- 28 January 2012
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adminLonely Planet author
The Oxford English Dictionary contains over 600,000 unique words – surely enough to describe any situation, one would think. But as any traveler knows, the world has a way of confronting us with sights and experiences that can leave even the smartest among us at a loss for words. Sometimes we’re limited by our vocabularies, but often the word we need to describe what we’ve seen and done simply doesn’t exist…yet.
Thankfully, languages can evolve and grow to meet our needs, so here are 30 highly useful brand-new travel words and phrases to liven up your next postcard or travelogue:
The warm, fuzzy feeling one gets after a long immensely satisfying trip.
A Vietnamese sandwich eaten while driving at high speed.
The state of mind unique to road trips that convinces travelers that gummi bears and fried onion rings count as a daily serving of fruits and vegetables. Studies indicate that this may lead to automobesity.
The amount of time a weary traveler can tolerate the sounds of sexual intercourse through thin hotel walls before pounding angrily on the wall.
below see level prep.
When you’re seated directly below the drop-down movie screen on an airplane and the other screens are all too far away to view comfortably.
Someone who believes they have a revolutionary system for packing luggage and insists on explaining it to anyone who will listen.
Embarrassment caused by trying and failing to start, find reverse, or otherwise operate an unfamiliar automobile in a foreign country and having to ask someone for help.
When an obnoxious person loses their luggage and has no change of clothes.
Someone who tries to make themselves understood in a foreign country simply by speaking louder in their own tongue.
An approach to travel that purports to serve the local culture, environment, or further personal growth, but in reality only artificially inflates a traveler’s sense of self importance.
Intending to take long trips but completely failing to make them happen.
Panic felt by Americans when attempting to comprehend temperatures in other countries.
To cause pointless delay by creating a scene in the airport security line to prove some point about personal privacy rights that no one behind you cares about.
A traveler obsessed with accumulating passport stamps.
frequent liar program n.
Travelers who will say anything to receive upgrades on flights or hotel rooms, free meals, etc.
To travel the world spreading athlete’s foot from one hostel shower to the next.
gap fear n.
Wanting to take a year off to travel, but being too chicken and going straight to university instead.
Traveler’s diarrhea from one or more countries on a round the world trip.
A traveler that clings like a barnacle to the baggage carousel and won’t budge until their bag appears.
To point and mime to order food when you don’t know the local language.
Taking far too long in the airplane toilet.
meddle detector n.
One skilled at predetermining who will hold up the line unnecessarily at a security checkpoint.
overhead din n.
The disturbance caused by people trying to shove too-large bags into too-small compartments.
Miserable due to a lack of upcoming travel plans.
rack rate n.
A discount on a hotel room for having a large bust.
What passes for a pastry in an airplane breakfast.
Overly excited by riding trains, funiculars, and other forms of public transport.
A talkative stranger with foul-breath in a situation where escape isn’t possible. (Synonym: palitosis.)
The maneuver required to wedge a large tourist into a small motorized tricycle.
xorse’s ass n.
Someone who has just returned from their first trip to Mexico and has decided to pronounce it “Meh-hee-co” to sound cultured.
Andy Murdock is Lonely Planet’s US Digital Editor and never one to shy away from a bad pun. Follow the latest from Andy on Twitter and Google+. [Many thanks to Jennye Garibaldi and Candace Driskell for contributions to this glossary.]
Looking for somewhere in the world to try out your newly expanded vocabulary? Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Sights is packed with travel ideas guaranteed to inspire new words.