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

The date of coinage for the word hitchhike is not definite but was probably during the period of training of American boys in military camps in the First World War.

Making their way home on a brief furlough, that is, the boys would hike until a car or truck approached going their way, then hitch a ride.

The term shortly passed into the general language, and into a recognized form of travel.