The meaning of the word ‘asylum’ has evolved over time. Illustration: Wai-Yee Man
The meaning of the word ‘asylum’ has evolved over time. Illustration: Wai-Yee Man
Lisa Lim
Opinion

Opinion

Language Matters by Lisa Lim

Once lunatic, then political – how we got the word ‘asylum’

  • In the 1950s, Hong Kong gave asylum to countless Chinese fleeing the mainland; now some of their descendants must seek it once again, elsewhere
  • The word comes via Latin and Greek, but has long meant refuge and safety from harm

The meaning of the word ‘asylum’ has evolved over time. Illustration: Wai-Yee Man
The meaning of the word ‘asylum’ has evolved over time. Illustration: Wai-Yee Man
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