Wanderlust: an etymology

We’ve always loved the term wanderlust—the very act of just saying the word inspires a sense of exploration and adventure that makes you desperately itch to get away.
wanderlust3Like most words that somehow manage to express the unexpressable, wanderlust has German roots—see schadenfreude, or even better, herbstlaubtrittvergnugen. If you want a hint on that last etymological doozy, see our primary inspiration for this post from Ben Schott. 

wanderlust2As it turns out, wanderlust is also a German word, derived from the terms wandern (to hike) and lust (desire). The verb wandern is a false friend, meaning that it is often mistranslated as a very similar looking word in English, wander (thanks Wikipedia). In German, wanderlust (pronounced with a “v”), refers to enjoyment of hiking or strolling about. The English meaning, of course, refers to a broader desire to travel or explore the world. 

Incidentally, the German term for wanderlust is fernweh, literally meaning “crave for travel”. 

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