Wanderlust: A Lot of People Have it and Do Not Know it

Confused about the word wanderlust?  So are a bunch of other people apparently.  I figured it was a common word and I was apparently wrong about that. Wanderlust is actually a German loan word in the English language.  It first came over to the English language in the early 1900’s or late 1800’s.  In German, it means and “desire of hiking”.  Wait! I thought that it would mean something along the lines of wandering.  False! Wanderlust comes from two German words.  The words wandern and Lust.  The word wandern does not mean to wander.  Rather, it means “to hike”.  People do in fact get the word Lust correct in meaning.  It does mean “desire”.

Knowing that one would come to the conclusion that I love hiking.  Well, I do like hiking, but that is actually not what the word has come to mean.  Wanderlust is usually to describe the feeling that one gets to travel.  Yep, despite the root word not having much to do with wandering, the English have slapped that meaning onto it and now it means pretty much the same thing in German.  This means that whenever someone says they have wanderlust it means they want to travel.  Some people get this quite frequently.  I am one of those and my father has it as well.  My mother does to an extent, but not as bad as my father and I.  If I do not get out of the city where I live for a couple of weeks I get really depressed and get snippy with people.  I hate staying in the same place.  My wanderlust is bad and I would probably have done great as a nomad.  One of my problems, I think, is my hometown.  Ponca City has a total of four things for people to do when they are bored: the movies (which usually do not show anything worth watching), lazer tag (if it is open), Walmart, and the YMCA.  There are a few parks, but nothing of great interest.  Basically, there is nothing to do and it drives me insane.  I live for the days when I have the chance to go out of town.  It is even better if I am going completely out of the state of Oklahoma.  Frankly, Oklahoma is boring.  You can only live here for so long before you want to leave and go someplace else more interesting.  Now that I think about it, a lot of people in Oklahoma that I know have wanderlust…good job of driving people away Oklahoma.

So, there you have it.  Wanderlust went from having a German meaning to have a meaning that the English slapped on it because they do not understand German.  Yay English!  The most confusing language in the world.  Next time you feel the need to travel tell people you need to calm you wanderlust and see what they do.  Most of the time you get some pretty odd looks.  It is fun.  You should try it.

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