camp follower

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camp follower

1. A civilian who follows a military unit from one location to the next, either because the person is closely related to a service member or to unofficially provide goods or services to members of the unit. Daniel spent his childhood as a camp follower. His father was in the army, so he and his mother had to move a lot.
2. A person who supports a group or cause without officially belonging to its organization. I always vote Republican, but I'm a camp follower—I'm registered as an Independent.
See also: camp, follower
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

camp follower

1. A civilian who follows or settles near a military camp, especially a prostitute who does so. For example, The recruits were told not to associate with camp followers. [Early 1800s]
2. A person who sympathizes with a cause or group but does not join it. For example, She's only a camp follower so we can't count on her for a contribution.
See also: camp, follower
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a camp follower

You call someone a camp follower when they follow or spend time with a particular person or group, either because they admire or support them, or because they hope to gain advantages from them. Brecht was surrounded by `camp-followers' — crowds of women who seemed to adore him. Even in my day as a player, we had our camp followers. Note: This expression is often used to show disapproval. Note: Originally, camp followers were civilians who travelled with an army and who made their living selling goods or services to the soldiers.
See also: camp, follower
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

camp follower

One who follows a group without being part of it. The practice originated with the families of recruits, prostitutes, and traveling merchants, who would settle near a military encampment. Later it was extended to others who benefited from military installations. The term itself may come from a letter written by the duke of Wellington in 1810. In mid-twentieth-century America the camp followers of rock musicians and other entertainers, mostly young women who followed their idols on tour, acquired the name groupie, which then was extended to any ardent fan.
See also: camp, follower
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
The Hindi speaking courtiers and camp followers very cunningly posed it to be a separate language to ensure the continuity of their privileged status and vested group interests in changing dynastic political environments.
Netanyahu and his camp followers here do not really want a war now.
The study then turns to a third section in which the author considers the involvement of children in three transatlantic components during the war: the maritime service, as camp followers of mercenary forces, and diplomatic missions to Europe.
After seeming to have gained the acceptable high ground the Professional Jockeys' Association, its president Kevin Darley and some of his members lost a number of camp followers when their reasons for lodging a late objection to the BHA board were published.
When General Burnside became the Commanding General of the Army of the Potomac, he prohibited whiskey in the ranks and outlawed "camp followers" (err, "ladies of the night").
During the years that the Tories were in opposition, their camp followers in the tabloid press banged the drum about our so-called "compensation culture"; David Cameron on taking office said, "I'll crush the compo culture", which raised a cheer led by the Daily Mail.
In terms of pioneering gay innuendo-ridden comedy, we can forget camp followers Larry Grayson, Julian Clary, Graham Norton and new boy Alan Carr.
Jonathan Sumption, the historian of the crusade, estimates it at about 10,000 fighting men with another 10,000 or so camp followers and non-combatants.
Of course because we are staying in Blighty, packing began at Easter and now the entire kit and camp followers of the Eighth Army is testing the luggage space.
Alas, the world economic crisis overtook everything, and the June 2009 congress drew just over 200 delegates, not counting partners, journalists and assorted camp followers.
She describes what it was like to be a woman in Canada and the United States in 1812; how the wives of soldiers and officers fared during the conflict; and the experience of women as nurses, combatants, agents, camp followers, and even POWs.
The worker-managed firm idea attracted much interest and many camp followers around the world.
Although awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice fest, it will appeal only to the most faithful of the director's camp followers.
Often, especially in the forts, camp followers became soldiers--for when husbands fell beside the cannons that they manned, wounded or killed by the enemy, wives took up their posts, loading and firing over the fortress walls.
According to the Greek historian Herodotus, the Persian invaders numbered more than two million fighting men, camp followers, and engineers.