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Word of the Day: Viator

Viator

vaɪˈeɪtər

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NOUN

  • A wayfarer, traveler.

EXAMPLE SENTENCES

“I met another via tor on the train and we joined up for lunch in Barcelona.”

“The viator next to me at the café had a huge backpack covered with pins from his travels.”

“I wore through two pairs of hiking boots during my year as a viator in Europe.”

WORD ORIGIN

Latin, early 16th century

WHY THIS WORD?

A viator isn’t your average business traveler, hopping on a quick flight to their next meeting. This noun carries with it the romanticism of exploration — an attitude of “let’s see where we end up.” “Aviator” is a more recognizable word that also refers to a kind of traveler, yet the two terms are unrelated. “Viator” refers to someone who travels a road or path (called a “via” in Latin), while “aviator” is based on the French term “aviateur,” which uses the Latin root “avis,” meaning “bird.” The “via” in “aviator” does not refer to the Latin root suggesting a path, but rather the similarity to birds. A viator travels along a road or path, while an aviator travels the skies.

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