Just for fun: Common camping-related expressions

Have you ever noticed the amount of words related to camping, or even containing the words “camp” or “camping” that are in our every-day speech? For fun on a cold wintry day, here are a few examples, which we can all enjoy under one big tent. (There’s one!)

boondocks – meaning a rural or remote area, comes to us from the Tagalog bundok. The term was introduced in the early 1900’s by U.S. servicemen returning from the Philippines following the conclusion of the Spanish-American War. By common usage it now can refer to any remote or hard to find location or situation.

bootcampboot camp – A military base used to train newly recruited service persons. By extension, the expression can mean any difficult, rigorous training, in any area.

break camp – To pack up or close down any particular site previously used somewhat continuously for some purpose. The place might be outdoors or indoors.

call of nature – The need, or realization, of relieving oneself.

camp follower – taken from those who followed along behind Roman legions to show support and gain profit, the term can generally mean anyone who strongs supports or is lead by some one or some idea, although not an official member of the organization they follow.campfollower

camp it up – (Usually referring to theatrical performers) to act in an “over the top” manner, usually very loud and affected, but also can refer (typically as “camp” alone, a kitchy, ironic humor, such as in the Batman T.V. show of the 1960’s.
[for performers] to overact or behave in an affected manner.

foot in both camps – Having a loyalty, or responsibility to two differing sides in some conflict.

light a fire under someone – To cause, influence, coerce or otherwise encourage some other person to actively do some desired act. From the obvious fact that fire causes movement.

 

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