Friday, February 17, 2012


Maybe you are quite familiar with the word diaspora. I am just a poorly educated person, so I am not. It is one of those words that I know enough to accept it in a sentence and not look it up as if it was a completely strange word.

Did you know the Scottish football team Glasgow Rangers has gone broke? Receivers have been appointed.

I wonder if Glasgow Rangers have gone broke because their spokesperson knew how to insert diaspora into his statement of the team's situation? Dreaded Nephew lived in Glasgow for a year or so. Back in Australia now, I have not heard him use the word. Maybe he lived in the wrong area and Scottish diaspora can be heard coming from many Glaswegians.

I've just had a shower and spent the few minutes trying to think how I could slip diaspora into a blog post, but it is not coming to me at all. Don't worry, I'll get it eventually.


  1. anyone slipping 'diaspora' into a Glasgow conversation might just get punched, ie
    "I'm from Glasgow so don't fook with me"

    which I have actually had said to me.
    in Braghton.
    If I was that footy guy I would leave the country for a long time.
    x x

  2. It is used for people settled far from their ancestral homelands AND for whom the distant land is still considered a homeland.

    I use the word all the time!! Jews were scattered into the Diaspora from the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem (70 AD) to the ingathering of the exiles in the 1880s.

    Swedes who left Sweden in the 1850s may not consider their new lands to be a Swedish Diaspora IF Sweden is no longer thought of as their eternal home.

  3. Well dammit Andrew! Now I hacve to google diaspora because it isn't in my outdated old dictionary.

  4. Or I could just read the other comments first....duh!
    Thanks Hels, now I know what diaspora means.

  5. I thought you did it very well.

  6. Ann, heard of the Glasgow kiss?

    Hels, it was in the Jewish context I first heard the word, and I wish it had just stayed there. It made sense in that context. It is a good word to be heard from historians, museum curators, lecturers, (oh, I didn't mean to sum you up) but I think it is a word best left for the educated and not for the the footy field.

    River! You are part of the German diaspora.

    Christine, I used the word in context? I shall wear your compliment then.

  7. I think ??? the roots of the word mean "disperse" and "seed", so the Jewish diaspora was the historical movement of Jewish people into Russia, Spain etc. The Irish Diaspora followed the largest of the potato famines, when millions went to England, the Americas, Canada, Australia etc.

    As Hels points out, there remains an attachment to the homeland.

    Have no idea how the word could be slipped into a conversation about receivership, but you've managed to use it in this post.

  8. I've only really heard of diaspora used to describe the spread of Jews around the world.

    The Glasgow Rangers spokesperson must have studied under Bruce McAvaney.

  9. Ah, FruitCake, you are an educated person. I never doubted it. It is indeed an interesting word that seems to be specifically used for Jewish, well it was. Now there is a Scottish diaspora and fair enough. I am Tchino diaspora, or something like that.

    Victor, and what a wanker Bruce Mac is. Nice guy in person though.

  10. So does this mean Choctaw Indians have a Diaspora also since they were dispersed from Mississippi to Oklahoma or is that stretching it? I take it diaspora is a noun? I should think you could compare the Indian Diaspora to the Jewish Diaspora. However, I've only heard it used in reference to the Jews. Interesting Andrew.

  11. It certainly is an odd word to use in that context I suspect its a bluff to distract people from more serious problems than there already are :-).

  12. The world is full of Diaspora's from when the tribes of the first people left their original home en mass. Not just used for the Jewish people the Irish also have Diaspora when mass forced migration saw them leave in their millions in a short space of time relatively

  13. Anonymous1:15 pm

    As I no longer live in my native Australia, I am a member of the estimated 2 million-strong global Australian diaspora. V.

  14. Sounds like a legitimate use to me Rubye. The Indian diaspora wouldn't stretch much outside the States.

    You are a cynic Windsmoke, and so you should be.

    Yes MC. The Irish almost ran out of grass to eat.

    V, for our size, we have mighty big diaspora.

  15. I had a look in the OED... here is its definition: "The Dispersion; i.e. (among the Hellenistic Jews) the whole body of Jews living dispersed among the Gentiles after the Captivity (John vii. 35); (among the early Jewish Christians) the body of Jewish Christians outside of Palestine".

    My earlier comment, which referred to that about Scottish Diaspora which I thought you used correctly.

    All very interesting!

  16. Christine, yet if you google the word, some sources give it a wider meaning. Our language constantly changes and I am happy for the word to be used in a wider sense.