Travel terms

May 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

Wayfarer – A wayfarer is someone who travels, especially on foot. The term entered English in the mid-1400s as a combination of way meaning “a path or course leading from one place to another” and fare, a verb meaning “to go; travel.”

Cosmopolitan – As an adjective, cosmopolitan means “at home all over the world,” and as a noun, “a citizen of the world.”

Sojourn – Sometimes a weekend getaway can satisfy one’s wanderlust, but other times a longer stay or sojourn is in order. This word can function as a noun or a verb, with senses of “a temporary stay” and “to stay for a time in a place; live temporarily,” respectively.

Traipse – Today’s definition of traipse emphasizes an easygoing manner of travel: “to walk or go aimlessly or idly or without finding or reaching one’s goal.”

Globetrotter – In addition to describing a theatrical basketball player who calls Harlem home, the word globetrotter can refer to a person who travels regularly or frequently to countries all over the world. A trot is a gait of horses that’s in between a walk and a run. By the mid-1500s, the word trotter was being used to refer to a person who moves about briskly and constantly.

Peregrinate – This term means “to travel or journey, especially to walk on foot.” It can be traced to the Latin peregrinari meaning “to travel abroad.”

Gallivant – If you prefer epicurean adventures over pilgrimages, gallivant may be your travel term of choice. This word means “to wander about, seeking pleasure or diversion.” Etymologists posit that the term could be humorous variation of the verb gallant. Both of these verbs carry senses involving flirtation, which adds an element of intrigue to any vacation.

Wanderlust – Wanderlust is a concept that underpins many of the other terms on this list. It is defined as “a strong, innate desire that compels wayfarers, cosmopolitans and globetrotters to sojourn, traipse and gallivant to sights unseen all over the world.



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