Tag: Travel Lexicon

Discovering ‘Columbusing’

According to Know Your Meme, the term “Columbusing” was coined by College Humor in a satirical video in which a white guy explains to his black friend that he’s “discovered” the bar where the black friend has been hanging out. “You can’t discover some place that people have already been to first,” argues the black guy. The white guy persists: “Yes, I can, that’s exactly what Columbus did.” It’s funny—and painful. (You can watch the College Humor video here.)

An ironic follow-up: NPR appears to have Columbused Columbusing. In a more serious take, “Columbusing: The Art of Discovering Something That is Not New,” Brenda Salinas asks when cultural appropriation is—and is not—okay.

She writes:

Buzzfeed Food published an article asking, “Have you heard about the new kind of pie that’s all the rage lately?” It’s a hand pie, a little foldover pie that you can fit in your hand. They have flaky crusts and can be sweet or savory. You know, exactly like an empanada, a Latin American culinary staple.

On face value, it seems stupid to get worked up over an empanada. I mean, it’s just a pastry, right? But “discovering” empanadas on Pinterest and calling them “hand pies” strips empanadas of their cultural context. To all the people who grew up eating empanadas, it can feel like theft.

She suggests people—travelers and otherwise—ask themselves a few questions to be sure they’re not wantonly Columbusing:

Who is providing this good or service for me?
Am I engaging with them in a thoughtful manner?
Am I learning about this culture?
Are people from this culture benefiting from my spending money here?
Are they being hurt by my spending money here?

I’d add “What happened here?” and “Where did this idea originate?”

The cure for “Columbusing”? Curiosity.

‘Afterglobe,’ ‘Ingesticulate’ and 28 Other New Additions to the Travel Lexicon

Andy Murdock has been brainstorming some much-needed new travel words. For instance, “comeuppants,” a noun for those times when “an obnoxious person loses their luggage and has no change of clothes.” Or “trambunctious,” possibly my favorite of the bunch, an adjective describing someone who is “overly excited by riding trains, funiculars, and other forms of public transport.” Funny stuff all around.

The New Oxford American Dictionary: Embracing Travel Lingo

A handful of the travel-themed words and phrases we’ve covered here on the blog are now bona fide entries in the New Oxford American. The lucky winners? Hypermiling and staycation—this, despite our attempts to quash it. “Flyover” also received some attention; the dictionary now acknowledges its informal role “denoting central regions of the US regarded as less significant than the East or West coasts.” (Via The Book Bench)

Bennies and Shoobies: A Guide to Beach Blanket Lingo

In the New York Times, Ben Zimmer unpacks the vocabulary of beach tourism from coast to coast. Turns out, nearly every American coastal region has its own term for the summer invaders:

Old-time New Englanders have disdain for the summer people. On the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland, the come-heres are pitted against the from-heres. Hawaiians call white visitors to the islands haoles. West Coast surfers, a territorial lot, have a plethora of terms for nonlocals: Trevor Cralle’s “Surfin’ary: A Dictionary Of Surfing Terms and Surfspeak” lists put-downs like hondo, inlander, flatlander, valley and casper. (The last one is reserved for tourists whose pallid complexion resembles that of Casper the Friendly Ghost.) On the Jersey Shore, the two main terms for unpleasant outsiders are bennies and shoobies.

‘Traincation’? Oh No They Didn’t.

The Guardian goes there. Myself, I’d prefer any of the perfectly functional terms we already have for this practice: “train travel,” “train ride,” “taking the train” or even “a voyage by rail.”

New Addition to the Travel Lexicon: ‘Hyperforeignism’

Per Kottke, it’s “the mispronunciation of words borrowed from foreign languages…but it’s actually a sort of an over-pronunciation, so correct that’s it circle [sic] back around to incorrect again.” So for instance, instead of mispronouncing “prix fixe” as “pricks ficks” you might go with “pree fee”—when the correct version is actually something closer to “pree ficks.”

