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unexodus

noun; derivation
A mass movement of people returning to a place previously evacuated from. The prefix “un” is generally applied to adjectives, but it is here added to the noun “exodus” to form a new word “unexodus”. “Un” usually means “not”, but here its meaning is more closely defined as “reverse”. The “unexodus” is not a “not exodus”, but rather a “reverse exodus”. In this way, the “un” is closer to the word “undo” than the more general prefix “un”. This word was formed when describing the return of Houstonians to their homes after the evacuation from Hurricane Rita. An evacuation of the size demonstrated in September of 2005 had never been seen before, and likewise the eventual return was just as massive. “Unexodus” was invented to describe in a concise way the magnitude of the event that brought so many thousands of people back to Houston at one time.
 
Houston’s great un-exodus continues.
Etymology : Un from Old English 'not'; + exodus, Late Latin, from Greek exodos : ex-, 'out'; hodos, 'way, journey'
Source : Associated Press
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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