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Thread: Need Help With a Word (Not Yet Illegal)

  1. #1
    And thus we begin the edits melaniehoo's Avatar
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    Need Help With a Word (Not Yet Illegal)

    My current wip is about a young Mexican man trying to sneak into the US. He's helped by coyotes (men who get you across the border for a price) and he interacts with several other people in his position.

    The problem is I don't know what to call these people. They aren't illegal immigrants, or illegals, because they're still in Mexico. Part of the story takes place in the desert on the US side, but I don't want to suddenly change what I'm calling them at the end of the book. Several people have names, but while in the desert he sees other groups of people trying to cross and I can't figure out what to call them!

    I'm open to slang or derogatory expressions, but most of them only refer to Mexicans already in the US illegally. I really appreciate your input.
    New website & blog! Melaniehoo. My dog has a blog, too. Super Owen
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  2. #2
    Are you one, Herbert? Prozyan's Avatar
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    Is there a need to label them? I mean, is it important to the story for them to have a specific label?

    If not, just refer to them as your MC would.
    If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

  3. #3
    And thus we begin the edits melaniehoo's Avatar
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    That's what I've been doing but it starts to get confusing. At one point I have several groups hiding in the desert. One starts running, then the other group jumps up, and I feel like it's nothing but "this man" then "that man" and "the woman."
    New website & blog! Melaniehoo. My dog has a blog, too. Super Owen
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  4. #4
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Pligrims?

  5. #5
    Always Watching lostgirl's Avatar
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    refugees?

  6. #6
    Yes, I'm back. Bmwhtly's Avatar
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    I believe there is a word.

    I only believe that because of Babel. But I can't for the life of me remember it.
    If I do, I'll let you know.
    "Anyone who can't stomach a bit of hypothetical grotesquery needs to toughen up, because the way the world's going, we'll all spend our final days scrabbling through a pile of steaming rubble, desperately scavenging for bits of charred baby to eat with our bare hands. And under those circumstances, a dark sense of humour will be a massive advantage."

  7. #7
    Writing Anarchist DeleyanLee's Avatar
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    One emmigrates from one country to become an immigrant in another country.

    Does that help?
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  8. #8
    Totally Ninja! quickWit's Avatar
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    Travelers
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  9. #9
    And thus we begin the edits melaniehoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmwhtly View Post
    I believe there is a word.

    I only believe that because of Babel. But I can't for the life of me remember it.
    If I do, I'll let you know.
    Please let me know if you do! I have the movie - that sounds like a good excuse to watch it. The scenery in parts of the movie are guiding me with my wip.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeleyanLee View Post
    One emmigrates from one country to become an immigrant in another country.

    Does that help?
    Yes, but do you call those people emmigrants?
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  10. #10
    no, really jannawrites's Avatar
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    So you're looking for a technical term that's already in use for this purpose? Or you want help making one up?

  11. #11
    And thus we begin the edits melaniehoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quickWit View Post
    Travelers
    Journeymen
    Travelers is in the right direction. I keep thinking "seekers of a better life" but that's a little wordy, lol.
    New website & blog! Melaniehoo. My dog has a blog, too. Super Owen
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  12. #12
    Writing Anarchist DeleyanLee's Avatar
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    Yep. Emmigrants are people who leave their country to go live somewhere else. Just standard English.
    My blog: Myth Mugger


    Flamechild, the first anthology in the Children of the Vortex series, is now available here.
    Stonechild is a free intro story to the Children of the Vortex series, now available here

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  13. #13
    And thus we begin the edits melaniehoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jannawrites View Post
    So you're looking for a technical term that's already in use for this purpose? Or you want help making one up?
    Preferably one that already exists, but if we can make up a word that make sense and works, that's cool too.
    New website & blog! Melaniehoo. My dog has a blog, too. Super Owen
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  14. #14
    Yes, I'm back. Bmwhtly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melaniehoo View Post
    but if we can make up a word that make sense and works, that's cool too.
    Smizmar.
    "Anyone who can't stomach a bit of hypothetical grotesquery needs to toughen up, because the way the world's going, we'll all spend our final days scrabbling through a pile of steaming rubble, desperately scavenging for bits of charred baby to eat with our bare hands. And under those circumstances, a dark sense of humour will be a massive advantage."

