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Word of the Day

Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Definitions for Wanderjahr
  1. German. a year or period of travel, especially following one's schooling and before practicing a profession.
  2. German. (formerly) a year in which an apprentice traveled and improved his skills before settling down to the practice of his trade.

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Citations for Wanderjahr
When your father finished college, he had his Wanderjahr, a fine year's ramble up the Rhine and down the Loire, with a pretty girl on one arm and a good comrade on the other. Walker Percy, The Moviegoer, 1961
She has to be bored by Bill ... she's probably pleased with the daughter ... and increasingly worried about the son, as his Wanderjahr has become a Wanderlife. Michael Cunningham, By Nightfall, 2010
Origin of Wanderjahr
Wander-year, the English translation of German Wanderjahr, was first recorded in English about 1880. Its German original entered English about a dozen years later. Like the German noun, wander-years meant the period between one’s finishing artisanal training or graduation from university and the beginning of one’s career. German and English wander derive from the Proto-Indo-European root wendh- “to turn, weave,” the source of “wind” (the verb) and “wend,” whose past tense, “went,” now serves as the past tense of the verb “to go.” Year and Jahr derive from the Proto-Indo-European root yēr- “year, season,” source of Greek hṓrā “period, season,” adopted into Latin as hōra “hour” (of varying length), the source, through Old French of English “hour.”
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