a fellow traveler

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a fellow traveler

Someone who identifies with or is sympathetic to the aims or ideology of a political movement or organization, but is not a formal or full member of it. Used especially in the 1950s in reference to those suspected of being communist sympathizers. In my grandfather's day, if someone accused you of being a fellow traveler, it was often to derail your career completely. Despite having a mark against him as a "fellow traveler," he still managed to remain at the Hollywood elite.
See also: fellow, traveler
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a fellow traveller

A fellow traveller is someone who supports the aims of an organization but is not a member of it. Note: `Traveller' is spelled `traveler' in American English. Although something of a critical fellow traveller, Sampson was very interested in the party.
See also: fellow, traveller
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

fellow traveler

Someone sympathetic to the beliefs and activities of an organization but not a member of that group. The phrase originally applied to people in the early days of the Soviet Union who supported the Russian revolution and the Communist Party but were not members. Communism was popular among many American intellectuals during the 1930s and '40s, but following World War II, this country's attitude toward the Soviets changed in light of Stalin's purges and revelations of espionage. Accusations that Soviet sympathizers had infiltrated our government and military led to congressional investigations, and the phrase “fellow traveler” was used to label those accused of “un-American” activities or even just “Communist dupes.” Many such people found themselves blacklisted or otherwise persecuted. A rarely used vestige of the phrase now applies to anyone who agrees with any viewpoint or faction but does not publicly work for it. The Soviet Union named its early space satellites “Sputnik,” the Russian word for “fellow traveler.”
See also: fellow, traveler
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
Notwithstanding the bias of my fellow travelers (most of course northerners), the thing I like about skiing is you can't cheat.
To do so, he must wean himself from dependence on fellow travelers who uncritically accept half-argued claims and, what might be, less than honest scholarly practices.
It is a call for societal expenditure--protest, laziness--and for fellow travelers.
One of the interesting aspects of this account is that a main character is Jewish, facing anti-Semitism from his fellow travelers and coping.
I am content to leave that level of gleeful, gratuitous, and unseemly critical savagery to Stanley's fellow travelers over at The New Republic, that right-wing white-boy rag which has afforded El Croucho safe haven from which to launch his unique brand of mean-spirited critical nastiness at black targets.
The exercises cover the gamut of office politics, including goal setting; use of power, both ethical and unethical; the management pyramid (think hierarchy); a roster of the players--such as enemies, fellow travelers, and allies--and how to understand their needs, meet them, and still get what you want.
When one of my fellow travelers wore the silver ankle bracelet we gave him, he stopped traffic in Kerala.
A massed choir of fellow travelers arose in the West to maintain that the accused were guilty as charged, and deserved to die.
After taking a plane trip to Norway from New York City, people receiving melatonin experienced just as much jet lag as fellow travelers given placebos, says a group led by psychiatrist Robert L.
This belief, combined with the inadvertent importation of smallpox by Columbus and his fellow travelers, devastated the indigenous population along with its entire institutional structure.
Hey, fellow travelers, consider this Y2K bug: Dates for next year's Housewares and Builders' Shows conflict.
It's certainly likely that I missed some fellow travelers on the Greyhound line, and maybe some filmmakers at the festival really do dig down into the mine of their own experience.
Recent book-length studies of the controversial Nation of Islam leader have been penned by the American Jewish Committee's chief legal expert on anti-semitism, a self-proclaimed "liberal-integrationist-feminist writer and sometimes integrationist and feminist activist," a Swedish anthropologist of religion, and the author of a guide to "etiquette in other people's religious ceremonies" To be sure, these are not exactly Islamic fellow travelers or brothers on the block.
In the 1920s some of the most gifted and popular Soviet writers, such as Osip Mandelstam, Leonid Leonov, Boris Pilnyak, Isaak Babel, Ilya Ehrenburg, and members of the Serapion Brothers, were fellow travelers. They were opposed bitterly by champions of a new proletarian art, and by the end of the decade the term came to be practically synonymous with a counterrevolutionary.
Computer security engineer, frequent flyer, and travel blogger Anil Polat has eased his fellow travelers' worries by establishing an app with an interactive map of the world's airport WiFi passwords.
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