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In the nomenclature of travel and transport, what are the most common terms to describe the places at which a journey begins and ends?

I think that "destination" is likely to be the latter—but how do we describe the former? My mathematical mind wants to say "origin" or "source", but I suspect those from a less scientific background may find those terms awkward; is there any better terminology?

marked as duplicate by Nathaniel, JHCL, Centaurus, Hellion, tchrist single-word-requests Nov 21 '15 at 19:44

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  • The Shire and Mordor ? – ermanen May 6 '15 at 12:34

I think that you actually have the best answer—origin—in your question. It's relatively common and not "too technical/scientific." However, it is formal.

If you are looking for a colloquial alternative, the most common synonym of origin that I've heard is starting point.

The starting point of our journey is Los Angeles, and we will travel to our destination, New York.

Interestingly, you'll see this in Google Maps. The origin box is actually labeled "Choose starting point..."


Itineraries and tickets usually describe this as point of departure and point of arrival.


You could use the expression jumping-off point for the start of the journey.

Jumping-off point: a point from which to start a journey or activity

And destination/stop for the last part of the journey.

Also see Parts of Journey.

  • Those both sound, to my British ear, like very American terms—I've certainly never heard them used in this context before. Perhaps I should have been more clear that this is for a British audience? – eggyal May 6 '15 at 11:39
  • I can't recall ever hearing "home straight". "Jumping-off point' is quite idiomatic (in the US), however. – Hot Licks May 6 '15 at 11:44

"We embarked on our journey from..."

  • I guess that would make the opposite of destination the...embarkation point? – Nonnal Nov 20 '15 at 6:21

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