The English lexicon for people living outside their country of origin has been shaped by the historical forces of colonialism, globalization, immigration and war.
Every word has its story: its unique pathway into the English language. Some are longer and more intricate than others, while some follow a surprising route. The first instalment of this series looks at zebra and quagga, two words describing closely related animals. Like the creatures themselves, neither word is native to the English-speaking world. However, the commonality of their genetics does not extend to the names we give them, one of which originated far from the plains of southern Africa…