For example, me and 7 of my friends are sitting at a lunch table. 3 other people sit down at the same table. We (the 8 of us) leave that table and and sit down at another. This effectively exiles us due to the 3 people that sat down, but required no force.

We were debating what the word for this would be. I don't believe it is "immigration," because we didn't move to an already existing place.

  • There's nothing official or recognized. 'exile' is for sending people away, not for people left over after others leave. You could make up something that sounds like your situation, 'implicitly exiled (with an explanation of the situation)'. There's no single word for this. – Mitch Mar 4 '19 at 18:50
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    "Abandon" comes to mind, as in the process where a town becomes a ghost town. As @mitch said, there's no commonly understood term for this, though. – user888379 Mar 4 '19 at 18:55
  • The unfortunate term that comes to mind for this is "white flight," but that refers to such a racially unjust act that it should never be used to refer to lunchroom politics. – TaliesinMerlin Mar 4 '19 at 18:56
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    "Exodus" is a relatively non-pejorative term. – Hot Licks Mar 4 '19 at 19:17
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    You marooned them. There once was bestranded, but English seems to have abandoned it some time ago. – Phil Sweet Dec 15 '20 at 1:08

It seems you've shunned the three you left behind—you have deliberately avoided their company.

  • I think you could shun the 3 person party by not talking to them or just turning your back and still sit in the same table. One doesn't need to "move" from one table to another to shun someone. – 3kstc Mar 4 '19 at 23:22
  • @3kstc: That it is possible to shun someone merely by refusing to acknowledge their presence, acting as though they are not even there, does not mean that the act of moving away from them is not also a shunning. – TRomano Mar 5 '19 at 13:20
  • Fair call, you make a good point. – 3kstc Mar 5 '19 at 13:55

In AmE: You and your friends ditched the others at the table. (Can also be used for sneaking out of a restaurant and leaving your date at the table.)


There is no perfect term for both the movement and the act of leaving others behind.

For a start, try relocate and relocation.

We relocated to another table.

Our relocation left three people behind.

Merriam-Webster's entry for the verb "relocate":

transitive verb : to locate again : establish or lay out in a new place

intransitive verb : to move to a new location

Most dictionaries I consulted report "relocation" as the noun form with a corresponding meaning.

One caution: many words and phrases for this kind of movement have negative connotations due to the history of forced population movements or of white flight, the phenomenon of white families moving away from communities to avoid living next to black or immigrant families. Because the noun form does not signal whether people are relocating themselves or being relocated, rhetorical care is warranted. Consider the collocation "forced relocation," which refers to moving "large numbers of people under threat, planned and organized by governmental authorities, armed forces and/or militias." So you'll want to be careful with how you use and modify relocation.


Welcome to English Stackexchange, Carson.

Your question is similar, although not identical to this: I need one-word expression for "Ignoring someone intentionally"

The behaviour you are describing sounds like you are ostracising the person or people:

To ostracise, “To exclude (a person) from society or from a community, by not communicating with them or by refusing to acknowledge their presence; to refuse to talk to or associate with.


You could use migrate. The Cambridge Dictionary defines migrate as:

If people migrate, they travel in large numbers to a new place to live temporarily

or this might better suit:

to move from one place to another


Sounds like you’ve been repelled from your table:

to force something or someone to move away or stop attacking you

You might also consider that you’ve been displaced from your table:

to force something or someone out of its usual or normal position

Displace does carry political connotations, which I personally think adds flair, but to each his own.

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