?).
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Re: Immigrant

Postby wsodonnell2 » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:37 pm

Immigrants and emigrants are the same people, right? An immigrant to one place is an emigrant from someplace else. To resort to a howling cliche', "It' all in your point of view!"
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Re: Immigrant

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:15 pm

Thought question: did colonists become immigrants when they joined the army, at the declaration, the victory, or ratification of the Constitution? One day colonist, the next immigrant. Transmogrification? Or irrelevant question?
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Re: Immigrant

Postby call_copse » Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:50 am

I'd think a colonist to be a subset of immigrants / emigrants (two sides of the same coin indeed). A colonist being an immigrant to a place without an established settlement, or without legally established prior territorial claims.
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