Quiz: Do You Know The Origin Of The Word “Travel”?

Greg Rodgers of StartBackpacking.com does:

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Our ancestors knew the real deal. The word “travel” comes from the old French word “travail” which means to work. That word, is thought to have come from “tripullare”, which is the three sectioned whip that Roman soldiers used to strongly encourage productivity out of the laborers in their expanded empire. They associated the act of moving from one place to another with hellish torture.

I’m embarrassed to say that, with all the obsessing I’ve done over travel, I never actually knew the origin of the word!

(I’m also embarrassed to say that I’ve never been able to properly spell the word “embarrassed” without the aid of Spell Check. Fun fact about me: I once lost a middle school spelling bee because I mispelled “embarrassment”. How do you define irony?)

Check out the full text of Greg’s piece here. I guarantee it’ll make you laugh.

Founding Editor
  1. That’s a good point.

    Perhaps Greg only likes to hear himself talk (jk, Greg). If you’re reading this though, turn comments on. We have a couple of things we’d like to say to you. =P

  2. Hello Mike and Shona….I finally received the telepathy and saw this. :)

    Hmmm…well the problem is that to turn comments “on” I would have to write a script (doable but painful) because I did all the code and graphics for the site myself in a few months of frenzied computer nerd activity…it is not driven by any blogging engine, etc. I definitely think it is a good idea however and will add it to my after-China fixes for the site list when I get back. Thanks for the tip!

    Wow – that was long…maybe I DO like hearing myself talk. ;)

  3. LOL, I understand, Greg. Why not go with WordPress? As a web designer/developer myself, I can say that I too like the punishment of building things myself.

  4. the Oxford Dictionary states the word’s origin was the “tripaliuml”, a three legged stand invented by Nero to torture people. this later became the work for work, trevail, french in origin. What is lost is the connection between tripalium and trevail. There almost certainly had to be one, as French was derived from latin.

  5. I heard that the word “travel” had originated from the word “trauma” i think from that Latin but I cannot be sure. It was said that to travel was to go through a trauma in the sense that travel “changes your mind” you encounter new things thus new ideas and ways of thinking, you experience things in your mind on the journey thus is is the trauma, this change. A trauma is a change of mind. A bit like when something really bad happens in your life that upsets you a lot and you get very depressed, it is said that you have experienced a trauma. So there are degrees of traumas.

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