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. Many people's political careers were ruined when they were incorrectly labeled "fellow travelers."
See also: fellow, traveler
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 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 ?
A severely ill traveller will appear in the High Court on Wednesday in an attempt to stop a council from evicting her and fellow travellers from the UK's largest illegal site.
The digital format of the book makes it perfect for skipping around through all its bookmarks and, for once, I was able to read three chapters on the train and do the exercises without having to suffer the supercilious glances of fellow travellers prepared to make judgement about anyone trying to be a poet.
His great books were fables that revealed far more effectively than any political treatise could ever have done that Hitler and Stalin were fellow travellers and that Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were both national-socialist states.
The bizarre trio then made their way south to Pau in the Pyrenees where Richard had heard there was a commune of fellow travellers.
All six authors are former Communists or close fellow travellers, making the results even more uncomfortable for current Marxist apologists.
Some who never took trips also blamed disagreements with fellow travellers on where to stay.
Some who never took trips also blamed disagreements widi fellow travellers on where to stay.
A number of those questioned also criticised fellow travellers who claim the best poolside sun loungers by laying their towels down at the start of the day.
After polishing off a few too many, the passenger - known only as Clive - removed his trousers to the astonishment of fellow travellers and headed to the toilets to answer the call of nature.
He wrote: "Perhaps there needs to be a few 'White Riots' around the country a la the Brixton Riots of the 1980s before the idiot white liberal middle class and their ethnic middle class fellow travellers wake up."
US tourists topped the list of fellow travellers to avoid in a poll of UK cruise passengers cruise website CruiseCritic.co.uk.
Passengers consuming smelly food and those who read over your shoulder are also among those who put fellow travellers off.
Use it to find fellow travellers who have been there first, as well as tracking down relevant blogs, pictures and forum entries.
For the sake of his blushes - and his fellow travellers - it's just as well pants mean trousers across the pond.
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