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    • Join Date: Aug 2010
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    #1

    have quill, will travel

    I am a translator and I cannot understand fully what does the expression "have quill, will travel" mean. Can you help me?
    Thank you,
    Luisa

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: have quill, will travel

    Quote Originally Posted by luisaganho View Post
    I am a translator and I cannot understand fully what does the expression "have quill, will travel" mean. Can you help me?
    Thank you,
    Luisa
    It's a rather unusual quote. I have heard similar phrases, such as:

    Have passport, will travel.
    Have suitcase, will travel.

    In both examples, it means "I have a .... and am willing to travel". Obviously, both a passport and a suitcase would be quite helpful when travelling!

    I can only assume that the speaker of your phrase is perhaps a travel writer, so it would be very useful for him to have a pen (quill pens being the old pens made of a feather dipped in ink to write). It's my best guess.

    If you could give us more context, that would be good.


    • Join Date: Aug 2010
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    #3

    Re: have quill, will travel

    Thank you both for your help! Now I understand although it will be difficult to find an equivalent expression ;)

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: have quill, will travel

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    There used to be a television program called, "Have Gun, Will Travel". The hero of the program was very good with shooting a pistol. He would travel throughout the American west (19th Century) and get rid of criminals. He was usually hired by local towns which had bad people living in them...
    Your source pre-dates mine by a good few years. I heard (on a BBC radio program about language, which I believed at the time) that the expression 'Have X, will travel' was a standard format in a US publication that gave details of jobbing entertainers: 'Have tux. will travel'.

    b

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