The Joy of Language Learning

To Travel, or to Sit and Rest, That is the Question

We humans are no longer the hunter gathered our ancestors used to be. They had to move from one place to another in search of food and shelter which is poles apart from the luxuries that we enjoy now. But a lot of other species have not let laziness and comfort get the better of them (of course, no place for koalas on this list). For instance, a subspecies of reindeers travel 5000 km annually while the Arctic tern flies a distance of 70,000 km every year. We have a specific word dedicated to this travelling: Migration.

Migratory Birds
Image Credit: mohamed_hassan/ Pixabay

Migration is derived from the Latin term migrare which means to move from place to place. It led to the birth of the term migrant, referring to the person or animal that migrates. We also derived the terms emigrate and immigrate from it which might sound similar yet hide a subtle difference in their meanings. To emigrate is to leave one’s native country. To immigrate, on the other hand, means to move into another country.

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Image Credit: GraphicMama-team/ Pixabay

Unlike animals, though, humans are no longer migratory as far as the pursuit of food and shelter is concerned. We have developed systems that help us get what we want where we want at the instant we want it. But this has taken away a bit of the pressure from our legs and transferred it to our chairs. On an average, people sit for 64 hours a week, or roughly nine hours per day so something we so love doing should also have a few words of its own.

The Latin word sedere meant to sit or settle down. It led to the derivation of the term sedentary. If someone’s lifestyle is considered sedentary, it refers to a lifestyle with little physical exercise.

It is also the root of the word sedate which earlier meant without movement but now refers to calm and quiet. It is also a part of medical terminology wherein it means to calm down a patient with the help of a sedative which is a drug that induces sleep or calms down a person.

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Moving up the family tree, we get dissident which is composed of the prefix dis (apart) and sedere, literally meaning to sit apart. Its modern usage, however, is to refer to someone who disagrees or holds an opinion contrary to the majority. For example, a politician who refuses to give in to his or her political party’s demands might be considered a dissident and such dissidence (the act of opposing the majority opinion) might not augur well for their political career.

We also have the term insidious with similar upbringings. Derived from insidiae (singular: insidere, to occupy). It refers to something alluring yet harmful or that works subtly to harm.

That will be it for the introduction. Have a look at the table for a quick revision and then try out the quiz and crossword.

Table Summary:

MigrateTo move from one’s place to another for food or shelter
Migrate-ionThe process of moving from one place to another for food or shelter
MigrantSomeone who migrates
E-MigrateTo move from one country to another
Im-MigrateTo settle into another country
SedateTo calm someone down
Sedate-iveA substance used for calming someone down
SedentaryRequiring very little activity
DissidentSomeone who disagrees with the popular opinion
InsidiousSomething that works subtly to harm

Welcome to your Travel and Sit

The movement of humans or animals from one place to another is referred to as:

"Immigrate" in the given headline means:


The doctors _____________ the patient before the operation:

What does "emigrate" mean here?


The word "dissident" in the given headline means:


Human bodies are not made for a _____________ lifestyle (minimal movement)

"Insidious" in the headline below means:

Source: Yahoo Finance

Click on the image below to be redirected to the crossword page:


2. To move out of one’s country to settle in another

3. Someone who hold an opinion contrary to the majority

6. The person or animal who migrates

7. To calm down someone

8. Seasonal movement of animals from one region to another


1. To move into a new country to settle down

4. Something alluring that is subtly harmful

5. Tending to spend much time seated; inactive

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