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Fuel Mule

noun; compounding
The person responsible for carrying all of the food and water on a camping or backpacking trip.
 
This term is a rhyming noun that is used mostly by people in the camping or backpacking community or who has been exposed to it. This was probably coined as a colloquial term that is can be used in a pejorative manner to mock those who have the task of carrying around excess food baggage. This is especially true since it is most often given to those new to camping or backpacking. In this case, a metaphor is being used to liken the food to fuel and the person carrying the food to a mule.
Etymology : This is a rhyming compound word that comes from the roots ‘fuel’ + ‘mule.’ ‘Fuel’ is from O.Fr. ‘feuaile’ meaning ‘bundle of firewood,’ and from L. ‘focus’ meaning ‘hearth.’ ‘Mule’ is from O.E. ‘mul,’ O.Fr. ‘mul,’ and L. ‘mulus’ meaning ‘offspring of donkey and horse.’ ‘Mule’ is often used to emphasize strength (as of a horse) and endurance (as of a donkey).
Source : Conversation at camp “We always get all of the new campers to be the fuel mules” (05/25/2008)
Last modified: 3 December 2008


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