phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: ..., will travel

Posted by Smokey Stover on November 12, 2009 at 02:23

In Reply to: Re: ..., will travel posted by ESC on November 11, 2009 at 21:15:

: : : : I am interested in the phrase of "have _____, will travel". what is the origin and what does it mean? Thanks

: : :
: : : This sounds very American. I can't remember a good example, but advertising that you "Have ......, will travel," was part of an effort to find employment, especially during the Great Depression in the U.S. I think the blank was filled in with some sort of tools of a trade, although "car" is a possibility. Like many stock phrases (see below) it stuck in the public mind and was sometimes repeated for humorous effect.
: : : SS

: : It was the name of a radio and a television show, "Have Gun, Will Travel."

: : Everybody sing:

: : Have Gun, Will Travel reads the card of a man.
: : A knight without armor in a savage land.
: : His fast gun for hire head's the calling wind.
: : A soldier of fotune is the man called Paladin.

: : Paladin, Paladin
: : Where do you roam?
: : Paladin, Paladin,
: : Far, far from home.

: : Title: "Have Gun Will Travel"
: : Written By: Johnny Western, Richard Boone & Sam Rolfe
: : Performed By: Johnny Western

: The TV series was 1957-64. "A far cry from the stereotypical hired gun, Paladin is a cultured Renaissance man.His business card reads, "Have Gun, Will Travel - Wire Paladin, San Francisco,' charging a flat fee of $1,000 for his services, a small fortune in the late 1800s. He wears black but is the good guy, typically helping the oppressed and the wronged. Series co-writer Gene Roddenberry went on to achieve fame with Star Trek." The article goes on to list examples of use of the phrase including a name given by Handgun Control Inc. (later renamed the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence) to a proposed 1998 measure that would permit licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state-lines. "Oxford Dictionary of Catchphrases" compiled by Anna Farkas (Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York, 2002), Page 117-118.

I should have remembered Paladin, one of my wife's favorite shows. I actually thought "gun" after I posted my lame contribution. Does this invalidate the notion of offering to travel to get employment? What made Paladin's creators think of: that title? (Answer: I don't know.)
SS