Five go on a Jaunt

PS Waverley after its trip up the Thames
PS Waverley after its trip up the Thames

Five go on a Jaunt.
No, not the title of one of Enid Blyton’s books, but what happened regularly throughout 2016. The Five referred to, are my husband, mum, two cousins and me and as often as we can, we go on, what has come to be referred to, as a jaunt. Now, correct me if I’m wrong but although jaunt is an easily recognisable word, it’s not often heard in everyday conversation. I just checked out the frequency of use in Google Books NGram Viewer here and discovered that it was a very widely used word in the seventeenth century and then seemed to disappear until just before the beginning of the eighteenth century. It never regained the popularity it had in the 1600s to this day, so I think it’s time for a relaunch. I did note that from 1700 until today, the period of time it was used most frequently was from 1900s to 1950, which probably explains why I associate it with Enid Blyton!

I looked jaunt up in the online dictionary Dictionary.com to see its origins but apparently, they are unknown. I did, however, find this:

Word Origin and History for jaunt
n.
1670s in modern sense of “short pleasure trip,” earlier “tiresome journey” (1590s), earlier as a verb, “tire a horse by riding back and forth on it” (1560s), of unknown origin, perhaps from some obscure Old French word. As a verb in the modern sense from 1640s. Related: Jaunted ; jaunting. (1)

Well, we’ve never tired a horse by riding back and forth on it although we have had some lovely, short pleasure trips on our jaunts during 2016. One of the most unusual, was a trip on a the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world, up the Thames from Southend Pier, under Tower Bridge and then back again. The longest jaunt was to visit the Naval Dockyard and the Mary Rose in Portsmouth and the least successful was the expedition to Sto Maries to see the World War One museum, only to find it was closed! Still all was not lost because we drove to Maldon, where we had lunch and a stroll along the river. Other jaunts have been to Hastings, Constable country, Lavenham Suffolk, Hylands House Chelmsford, Southend-on-Sea, St. Albans, Bury St. Edmunds…

Engineer on board the PS Waverley
Engineer on board the PS Waverley
Jaunt to Hylands House Chelmsford
Jaunt to Hylands House Chelmsford
The Mary Rose
The Mary Rose

This year, we plan to carry on jaunting and our next planned jaunt will be revealed soon…

Are you planning a jaunt this year?

 

(1) jaunt. (n.d.). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved January 5, 2017 from Dictionary.com website http://www.dictionary.com/browse/jaunt

2 Comments

  1. Lyndiloo

    Lovely and very interesting. Planning several jaunts, destinations to be decided, this year. Hubby & I have a special date (jaunt) once a month. Criteria – somewhere we haven’t been before or something we haven’t done before. Take turns in arranging and often a surprise to the other.

    1. Dawnknox

      What a lovely idea! A date jaunt!

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