The Meaning Of Odyssey By Margot Gordon

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The Meaning of Odyssey By Margot Gordon

In English there are often many words associated with one concept, each meaning something slightly different. There are few words in this language that encompass the entire meaning of a concept. Journey, voyage, and travel, to most people, all mean the same thing, while in actuality each word relates to a different aspect of a trip and only one word, odyssey sums up all of those words in one.

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The only way to realize this is to journey into the etymology of all four words. The word journey is defined as, an act or instance of traveling from one place to another (Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary). As the majority of words in the English language have a Latin root, journey, can be found to have one as well. First, journey comes from the old French word joune. Joune comes from the Latin word diurnum which means a days work or the amount of distance that can be traveled in a day.

Back in the days of Ancient Greece, a journey was a big undertaking due to the lack of quality of roads, the expense, and the fact that modern technology, such as planes, cars, good roads, and GPS, that make journeys easy today, simply did not exist. Voyage, like journey has its roots in old French and Latin. In old French voyage’s root is voiage which comes from the Latin world viaticum. In Latin viaticum means the provisions for a journey. Also found in the world viaticum is the Latin noun via which means road.

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