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A.Word.A.Day--Cook's tour

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Cook's tour (kooks toor) noun

A guided but cursory tour, covering only the main features.

[After Thomas Cook (1808-1892), English travel agent.]

"The rest of the novel is an episodic Cook's tour of Filipino hell." Carolyn See; Heir to a Misfortune; The Washington Post; Sep 3, 2004.

"Never one to be subtle, Mr. Sinelli welcomed Bryant Keil with a 25-cent cook's tour." Cheryl Hall; Former Genghis Grill Owner Sees Sandwiches as Success in the Bag; The Dallas Morning News; Sep 25, 2004.

From cabinetmaking to tourmaking -- the story of Thomas Cook is a fascinating account of how this man came to be a trailblazing travel agent. Before he stumbled upon organized travel, Cook worked as a wood-turner, printer, and missionary. He was a champion of the temperance movement and that led to his career in travel.

In 1841, an important conference of temperance supporters was to be held in Loughborough, UK. Cook convinced the railway company to run a special train for people wishing to attend. Later, he conducted excursions to the Paris Exposition of 1855. Eventually he expanded into running tours of Europe, Africa, and beyond, and soon his name become synonymous with travel and tourism.

He may not have made many teetotalers, but he did make many travelers. From selling tickets for a train journey between Leicester and Loughborough for one shilling to a global empire of airplanes, hotels, and tour agencies: now that's a tour de force.

This week we'll visit other terms derived from people's names.

-Anu Garg


Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. -George Santayana, philosopher (1863-1952)

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