“You need to stop your gallivanting and do some homework,” is something I heard a good few times from my mother when I was a teenager.  “Gallivant” is a word taken for granted. Even if it is in your vocabulary, did you know anything about its origins? I didn’t and I find that information fascinating and ironic.

It’s ironic because my mother would say that phrase to me when I was first interested in girls. Instead of studying for exams, I would go to my local youth club in the pretense of playing table-tennis but really my main aim was to chat to girls.

The end result of my gallivanting was that I read the whole of ‘A Tale of Two Cities‘ by Charles Dickens the night before my English Literature exam. I got a Grade 2 which is between 70 – 90 percent. At least the book was fresh in my mind when I entered the exam room 🙂 That book remains as one of my all-time favorites.

The sharp eyed among you may have noticed a break away from the #WordWednesdayFun feature title. This is the same feature but now called simply ‘Word Wednesday.’

Okay, let’s get to Merriam-Webster:

But here is the origin of the word first [another break from the usual format]:

Did You Know?
Back in the 14th century, a young man of fashion (or a ladies’ man) was called a gallant. By the late 1600s, gallant was being used as a verb to describe the process a paramour used to win a lady’s heart; to gallant became a synonym of “to court.” Etymologists think that the spelling of the verb gallant was altered to create gallivant, which originally meant “to act as a gallant” or “to go about usually ostentatiously or indiscreetly with members of the opposite sex.” Nowadays, however, gallivant is more likely to describe wandering than romancing.

I now know my Mum was trying to tell me I was a ladies’ man!

Popularity: Bottom 50% of words
Simple Definition of gallivant
: to go or travel to many different places for pleasure
Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary

Bottom “50% of words”! Start using it – it truly is deserving of going viral 🙂

Full Definition of gallivant
intransitive verb
1
: to go about usually ostentatiously or indiscreetly with members of the opposite sex
2
: to travel, roam, or move about for pleasure

Examples of gallivant in a sentence
They’ve been gallivanting all over town.
He’s been gallivanting around the country when he ought to be looking for a job.

On a different note, this caught my eye: “Why do we call a dangerous person a loose cannon?”

Good question –

A cannon not properly secured could break loose either from the force of recoil or from the jostling of the vessel in choppy waters, presenting a hazard to sailors.

The M-W entry added:

The current election cycle has been no exception. In May, after Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination for President, Hillary Clinton remarked that “an unqualified loose cannon is within reach of the most powerful job in the world.”


A loose cannon is defined as “a dangerously uncontrollable person or thing.” It is a phrase that comes up often during election cycles, as candidates try to paint each other as rash and impulsive decision-makers.

loose-cannon

A cannon not properly secured could break loose either from the force of recoil or from the jostling of the vessel in choppy waters, presenting a hazard to sailors.

The current election cycle has been no exception. In May, after Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination for President, Hillary Clinton remarked that “an unqualified loose cannon is within reach of the most powerful job in the world.”

Then, on July 29, Trump returned fire:

Hillary Clinton should not be given national security briefings in that she is a lose cannon with extraordinarily bad judgement & insticts.

 

 

There you have it. I do wish people who use social media would use a spell-check.


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