New Addition to the Travel Lexicon: ‘Clark’

It’s derived from the name Clark Griswold, Chevy Chase’s character in Vacation. In recent usage it has two meanings:

1) To World Hum contributor Matt Villano, to Clark is “to overly plan an adventure in an attempt to make sure everyone will have a great time, only to see the plans backfire, causing disastrous results.”

2) To Tony Hawk, to do a Clark Griswold is to practice “efficiency in sightseeing.”

We support both uses.

Schott’s Vocab on ‘Grief Tourism’

The New York Times blog of modern words and phrases picks up on grief tourism. It defines it as: “Traveling to the memorial services or home towns of those who have died, in order to pay one’s respects—despite having no personal connection with the deceased.” It’s an offshoot of dark tourism, which Frank Bures examined for World Hum a couple years ago.

‘Staycation’: The Word That Won’t Die

One step forward, one step back. (Via The Book Bench)

The (Official) End of ‘Staycation’?

On a warm Southern California afternoon near the end of the summer travel season, I bade farewell to the word “staycation.” It wasn’t a fond farewell, and I’m happy to report that others followed suit.

Now, at year’s end, comes a last bit of good news on the topic. Lake Superior State University just released its annual List of Words to Be Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness. From 5,000 nominated words, the university chose 15 for banishment, including “staycation.”

Thank you, Lake Superior State.

Though she may take some time off at home, the queen would never take a staycation. Neither should the rest of us.

Call it a New Year’s resolution.


New Addition to the Travel Lexicon: ‘Baiku’

Photo by DanieVDM via Flickr (Creative Commons)

That would be a haiku-esque poem written by a “biker poet,” and that’s usually an ode to the open road. The Boston Globe takes a look at the biker poet phenomenon and shares a few baikus as well. Here’s my favorite:

Read More »

New Addition to the Travel Lexicon: ‘Vagabond Neurosis’

The term pops up in this National Post story about chronic traveler Charles Veley.

Read More »

Forbes Traveler on ‘Dumb Travel Trends’

Good news: It looks as though our feelings are spreading.

R.I.P. ‘Staycation’

Not even in peace. Just take a rest. Yes, we all had a lot of fun with this clever new word this summer. We—travel writers, bloggers, even TV networks—lamented the high price of gas and the slow economy and declared it the perfect summer to stay home and explore our own backyards. We’ll take a staycation, we said, so pleased with the expression that self-satisfied grins followed its every use. Somewhere along the way, we lost our marbles.

Read More »

‘Golfcations’? Enough Already!

Sure, I’ve done my bit to contribute to this summer’s -cation craze. But even I think that this time, Forbes Traveler has gone too far. Golfcation? Really?

Labor Day Travel Down in 2008. Time for a ‘Barbecation’?

That’s the prediction from AAA, according to Reuters, and the expected downturn is blamed on the usual suspects this summer: high gas prices and a low U.S. dollar. Reuters also suggests that many Americans may stay home and have a barbecue instead—so if “barbecation” becomes the new staycation, remember, you heard it here first.

Remembering ‘Staycations’ Before They Were a Trend

NPR commentator Laura Lorson finds it curious that her childhood trips to places like Indianapolis and Knoxville would today be dubbed “staycations.” In the ‘70s, it was simply what families on a budget did during summer vacation. And while she sometimes felt inferior to classmates who jetted off to Paris, she had seen one thing they hadn’t: the Ponderosa Steakhouse.

Don’t be a Touron!: New Additions to the Travel Lexicon

Daily Candy has posted another round of its excellent travel lexicon. Among the travel-related words suggested by the site’s readers: touron (n. tourist + moron.  “Don’t even bother with the Louvre on a Saturday. It’s overrun with tourons.”), gabbin pressure (n. sense of obligation to chat to the passenger next to you during a flight. “I’m just recovering from gabbin pressure—I sat next to a real flight dependent.”) and, my favorite, travelanche (n. the state of affairs when one little thing goes wrong and then everything snowballs toward disaster. “It started as a minor delay in Seattle and ended up a full-blown travelanche involving lost luggage, bad airport food, and dire intestinal consequences.”). Also: Read last year’s first batch of the Daily Candy travel lexicon.

  • « Prev Page
  • Next Page »