How Did the “Pilgrims” Who Celebrated the First Thanksgiving Get Their Name and What Does it Mean?

The New World settlers from the Mayflower weren’t called Pilgrims until two hundred years after their 1620 arrival at Plymouth Rock.

It was Daniel Webster, in a bicentennial celebration of their landing, who first described them as “Our Pilgrim Fathers.”

The word comes from a Latin derivative meaning a traveller.

Perager became pelegrin, then pilegrim in English, evolving into pilgrim.

The word “Pilgrim” was first used to describe Christians who made a journey of religious devotion to the Holy Land.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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