  15. #15
    And thus we begin the edits melaniehoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmwhtly View Post
    Smizmar.
    Yes, yes, that's it. Perfect.
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  16. #16
    Are you one, Herbert? Prozyan's Avatar
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    I've heard them referred to as "cargo" here. Being relatively close to El Paso, we see a lot of that traffic.

    Of course, that is what the coyotes and BP agents call them.

    I've heard illegals refer to each other as "migrants".
    If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

  17. #17
    no, really jannawrites's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melaniehoo View Post
    Travelers is in the right direction. I keep thinking "seekers of a better life" but that's a little wordy, lol.
    I think I got myself confoozeled. You mean the guys crossing the line into the US, or the ones helping them?

    ETA: I'm s l o w this morning.

  18. #18
    And thus we begin the edits melaniehoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jannawrites View Post
    I think I got myself confoozeled. You mean the guys crossing the line into the US, or the ones helping them?
    The ones crossing. The ones helping are coyotes.

    Prozyan, I hadn't heard that. It makes sense.
    New website & blog! Melaniehoo. My dog has a blog, too. Super Owen
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  19. #19
    no, really jannawrites's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melaniehoo View Post
    The ones crossing. The ones helping are coyotes.

    Prozyan, I hadn't heard that. It makes sense.
    Ah, yes. Now I remember you mentioned coyotes already.

    I like "cargo." I can hear the coyotes talking back and forth to one another (if there's more than one).

    "Get that cargo over here, and keep him down! BP's just up the hill!"

    Or whatever, cuz, you know, you're the one writing it.


  20. #20
    Totally Ninja! quickWit's Avatar
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    If the helpers are Coyotes perhaps you should refer to the crossers as some other kind of desert animal like jackrabbits or something? Just another avenue to consider.
    Grill me a cheese.

  21. #21
    Out to lunch
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    Migrants.

    (Incidentally, there's only one 'm' in emigrants)

  22. #22
    Always Watching lostgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quickWit View Post
    If the helpers are Coyotes perhaps you should refer to the crossers as some other kind of desert animal like jackrabbits or something? Just another avenue to consider.
    Witters quit trying to weasel into Hoo's story..

  23. #23
    And thus we begin the edits melaniehoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Priene View Post
    Migrants.

    (Incidentally, there's only one 'm' in emigrants)
    I knew there was a word. That works, thank you.

    (I didn't think that looked right, thanks.)
    New website & blog! Melaniehoo. My dog has a blog, too. Super Owen
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  24. #24
    Court Jester Shadow_Ferret's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melaniehoo View Post
    He's helped by coyotes (men who get you across the border for a price)
    Glad you explained that. I thought you were writing about Mogli or something.

    Would the word runners work?
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  25. #25
    And thus we begin the edits melaniehoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jannawrites View Post
    Ah, yes. Now I remember you mentioned coyotes already.

    I like "cargo." I can hear the coyotes talking back and forth to one another (if there's more than one).

    "Get that cargo over here, and keep him down! BP's just up the hill!"

    Or whatever, cuz, you know, you're the one writing it.

    LOL. The only problem is it's not told from the coyotes perspective. I meant to say that earlier - the MC wouldn't refer to himself as cargo.

    Quote Originally Posted by quickWit View Post
    If the helpers are Coyotes perhaps you should refer to the crossers as some other kind of desert animal like jackrabbits or something? Just another avenue to consider.
    Jackalope?
    New website & blog! Melaniehoo. My dog has a blog, too. Super Owen
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