I was translating a text about business people travelling all over the world to attend international congresses and how that’s really irresponsible in these times of climate crisis. There was the suggestion that for some of those people, such trips were more pleasure than business. The Dutch have a lovely word for that: snoepreisje. Which literally translated is a candy trip. But the English word is also worth mentioning, even if it’s not so well-known these days. It’s ‘junket’.

It started life late in the 14th century as ‘jonket’, a basket to catch or carry fish in (Medieval Latin ‘juncata’ or rush basket). By the 1520s, a junket had become a feast or a banquet. It went on to mean a pleasure trip before finally meaning ‘a trip by a government official at public expense for no discernible public benefit’.

There’s also a cream cheese, made or served on a bed of rushes, which is called junket (Italian – giuncata).

But probably the most enduring use of the word junket is in the expression ‘golf junket’ in which business people attend conferences in a certain city so that they can play golf at a famous golf course!

Oh and the title is a golf expression for a really terrible shot.