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Is it a "Saunter" or a "Hike"? Our Pilgrimages.......

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Tim Floyd

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2022
TDMB 2016
Cotswold Way 2018
I have to laugh, because when I was working to convince my wife to come along with me on the CF I told her “It’s really not a hike. It’s just a long walk.” By day three trudging into Zuberi after the Napoleon, she told me in no uncertain terms that this was a hike! Of course it got better. Finished our saunter 40 days later and had a great time.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1989
It is a beautiful theory of the origin of the word. Unfortunately, the Oxford English Dictionary, which is pretty authoritative in matters of English etymology, does not agree. In fact, the word does not appear to go back to the middle ages. It dates to the 17th century and originally meant "to wander or travel about aimlessly or unprofitably" which, for me at least, doesn't suit pilgrimage too well.

If we want an alternative to "hike", I would humbly suggest "peregrinate", which is related in etymology to the French, Italian and Spanish verbs "to go on pilgrimage".

What, doesn't everyone keep a copy of the OED in their bedrooms to look up these things?
 
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Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
What, doesn't everyone keep a copy of the OED in their bedrooms to look up these things?

The Compact edition obviously. The two-volume version with its own magnifying glass in a little drawer for checking out the very fine print. No true pedant should travel anywhere without it! ;):cool:

compact-oed.jpg
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1989
The Compact edition obviously. The two-volume version with its own magnifying glass in a little drawer for checking out the very fine print. No true pedant should travel anywhere without it! ;):cool:

View attachment 50700
That's the one. I don't bother with the magnifying glass, though. I just look really closely at the page.

But I must admit I am not pedant enough to put it in my backpack when I walk the Camino.
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Time of past OR future Camino
2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022
Any day's section with any incline is a hike ( and sometimes a climb ), and on days that don't require my undivided attention because of terrain, weather, or tricky markings, I guess it would be a saunter. Each pilgrimage route has its own variety of trails and challenges ( and applicable coordinating cuss words ) .I most recently walked the Camino Portuguese, and I considered that a 'mosey'. I've discovered I enjoy the mosey most. I'll be walking the Camino Ingles this Sept ( short route this year because of health and time constraints )...I'm hoping it's a doozie of a mosey.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
It is a beautiful theory of the origin of the word. Unfortunately, the Oxford English Dictionary, which is pretty authoritative in matters of English etymology, does not agree. In fact, the word does not appear to go back to the middle ages. It dates to the 17th century and originally meant "to wander or travel about aimlessly or unprofitably" which, for me at least, doesn't suit pilgrimage too well.

If we want an alternative to "hike", I would humbly suggest "peregrinate", which is related in etymology to the French, Italian and Spanish verbs "to go on pilgrimage".

What, doesn't everyone keep a copy of the OED in their bedrooms to look up these things?

Too many syllables... The chosen word must flow smoothly from the lips... the syllables should be rhythmic or smooth...
 
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Finisterre

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Sarria 2001,
Porto 2006,
Valenca 2008,
Finisterre 2010,
SJdPP 2012,
Tui 2014.

No plans to return, yet.
considering the noises I make, to mooch?
 
D

Deleted member 59555

Guest
It is a casual stroll into a beautiful village, it is a wine outside a cafe at dusk, it is freindships that will last forever. It is also a gut busting climb, decents that could break or ankle and a sweat soaked body lying on your bunk at three thirty in the afternoon wishing you were dead.
Hope I havn't put any one off.:);):eek:
 

Peter Fransiscus

Be a Rainbow in someone else's cloud.
Time of past OR future Camino
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
It is a casual stroll into a beautiful village, it is a wine outside a cafe at dusk, it is freindships that will last forever. It is also a gut busting climb, decents that could break or ankle and a sweat soaked body lying on your bunk at three thirty in the afternoon wishing you were dead.
Hope I havn't put any one off.:);):eek:
😟🤐
 
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It is a beautiful theory of the origin of the word. Unfortunately, the Oxford English Dictionary, which is pretty authoritative in matters of English etymology, does not agree.

Even more beautiful @David Tallan , is that John Muir, a Scot who pioneered outdoor pursuits in his home country and in western north America, most probably had not heard the the OED. Nor, it would seem, had the OED heard of John Muir.

I elect for John Muir's explanation as it is quite related to what we do (and bugger the experts).

Thanks to @HalfDomeOrBust for bringing this to our attention.
 

jmcarp

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
The Compact edition obviously. The two-volume version with its own magnifying glass in a little drawer for checking out the very fine print. No true pedant should travel anywhere without it! ;):cool:

View attachment 50700
I suppose that means you have both volumes in your backpack while on Camino?
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
No - I am only a half-hearted pedant and also far too lazy. I walk quiet routes in quiet seasons and hardly meet anyone to practice on. So I leave the dictionaries at home and make up for my slacking when I get back.

