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peregrination

Printable Version
Pronunciation: pe-rê-gri-nay-shên Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A journey, an act of travel on foot or by vehicle. 2. (In the plural) Meanderings from place to place, wanderings.

Notes: Today's Good Word is the action noun from the verb peregrinate "to travel, journey" and comes with a healthy family. The personal noun is peregrinator, in case you need more syllables than traveler has to offer. We have a long adjective, peregrinatory, and a short one, peregrine, which can also mean "foreign, not domestic", as a peregrine species of plants.

In Play: Today's Good Word is virtual a synonym of journey, but one that raises the level of conversation just a tad: "Minnie Miles was exhausted after her day-long peregrination from Big Butte, Montana to New Monia, Pennsylvania." In the plural, it implies meandering, traveling without a specific destination: "Dusty Rhodes kept a journal of his summer peregrinations through Europe and illustrated it with hundreds of photographs he took along the way."

Word History: This word comes to English via French from Latin peregrinatio(n) "a journey". This noun is derived from peregrinatus, the past participle of peregrinari "to travel abroad", a verb derived from the adjective peregrinus "from abroad, a foreigner, a pilgrim." The adjective, in turn, was created from an adverb peregre "abroad", originally from per "through, across, beyond" + ager, agri "field, territory, country". This last word is the same that we see in agriculture, originally "field-culture". It came to English directly, via its Germanic ancestry, as acre. (Let's not peregrinate any farther without thanking Husain Mustfa for suggesting today's very Good Word.)

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