The name "Walk A-Bout"
14 May 2010 | Still on land
We have had several people ask us about the name of our boat "Walk A-Bout". Most people would spell it "walkabout" but, of course, we had to be different. We were visiting my family in Australia and went up to Queensland to dive the Great Barrier Reef and do some touristy stuff. We went up to the mountains to a town called Kurunda. We met a native Australian (aborigine) named Boonja and purchased a boomerang from him. We asked him if he could write the word "walkabout" on the boomerang. He did and how he spelled it was "Walk A-Bout". So, we assume that is the real spelling of the word.
Here in Minnesota we laugh every time someone thinks it is a Canadian pronunciation "walk a-boot".
I have a cousin who lived for a while in New Guinea. Her "house boy" would suddenly strip off all his clothes and go "walkabout". She never knew how long he would be gone or if he would return. He would just show up several days or weeks later and put his clothes back on and go back to work as if he never left.
Most dictionaries define the word as:
Australian. A temporary return to traditional Aboriginal life, taken especially between periods of work or residence in modern society and usually involving a period of travel through the bush.
So, instead of travel through the bush we will travel on water........we may or may not return to work. We may or may not wear clothes, depending on where we are!!