Where does the word “Gadabout” come from and What does Gadabout mean?

One gads who merely roams here and there idly or as if in meditation, but without special destination.

But the gadabout, though he may have no special objective, does have a definite purpose in mind, and his roaming is rarely meditative.

He seeks news.

And the news he wants is that which will satisfy curiosity or some choice bit of gossip about a neighbor.

Perhaps the pronouns should be changed from “he” and “his” to “she” and “hers,” for the typical gadabout is more likely to be feminine than masculine.

The term gadabout is little more than a hundred years old; a short-lived predecessor was gad-abroad.

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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