No need to leave it behind.... You could always get the OED app for your smartphone. I'd bet the data is a bit lighter than paper :)
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Francis SJPDP-SDC (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) , Norte 2018
Pilgrim Office 2018, Hospitalero Acebo 2019
Well, well!! Lots of interesting thoughts on this thread. Every post seems valid and has a good point!!!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
What, doesn't everyone keep a copy of the OED in their bedrooms to look up these things?
Not in the bedroom, but somewhere in the house there are the Shorter, Illustrated and first Edition of the Australia Pocket OEDs, as well as two Concise Macquarie Dictionarys (both 1st and 2nd Eds) and a paperback edition of The University English Dictionary. As a child, my family relied on a Webster's, a wonderful tome!

As @davebugg notes, there are apps and other web resources. For those of us who delight in both the highways and byways of the English language and its many varieties, we are never far from a good dictionary, thesaurus or similar resource.
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
As a child, my family relied on a Webster's, a wonderful tome!

I agree. Way back in another century I was part of a school quiz team and we won a three-volume set of Webster's each as the runners-up in an inter-school competition. Still here on my shelves. The first prize was a long weekend in Copenhagen plus a full set of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Would have kept me out of mischief for a while :)
 
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susanawee

susanawee
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
Not in the bedroom, but somewhere in the house there are the Shorter, Illustrated and first Edition of the Australia Pocket OEDs, as well as two Concise Macquarie Dictionarys (both 1st and 2nd Eds) and a paperback edition of The University English Dictionary. As a child, my family relied on a Webster's, a wonderful tome!

As @davebugg notes, there are apps and other web resources. For those of us who delight in both the highways and byways of the English language and its many varieties, we are never far from a good dictionary, thesaurus or similar resource.
Sounds just like my house Doug and, ditto on the growing up with Websters...lol
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
It is a beautiful theory of the origin of the word. Unfortunately, the Oxford English Dictionary, which is pretty authoritative in matters of English etymology, does not agree. In fact, the word does not appear to go back to the middle ages. It dates to the 17th century and originally meant "to wander or travel about aimlessly or unprofitably" which, for me at least, doesn't suit pilgrimage too well.

If we want an alternative to "hike", I would humbly suggest "peregrinate", which is related in etymology to the French, Italian and Spanish verbs "to go on pilgrimage".

What, doesn't everyone keep a copy of the OED in their bedrooms to look up these things?

By extension, in Spain, we pilgrims are known as Peregrinos.
 

susanawee

susanawee
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
By extension, in Spain, we pilgrims are known as Peregrinos.
Wilsti I do agree in some ways with 'saunter', maybe not beig the right word in this discussion, I would just like to add here....So many of or newer members here, actually Don't think of Walking the Camino, which ever route they choose to walk, as a Pilgrimage, or of themselves as 'Pilgrims' and therefore, perhaps Perigrinate, is also the incorrect word for what They are doing. A goodly portion of walkers who I connected with in April and May last year where walking for other reasons and had very little, if any, knowledge of the History or other traditions associated with their walk. Just sayng here so 'please don't shoot me dwn in flames'. Cheers.
 

lunna

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
frances; lisboa-muxia; norte+bayonne; vdlp; le puy; voie d'arles+aragones; geneva to ales
I always refer to this as a stroll.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto > Santiago - April 2018
I often found myself saying out loud or to myself that the Camino is just like life. It contains ups and downs, opportunity to laugh at oneself as well as with others; times to feel urges to give up, to give to another, to take from another. For me and many others the journey is more about making forward progress in understanding ones life; remembering the future. Just do it.
 
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4 Eyes

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
"The etymology of the word saunter features in an essay by Henry Thoreau (‘Walking’ published 1862) where the same reference to the Holy Land is made."

"Thoreau’s explanation for the word saunter: from à la Saint[e] Terre, describing pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land. There goes a Saint[e] Terrer, a saunterer, a Holy Lander. But it was a false etymology, apparently spread from a book called Country Words, by S. and E. Ray, 1691. Although since the origins of the word were obscure, it might in fact be the true story."

"The book is John Ray’s Collection of South and East-Country Words (1691)"

"The word is used (and explained as indeed referring to the Crusaders going to the Holy Land) in A Political History of the Devil by Daniel Defoe (pub 1726)."

