Thursday, July 16, 2020

Word of the day: staycation

The Oxford English Dictionary word of the day is staycation, “a holiday spent at home or in one’s country of residence.” Useful for those traveling around their rooms.

The first citation is from an advertisement in The Cincinnati Enquirer, July 18, 1944:

Better tuck a few more bottles of Felsenbrau into the icebox, today . . . Take a Stay-cation instead of a Va-cation, this year. Trains and busses [sic] are crowded.
And now I’m trying to find a familiar 1940s poster: a man taking a staycation, sitting in an easy chair with fan, radio, iced tea, lemonade, dog, and pipe at hand in mouth. I think this man has taken a vacation from his staycation. No, wait — there he is:

[Albert Dorne, “Me travel? . . . not this summer.” 1945. From the University of North Texas Digital Library. Click for a larger view.]

This man was difficult to track down today — a search for stay home poster now returns images with a pandemic theme.

[I find it odd to think of staycation as meaning a holiday “in one’s country of residence,” but the OED has citations with the word used to mean just that. I wrote a description of the poster before rediscovering it and decided to let my mistakes stay in the post.]

comments: 4

J D Lowe said...

I didn't know staycation had such a long history. The first time I heard about it was in this episode of Corner Gas: I thought the show's writer's had made up the word.

Michael Leddy said...

That’s a very funny clip. “I’m not a warlock.”

I wish I could remember how I first encountered staycation. Maybe during the 2008 recession? All I know is that that poster used to everywhere online.

Fresca said...

Love the poster--I think I posted it somewhere on my blog too . . . but I can't find it.

"Staycation" is one of those words that set my teeth on edge.
Not sure why.
Perhaps because I first heard it from someone I didn't like, in 1999 (I remember the date because that was the last year I was in contact with this person).
They used the word as if it were oh so clever, which set me against it forever.

Michael Leddy said...

Elaine swears that poster was already on my blog. If so, I can’t find it.

The Google Ngram Viewer has nothing for staycation before 1997. And then it shoots up like crazy. I wonder if that’s at least in part the Internets’ doing.