January 26, 2013
travel (verb)
\TRAV-ul\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : to journey from place to place or to a distant place2 : to move or advance from one place to another
How do you use it?
Becky and her family will travel cross-country from Maine to Montana and back visiting relatives.
Are you a word wiz?

For most people today, traveling is a pleasure. But "travel" has a close relative that means difficult or painful work. Which word do you think it is?

Traveling today is not difficult. But in the Middle Ages, traveling was hard, uncomfortable work -- even torture. In fact, our word "travel" comes from a Latin word meaning "torture." The Latin "trepalium" names a torture device and is the source of the Latin verb "trepaliere," meaning "to torture." In early French, "trepaliare" became "travaillier," meaning "to torture" or "to suffer, labor." English adopted the French word as "travailen" with the meaning "to labor." Since getting from one place to another was so difficult, people began applying "travailen" to the act of making a trip. Eventually, "travail" and "travel" emerged as two distinct words.
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