Word of the Day – Gallivant

Word of the Day: March 14, 2023


What It Means

  • Gallivant means “to go or travel to many different places for pleasure.”
  • // She spent her gap year gallivanting around Europe with her best friend.
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“Under normal circumstances, most of us can’t drop what we’re doing with zero notice, buy a last-minute airplane ticket, and just show up to gallivant across the country with someone we’re attracted to, without telling anyone where we are.” — Jen Chaney, Vulture, 7 Apr. 2020

Did You Know?

Back in the 14th century, gallant, a noun borrowed from the French word galant, referred to a fashionable young man. By the middle of the next century, it was being used more specifically to refer to such a man who was attentive to, and had a fondness for, the company of women. In the late 17th century, this “ladies’ man” sense gave rise to the verb gallant to describe the process a suitor used to win a lady’s heart, and “gallanting” became synonymous with “courting.” It’s this verb gallant that is the likely source of gallivant, which originally meant “to act as a gallant” or “to go about usually ostentatiously or indiscreetly with members of the opposite sex.” Today, however, gallivant is more likely to describe pleasurable wandering than romancing.