As a former career musician I have witnessed musicians leaving instruments, other possessions, in the care of third parties for extended periods of time (sometimes years), in many cases completely abandoning the item in question.

In all cases the value of the item does not seem to matter to the original owner. In addition, the caretaker of the goods will often assume to now be the owner of said equipment.

Is there a word for this phenomenon?

  • Pawning? Abandoning? a number of words seem to fit. – Oldcat Mar 17 '14 at 19:37
  • Pawning suggests eventual compensation, so probably not. Abandonment describes the act, but perhaps not the mindset... hmmm. – philwinkle Mar 17 '14 at 19:39
  • The sense is that of transference, but the difference is that they're both physical objects which change not only state of entitlement to ownership but also physical location. They're definitely not hand-me-downs, as they're not gifted by the donor. Good question! I'm interested in finding out the answer myself. – Leon Conrad Mar 17 '14 at 19:40
  • Careless is one that comes to mind. There's probably some Buddhism-related term to do with relinquishing of material attachments. – Spehro Pefhany Mar 17 '14 at 19:40
  • People that do not place suitable value on material possessions are sometimes referred to as "hippies" or "carefree spirits". – Kristina Lopez Mar 17 '14 at 20:23

If you abandon a person, place, organization or cause, you can be called a deserter.

From desert:

to leave (a person, place, etc.) without intending to return, especially in violation of a duty, promise, or the like: He deserted his wife. Synonyms: abandon, leave, quit; forsake.

There is no reason you can't say he deserted his property.

You may have heard two expressions, desert island and deserted island. They both derive from the same word and meaning, which is abandoned.

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  • a deserted island is one devoid of people, not necessarily by abandonment. – Kristina Lopez Mar 17 '14 at 20:25

The best word I can think of is abandonment


The relinquishment of a right [in property] by the owner thereof without any regard to future possession by himself or any other person, and with the intention to foresake or desert the right....

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  • This is a start -- what would be the word for an abandoner? – philwinkle Mar 17 '14 at 19:46
  • Why can't you use abandoner? – Elliott Frisch Mar 17 '14 at 20:09

The guitar of said musician would label him a traitor.

The person getting the guitar might describe them as the relinquisher.

  1. To retire from; give up or abandon.
  2. To put aside or desist from (something practiced, professed, or intended).
  3. To let go; surrender.
  4. To cease holding physically; release:

Relinquish, discard, surrender, can all have an "er/or" added to form a noun depending on usage.

I would just say the person is absent-minded though because you don't really know for sure if said musician wouldn't want his guitar back ever unless you asked him.

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