Printable Version
Pronunciation: trayps Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, intransitive

Meaning: 1. To extensively travel about without much thought. 2. To gad about, to travel about showily in search of fun and pleasure.

Notes: Where Southerners say gallivant, folks in the northern US tend to use today's Good Word. As the definitions above show, they are almost identical synonyms used in different regions of the US.

In Play: Traipsing, like gallivanting, usually carries a slight pejorative stigma: "Oh, yes, didn't that 'shy' Anne Y. Ohming traipse right over to Phil Ander's house and tell his poor wife that she saw Phil having lunch with Wanda Round at the Dunham Inn." Even the implication that the travel might be flagrant comes with today's word, just as with gallivant: "Can you believe the way Maud Lynn Dresser is traipsing around town in that new diamond necklace her husband bought her for her birthday?"

Word History: Today's Good Word is a corruption of trespass, which we borrowed from Old French trespasser, made up of tres- "over" + passer "to pass". The French suffix tres- "over" came from Latin trans "across, over", which we find in many English words with the sense of "across" or "over", such as transfer, transform, transmit. Pass came from a Late Latin verb, passare, which was based on passus, the past participle of pandere "to stretch out". The same verb also turned up in English, after a French makeover, as pace.

Dr. Goodword,

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