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 ?
So thank heavens for James May, the floppy-haired petrolhead who is good in a tight spot, as he proved in a recent episode of Top Gear when he and his fellow travellers tried to find the source of the Nile in estate cars.
They and all their self-seeking fellow travellers should be ashamed of themselves.
Summary: A traveller will appear in the High Court to try and stop a council from evicting her and fellow travellers from their site.
Fellow travellers tried in vain to resuscitate Ben, of Bournemouth.
We are all fellow travellers in our journey through life.
Naturally I had already spent my English money abroad and had a few pennies in my pocket, as was the case for many others, who were asking fellow travellers for money.
It will also enable travellers to benefit from a wealth of destination information from fellow travellers to help them plan their perfect trip.'
However, unlike Ms Mills, I realise that these checks are set in place not only for the benefit of my fellow travellers but also for my well-being.
Compagni di Viaggo, or Fellow Travellers in the English translation, was written as Bernocco commuted by train to and from work, using his Nokia 6630 mobile phone and its T9 typing system, which includes a predictive text function.
The site is full of tips from fellow travellers on everything, from where to find the best temples to which areas to avoid.
A media statement from the airline said that it "will fully utilise the capabilities of the system to ensure that passengers who wish to communicate can do so conveniently and discreetly while preserving the privacy of fellow travellers."
The 48-year-old man died after a struggle with fellow travellers who restrained him when he became unruly.
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.
That was the fate which befell my fellow travellers and I on a family holiday to France last year.
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