GC: n

S: MPI – (last access: 4 March 2017); TheHill – (last access: 4 March 2017).

N: 1. early 15c., foreyner; see foreign (c. 1300, ferren, foran, foreyne, in reference to places, “outside the boundaries of a country;” of persons, “born in another country,” from Old French forain “strange, foreign; outer, external, outdoor; remote, out-of-the-way” (12c.), from Medieval Latin foraneus “on the outside, exterior,” from Latin foris (adv.) “outside,” literally “out of doors,” related to foris “a door,” from PIE *dhwor-ans-, from root *dhwer- “door, doorway”) + -er (English agent noun ending, corresponding to Latin -or).
In ordinary use chiefly applied to those who speak a foreign language as their native tongue; thus in England the term is not commonly understood to include Americans. (Ooxford English Dictionary)
In American English from 1620s through mid-19c., however, it was used of a person from a different colony or state. Earlier as a noun in English was simple foreign (early 14c.), probably from Old French, which used the adjective as a noun meaning “foreigner;” also “outskirts; the outside world; latrine, privy.” Spelling furriner, representing pronunciation, is from 1832, originally in Irish dialect pieces but by 1840s picked up by American dialect writers (Thomas Chandler Haliburton).
2. Two meanings:

  • A person belonging to or owing allegiance to a foreign country
  • chiefly dialectal: one not native to a place or community: stranger.

3. In the fields of International Public Law and Citizenship and Immigration (Canada): alien, foreigner.

  • A resident within a state who was not born there and does not have a blood-tie to a citizen of the state, and is a subject or national of a foreign state.

4. In the fields of Citizenship and Immigration and Protection of Life (Canada): foreign national, national abroad.

  • A person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, and includes a stateless person.

5. Collocations:

  • Common Noun Collocations of foreigner: man, hand, birth, talk, word, kind, citizen, person, language, work, father, status, expulsion, alien, fact, way, position, mind, point, Jew, expense, favour, fear, speech, baby, marriage, hatred, woman, strang.
  • Common Verb Collocations of foreigner: be, have, can, do, will, should, come, say, may, understand, see, marry, look, make, speak, allow, might, know, take, must, enter, become, live, reside, shall, ask, learn, visit.
  • Common Adjective Collocations of foreigner: noble, rid, intelligent, German, free, little, Protestant, resident, unacquainted, handsome, American, English, non, single, alien, much, such, poor, young, possible, distinguish, ignorant, strange, easy, foreign, other, native, only, first, own.

6. Cultural Interrelation: We can mention the play The Foreigner by Larry Shue.
Regarding to the French novel L’Étranger (1942) from Albert Camus, it’s quite clear that in English the title of this book had nothing to do with “foreigner”, but rather with “outsider” or “stranger”.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 4 March 2017). 2. MW – (last access: 4 March 2017). 3 & 4. TERMIUM PLUS – (last access: 4 March 2017). 5. FOCD – (last access: 4 March 2017). 6. Stateagent – (last access: 4 March 2017); FCB.


CR: alienage, emigration, expellee, expulsion, immigrant, immigration, international protection.