A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 25, 2014
Oblication (obligation + vacation)

An “oblication” (obligation + vacation) is a “vacation” that someone is “obliged” to take, such as one for family or business reasons (and not simply for pleasure). Taking vacation time to attend a relative’s wedding, for example, is an “oblication.”

The term “oblication” was suggested as a new word in 1993 in the discussion group alt.usage.english. “Oblication” has been popular since 2007, when the term was first entered in the Urban Dictionary.


Google Groups: alt.usage.english
Jason Loveman
12/17/93
I’d like to get a new word admitted to the english language (maybe I should call Rich Hall (does he still do those sniglets books?)).  The word is “oblication” and it’s a vacation taken up by an obligation (especially appropos around this time of year).

Anyway, I’ve found it to be particularly useful.  Enjoy! (unless you are taking an oblication, in which case, my condolences!)

Qaptain Qwerty
08 April 2007
China Trip
(...)
This trip so far is mostly an oblication, just a word I made up - a combination of obligation and vacation. The trip started out in the inlaw’s home village and everything was for meeting all those relatives on the wife’s side. No fun there, although I probably have some new faces for the extended family tree I maintain.

Urban Dictionary
Oblication
A “vacation” that isn’t really a vacation. You have no choice. You work the whole time but when you get back to your job, everyone asks how your vacation was.
I went on a 5 day oblication to Jamie’s wedding in Aruba. I was at her beck and call 24/7.
by V’ness May 08, 2007

BusinessWire
Tired of “Oblications” – This Holiday Season Travelers Want to Reclaim Vacation Time from In-Laws
Travelocity Survey Shows Majority of Travelers Would Prefer a Real Vacation Over an Out-Of-Town Obligation

November 13, 2009 07:00 AM Eastern Standard Time
SOUTHLAKE, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Travelocity’s most recent poll of North Americans revealed that though 93 percent of travelers use at least some of their vacation time for out-of-town obligations, there are occasions when they’d rather be doing something else. The Urban Dictionary defines the oblication as “taking valuable vacation time and dollars for obligatory family or friend visits,” and while many respondents enjoy spending time with family, there are certain trips the majority would prefer to avoid; instead taking a vacation, visiting friends, or just staying home.

Atkins Bookshelf
12/19/2012
Oblication
By Alexander Atkins
Definition: Noun. A bittersweet vacation that requires fulfilling an obligation (e.g. attending a wedding, or a 50th birthday) rather enjoying true recreational time off.
Etymology: Oblication is a newly coined portmanteau (two words combined): obligation + vacation. In a recent survey, Hotwire reported that 40% of adults booked oblications.

ABC News
Billions Spent on ‘Oblication’ Travel
April 8, 2013
By GENEVIEVE SHAW BROWN
via GOOD MORNING AMERICA
(...)
A 2010 Travelocity poll in the same vein found even more people were traveling for obligation vacations—or ‘oblications.’ 93 percent of respondents said they used at least some of their vacation time to travel for obligations.

Consumerist
Survey: Americans Spend $800 Per Year On Unwanted Travel
By Laura Northrup June 25, 2014
How many trips do you take each year that you really didn’t want to take in the first place? It could be anything from your brother’s destination wedding on a tropical island to your friend’s kid’s graduation party a few suburbs over. What these trips have in common is that you didn’t pick the date or venue and are going because you feel you have to. Hotwire.com has coined a word for these trips: obli-cations.

Get it? Like a staycation, but with the concept of “obligation” smushed in there. Using an utterly unscientific survey of 2,000 adults, the company determined that American consumers spend about $185 billion per year on trips that they take only out of a sense of obligation.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Wednesday, June 25, 2014 • Permalink