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I am looking for the best word for a person who is continually moving from place to place without good reason, job or fixed home.

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Possible overlap: What do you call a group of people that move a lot? –  GEdgar Jul 30 '11 at 23:36
    
@GEdgar — They are talking about migration, not adventure. –  dino Jul 30 '11 at 23:41
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@dino: If you're looking for an adventure word, you should try using adventurer. –  Daniel Jul 31 '11 at 2:32
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7 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Drifter is probably the best fit here, as it doesn't have too many connotations, as nomad, vagabond, and itinerant do.

Naturally, it must be added that the context will ultimately determine the best word-choice. Tramp, nomad, vagabond or even adventurer might well be better words; the choice depends on your specific situation.

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Thanks for thought! I thing drifter is better. But is it good for UK English as well? –  dino Jul 30 '11 at 23:43
    
As far as I know, it is. –  Daniel Jul 31 '11 at 2:42
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I would argue that drifter has plenty of connotations, few of them positive. I wouldn't really want my daughter dating someone who was described as a drifter (granted, right now I wouldn't want my daughter dating anyone, since she's currently three years old). It certainly fits the meaning in the original question, though. –  Nicholas Jul 31 '11 at 5:18
    
@Nicholas - you meant that drifter is the best fit in the original question or not... i ask because i really didn't get it :) –  dino Jul 31 '11 at 9:01
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Yes, I think drifter is the best fit for the original question--"a person is continually moving from place to place without good reason, job or fixed home." The question didn't state whether or not any other connotations, whether positive or negative, were desirable. "Drifter" is an excellent fit for the definition given, and unlike "hobo" or "bum" it doesn't necessarly mean "homeless" or "poor," but definitely has some negative connotations. –  Nicholas Jul 31 '11 at 9:45
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Rover, Wanderer, Nomad, Vagabond, call me what you will.

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All the sensible recommendations seem to have been made, so how about King of the Road? You might also consider road scholar if you're looking for something humorous.

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I was thinking vagrant, but since it's already been said, how about bum?

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  • wanderer
  • seeker
  • rambler
  • traveler
  • wayfarer
  • itinerant (can be used as a noun)
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peripatetic
I remember the word from Julian Assange's trial

The judge expressed his own concerns over Assange's rich and powerful supporters, like Australian documentarian John Pilger... The one laugh at the hearing this morning came when the judge scoffed at using Pilger as a surety since he was just "another peripatetic (italics added) Australian." Even Assange cracked a smile at that one.

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Nouns, in order of closeness to your specifications:

  1. Vagabond

  2. Vagrant

  3. Drifter

  4. Hobo

  5. Nomad

  6. Bohemian

Adjectives that you may use to describe a person as such:

  1. Itinerant

  2. Transient

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What about drifter? I heard it as well... –  dino Jul 30 '11 at 23:15
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I am confirming the word with an answer. –  Daniel Jul 30 '11 at 23:22
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Vagabond was the first word that came to my mind. –  surfasb Jul 31 '11 at 7:21
    
Just wooow! You English people has a lot of words for travelers.. –  dino Jul 31 '11 at 8:52
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