Expat is such an ugly word

Expat. Short for Expatriate. It’s a common word used to describe foreigners living in different countries. I use it often and I’ve always been referred to as an expat. But expat is such an ugly word.

An expatriate (in abbreviated form, expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person’s upbringing. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (“out of”) and patria (“country, fatherland”).

In short, expat is someone that left his/her country. The entire focus is on the leaving the home country than on going in to a new country and immersing oneself in a new culture. It almost sounds like a soft version of ‘betrayer.’ Maybe it’s just the word ‘ex’ that’s not so friendly. And also the fact that if you are an expat, you are no longer patriotic.

Look at these synonyms and tell me I’m wrong:

Moby Thesaurus words for "expatriate":
   DP, Ishmael, abstract, ban, banish, blackball, cast off, cast out,
   castaway, chuck, clear, clear away, clear out, clear the decks,
   cut, cut out, declasse, deport, derelict, disfellowship, displace,
   displaced person, dispose of, eject, elide, eliminate, emigrant,
   emigrate, emigre, eradicate, evacue, evacuee, evictee, exclude,
   excommunicate, exile, expel, expellee, extradite, flit, fugitate,
   get quit of, get rid of, get shut of, go from home, immigrant,
   immigrate, in-migrant, in-migrate, intermigrate, lag, leave home,
   leave the country, leper, liquidate, migrant, migrate, migrator,
   migratory worker, ostracize, oust, out-migrant, out-migrate,
   outcast, outcast of society, outcaste, outlaw, pariah,
   persona non grata, pick out, proscribe, purge, relegate, remigrate,
   remove, root out, root up, run, rusticate, send away, send down,
   send to Coventry, snub, social outcast, spurn, stateless person,
   strike off, strike out, swarm, take wing, throw over,
   throw overboard, thrust out, transmigrate, transport, trek,
   trekker, unacceptable person, undesirable, untouchable, weed out,

We need a new word. The term is too outdated.


4 thoughts on “Expat is such an ugly word

  1. I agree, it really is ugly! But, I very much doubt that people will stop using it. I think because it was shortened, people feel comfortable using it now.

  2. There are also many people in this world in which this term is still quite appropriate. You will always meet people that grew disenchanted with their home country or left unwillingly, yet do not ever seem to embrace the country or culture in which they now live. You will always come across foreigners that bad-mouth both their home country and the one they are currently living in.
    We are just blessed to not be in that situation.

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