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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

an armchair traveler

One who speaks authoritatively about traveling despite not traveling often. Don't let him discourage you when he's just an armchair traveler who's never been out of the country!
See also: armchair, traveler
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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 ?
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Importation of infectious diseases to new countries is likely to increase among both travelers and immigrants.
The difference is subtle, but it's because the traveler changes direction--turning around is a form of acceleration--that less time passes for that voyager than for the observer.--P.
He fears the proposed Registered Traveler plan--which will require even more private information, including biometric identifiers, from travelers who wish to go through an expedited security process--may evolve into registration of all flyers.
After being cleared, program members are issued--after paying a special fee, of course--a "registered traveler" card that includes a biometric identifier digital fingerprint or retinal scans.
Atwell likes to spread the news about the services airlines offer travelers with wireless technology because they save him time and money.
He was hesitant, but the two crafted an arrangement where Maxa would write The Savvy Traveler for a monthly fee and Georgetown would handle production, promotion, and fulfillment.
Typically, a traveler experiences four to five loose or watery bowel movements each day.
Under the agreement, LaserCard Systems will provide secure optical memory cards, which will contain all of a traveler's personal identification and travel preferences while tying into state-of-the-art biometric systems being installed at leading airports worldwide.