Word of the day

The word for today is…

vagrant (noun) – (1) (a) One who wanders from place to place without a permanent home or a means of livelihood.
(b) Archaic A wanderer; a rover.
(2) One who lives on the streets or constitutes a public nuisance.
(3) An animal occurring beyond its normal range; an accidental.

(adj) – (1) Wandering from place to place and lacking any means of support.
(2) Living on the streets or constituting a public nuisance.
(3) Inconstant or capricious; wayward.
(4) Moving in a random fashion; having no fixed direction or pattern: vagrant ice floes; a vagrant aroma.
(5) Being beyond its normal range; accidental. Used of animals.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : (noun) Mid-15th century, “person who lacks regular employment, one without fixed abode, a tramp,” probably from Anglo-French vageraunt, also wacrant, walcrant, which is said in many sources to be a noun use of the past participle of Old French walcrer “to wander,” from Frankish (Germanic) *walken, from the same source as Old Norse valka “wander” and English walk.

Under this theory the word was influenced by Old French vagant, vagaunt “wandering,” from Latin vagantem (nominative vagans), past participle of vagari “to wander, stroll about”. But on another theory the Anglo-French word ultimately is from Old French vagant, with an intrusive -r-. Middle English also had vagaunt “wandering, without fixed abode” (late 14th century), from Old French vagant.

(adj) Early 15th century., from Anglo-French vagarant, waucrant, and sharing with it the history to be found under vagrant. Dogberry’s corruption vagrom (“Much Ado about Nothing”) persisted through 19th century in learned jocularity.


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Peter is a fourth-generation New Zealander, with his mother’s and father’s folks having arrived in New Zealand in the 1870s. He lives in Lower Hutt with his wife, three cats and assorted computers.

His work history has been in the timber, banking and real estate industries, and he’s now enjoying retirement. He has been interested in computers for over thirty years and is a strong advocate for free open source software. He is chairman of the SeniorNet Hutt City committee.

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