Here’s your short etymological lesson for the day: From the Old English, together was originally a conjunction of two different words: the Old English to (which meant in the direction of, for the purpose of); and the Old English gædere, a variant on geador, which was related to gadrian, which is to gather, collect, store-up. Gadrain, or gædrian is rooted in the word gæd, fellowship. Together, therefore, is literally to gather.
So, in this week’s case of travel-based neologisms, we present you with the word ‘togethering.’ Its earliest recorded travel-related use seems to be from around 2002 in a news announcement from the Portland Press Herald. However, it seems that togethering is on the rise again. Like other ings, togethering is an action, such as camping, vacationing, leaving, etc. However, togethering is an umbrella term – you can do all of these things while you are togethering. But the catch is, if you are vacationing or traveling with a large group of friends and family, you are togethering.
Families and friends have vacationed ‘together’ for years, and they have done this without calling it ‘togethering’ (a word Orwell himself would’ve probably loved to satirize). However, with people finding themselves a bit thin with the cash-flow these days, spending quality time with a larger group of friends and family is a suitable and perhaps more practical option than a luxury vacation with just two or three people. Vacation rental homes are becoming increasingly popular, as they are affordable and can house a larger number of people than a standard hotel or condo. ‘Togethering’ makes sense, even though it really is just another word for “group vacation”. Any way you slice it, you’re still vacationing with your friends and family, but perhaps while thrift is still in, these days togethering isn’t such a bad thing after all.