I found the above information on line. So looks like John Muir read Thoreau, but not the OED. Thoreau is a good read.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
How wonderful that Thoreau and Muir played out their respective roles in life as bookends from opposite sides of America, but with the same aim: to educate, enlighten, and compel enduring love for Nature in all her depth, breadth, and beauty. So saunter on, brave pilgrims, saunter on, or stroll, or promenade, or walk about, or peregrinate, or hike, or mosey, or...
 

mikebet

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
...or perambulate.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
According to my trusty OED, "pram" (in the sense of a baby carriage) is just a vulgar and colloquial abbreviation of "perambulator". ;-)
Then you would have learned the history of both perambulator and pram are far older than their association with baby carriages in the late 19th century.
 

mattythedog

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
I call it my Stroll Across Spain. For those of my friends and family who don't understand the spirt and energy of the Camino, I call it my Boutique Vacation: eat all the lavish dinners and delicious fresh food I want; drink a bottle of wine every night; visit medieval churches, castles, monasteries; stay outside in the fresh air nearly all day; meet hundreds of new friends from all over the world and visit old friends from previous Caminos; AND lose weight in the process!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Going on camino: "I am going on a long walk". The family then know they will not see me for six weeks. Around the local suburbs: "I am going on a short walk". Anything from an hour to a day.

The dictionary according to me: A stroll is taking the dog out, a saunter is on a beach, a wander is what happens with small children, a hike is bushwalking.
 
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jerbear

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino de madrid, camino francis, camino inverino (2012, 2013,2014)
CdM, Francis, San salvador, primativo june 2015 CDM , francis, inverino 2016
Camino madrid, via de Plata. Santiago.
Coast of the dead malpica to muxia
I am trying to slow down, change my gate to allow all these body changes to occur. However, put my poles in my hands, iam off to the Races! imo.
 

Geodoc

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2018 (across Pyrenees, then Sarria to SdC), CF 2019 (SJPdP to Finisterra & Muxia), CI 2019
I called it a saunter (also called it walkabout). Hike is a four letter word :cool:
 
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2018
It is a beautiful theory of the origin of the word. Unfortunately, the Oxford English Dictionary, which is pretty authoritative in matters of English etymology, does not agree. In fact, the word does not appear to go back to the middle ages. It dates to the 17th century and originally meant "to wander or travel about aimlessly or unprofitably" which, for me at least, doesn't suit pilgrimage too well.

If we want an alternative to "hike", I would humbly suggest "peregrinate", which is related in etymology to the French, Italian and Spanish verbs "to go on pilgrimage".

What, doesn't everyone keep a copy of the OED in their bedrooms to look up these things?
HA! NOT ANY MORE.....
 
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VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
It is a beautiful theory of the origin of the word. Unfortunately, the Oxford English Dictionary, which is pretty authoritative in matters of English etymology, does not agree. In fact, the word does not appear to go back to the middle ages. It dates to the 17th century and originally meant "to wander or travel about aimlessly or unprofitably" which, for me at least, doesn't suit pilgrimage too well.
What, doesn't everyone keep a copy of the OED in their bedrooms to look up these things?
Not in my bedroom, David, but I did find a secondhand micrographed 2 volume copy cheap, now on the bottom shelf.
So, confess! Are you the insane proud owner of all 20 volumes of this remarkable publication?
The typeface in my copies is so minute I need both reading glasses and a powerful magnifying glass. Easier is to photograph an entry on my iPhone then zoom in!
IMG_2933.jpeg IMG_2934.jpeg
 
Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
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The second photo is actually one quarter of a page. Sorry, I didn’t upload it in full definition.
 
Last edited:

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1989
Not in my bedroom, David, but I did find a secondhand micrographed 2 volume copy cheap, now on the bottom shelf.
So, confess! Are you the insane proud owner of all 20 volumes of this remarkable publication?
The typeface in my copies is so minute I need both reading glasses and a powerful magnifying glass. Easier is to photograph an entry on my iPhone then zoom in!
View attachment 113332 View attachment 113333
I have the two volume set with magnifying glass. I don't use the magnifying glass, though. I just take off my glasses and look real closely.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1989
Yeah, this is what I do on the occasions I go shopping with my wife; I am thoroughly uninterested in the shopping yet thoroughly interested in being with her. I guess that makes me a situation-based saunterer.
Although, in that case your aim may be to spend time with your wife, and you may find the experience of being with her profitable (in the broad sense of the term).
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
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That's the one. I don't bother with the magnifying glass, though. I just look really closely at the page.

But I must admit I am not pedant enough to put it in my backpack when I walk the Camino.
Have a version on my computer, and a link thereto on my desktop, top left.

OED has "of obscure origin".

Personally, I'd call it a long walk, a pilgrimage, and a "hike" in the French sense of a "grande rando" -- and a Camino or a Via Romea as the case may be. Not a "saunter" though ...

I don't see these senses as contradicting each other whilst on these Pilgrim Ways.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
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Could possibly be derived, via Anglo-Norman, from an Old French verb (se) senter, meaning "to absent oneself" ?
 

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