a cocktail of travel lies in her wake


Dear all,

Please help me understand the meaning of the bold-phrase:

“Armstrong, old boy,” Falconbridge said,“this is the woman about whom I sent you the message. Brilliant. She is African, American, and Nova Scotian—a cocktail of travel lies in her wake, and not all of it voluntary.

And... yes, it's another quotes of Book of Negro. I'm reading it for enjoyment and learning. I've tried to find the meaning of this phrase in search engine and online dictionary, but still couldn't find it. So I'll be very thankful if you want to help :)

Thanks a lot,

  • cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    It seems to be a bit of a mixed metaphor. A cocktail is an alcoholic drink with several ingredients. A wake is the disturbance a boat leaves behind itself as it moves through the water. The woman has a lot of varied experience.


    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    No, the reference is to her ancestry. Her forebears were immigrants (travelers) from several places. "Not all of it [the travel] voluntary" = some of them, those from Africa, were forced to travel, as slaves.
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