Sunday, February 3, 2008

What does "DIASPORA" mean?

According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language,


NOUN:  1. the dispersion of Jews outside of Israel from the sixth century B.C., when they were exiled to Babylonia, until the present time.  2. often diaspora The body of Jews of Jewish communities outside of Palestine or modern Israel.  3. diaspora a. a dispersion of a people from their original homeland.  b. the community formed by such a people: "the glutinous dish known throughout the (West African) diaspora as ... fufu" (Jonell Nash, Essence February 1996).  4. diaspora a dispersion of an originally homogeneous entity, such as a language or culture: "the diaspora of English into several mutually incomprehensible languages" (Randolph Quirk).

ETYMOLOGY:  Greek diaspora, dispersion, from diaspeirein, to spread about: dia-, apart; see dia + speirein, to sow, scatter, see sper  in Appendix I.

OTHER FORMS:  diasporic, diasporal -- ADJECTIVE

No comments: