Is 'Gallivanter' a commonly used word?

AidaGlass

Senior Member
Persian-Iran
Hello,
Is the word 'gallivanter' in common use among English speaking people?
I was looking for a single word describing someone who loves to travel a lot and is always in pursuit of enjoyment and amusement (specially by travelling) when I encountered this word.
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    I think it's a little old-fashioned now but you could use it.

    Edit:I was referring to "gallivant" and its usual variations like gallivanting, gallivants and gallivanted. I just realised you were referring to gallivanter. I've never heard that before. It could work of course but do you have a specific sentence in mind?
     
    Last edited:

    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    It's... a bit forced, honestly. People will understand some of the meaning you intend because they are likely to have encountered "gallivanting," but they may more likely associate it with a cavalier attitude or a sort of frenetic or perhaps careless sort of activity or motion. Many will not immediately associate "gallivanting" with enjoyment; oddly, they would probably understand describing someone in the present as traveling for fun if you call them "explorers." Yes, there is irony in that the tone reversal: Now we "explore" for fun, but "gallivanting" is most often used to describe movements as reckless or inappropriate for a context.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Adventurer" might be a better word. Even organised travel on package holidays and cruise ships can be counted as "adventure" these days, alas.
     

    AidaGlass

    Senior Member
    Persian-Iran
    It could work of course but do you have a specific sentence in mind?
    Someone asks me if I'm interested in traveling, and I'd like to tell that person 'yes, I love traveling a lot and am always seeking for recreation, specially in outdoors.' I wanted to know If I could use this word instead of explaining how I feel about traveling.
    It's... a bit forced, honestly. People will understand some of the meaning you intend because they are likely to have encountered "gallivanting," but they may more likely associate it with a cavalier attitude or a sort of frenetic or perhaps careless sort of activity or motion. Many will not immediately associate "gallivanting" with enjoyment; oddly, they would probably understand describing someone in the present as traveling for fun if you call them "explorers." Yes, there is irony in that the tone reversal: Now we "explore" for fun, but "gallivanting" is most often used to describe movements as reckless or inappropriate for a context.
    Thanks. So, based on your explanation, I can't use this word in the sense that I'm a person who loves traveling a lot.
     

    AidaGlass

    Senior Member
    Persian-Iran
    "Adventurer" might be a better word. Even organised travel on package holidays and cruise ships can be counted as "adventure" these days, alas.
    Could I say I'm an adventurer while I just likes traveling to nearby places around my town, like mountains, waterfalls, lagoons, etc., not traveling the world?
     

    AidaGlass

    Senior Member
    Persian-Iran
    Could you please give us a sentence with that word? (That's a forum requirement by the way and should have come in your OP.)
    I provided an example sentence in post #6.
    Someone asks me if I'm interested in traveling, and I'd like to tell that person 'yes, I love traveling a lot and am always seeking for recreation, specially in outdoors= yes I'm a gallivantar.
    Unlike his brother, he's not a gallivantar at all. He's always playing video games and watching movies at home, never going away or traveling.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I don't think I've ever seen "gallivanter" used as a noun. You could do it as "I love gallivanting" but that has a slightly pejorative connotation as if you're off out seeing the world when you should be doing something else instead.
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    I provided an example sentence in post #6.
    Someone asks me if I'm interested in traveling, and I'd like to tell that person 'yes, I love traveling a lot and am always seeking for recreation, specially in outdoors= yes I'm a gallivanter gallivantar.
    Thank you (the sentence in post 6 didn't use the word). I don't see anything wrong with "I'm a gallivanter" but I'm not sure it means what you think it means. The WR dictionary defines "gallivant" as "to wander about, seeking pleasure or entertainment". "Wander" here doesn't exactly mean travel (PaulQ said something similar above). Gallivanting refers to something like a man about town, someone who enjoys going out and having a good time, rather than someone who travels for pleasure. "Travel" suggests fairly long journeys.

    I agree with DonnyB that it sounds a little pejorative. "Gallivanting" doesn't convey the impression of a serious traveller but someone who just wants to go out and enjoy himself, and not take on any responsibility.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Hello,
    Is the word 'gallivanter' in common use among English speaking people?
    Absolutely not.
    Really not even used, never mind common.
    My mum and I use gallivanting as a catch-all for any sort of activity outside the home. It’s possibly pejorative, but not highly critical, it’s just more syllables than “going” or “spending time”. I suppose it could be old fashioned, I cannot judge!
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Could I say I'm an adventurer while I just likes traveling to nearby places around my town, like mountains, waterfalls, lagoons, etc., not traveling the world?
    If you are talking about places in your town you could say "I like getting out and about."

    If you're going outside your town to visit waterfalls and natural places I think "adventurer" is an exaggeration but you could say "I like exploring Mother Nature."

    I don't know if you can say what you want to say in one word. Gallivanter is definitely not that word. "I like getting out and exploring the world, near and far" covers everything from near to far. It's all part of the world.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Gallivanter features (prominently) in the song 'Helicopter Helicopter' by The Associates (1985) ... and nowhere else that I can think of:cool:

    I can't think of a better noun here than adventurer, though I think adventurous + n. would work better:
    I love travelling and doing things in the great outdoors ~ I'm an adventurous type / I'm quite an adventurous person.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I like biblio's explorer too. Adventurer emphasises the experience and not necessarily the travel, although there is an assumption that the local is exotic.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    To me, adventurer almost implies excitement for excitement's sake. Explorer does not. You can explore a bookstore. Or a park. Or a small town. It's a more general description, I think.
     
    Agreed with those who speak of the verb; the noun sounds awkward. I think there is an insinuation of loose or improper conduct when applied to a woman back in the 1940s when the term was heard. Compare the designation :"She's an adventuress." Does not conjure up rock climbing.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    It seems safe to say that this is almost exclusively used as a present participle, and virtually unknown as a noun.
    :thumbsup:
    Where have you been gallivanting all this time?
    I'm stuck here while you're off gallivanting somewhere.
    I wish you'd stop all your gallivanting and settle down.
    [gerund]
     

    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    I would only use ‘gallivanter’ in jest. ‘Gadabout’ is a lot more common.
    I did consider this, but it doesn't imply travel any more than some of the other choices do. (It might to others, I suppose. Certainly, "gadabout" just makes me think of a hedonist or libertine, while "gadding about" does suggest at least some meandering to me.)
     
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