The word nomad is one of the good examples of how the recent technology boom affects our job opportunities and choices. Mentioning the word nomad, just some decades ago, would had brought out images of groups of people, who appear isolated and unplugged from the world and who instead of choosing freely to be constantly on the go, are, in generally, forced to roam in order to provide their existence.
Coming to nowadays where modern digital nomads seem to have it all, or at least it feels so on the surface – professionals who follow a nomadic, location independent lifestyle, that allows them to explore the chance to travel and work anywhere in the world. Thanks to telecommunication technologies, every corner of the world could serve as a well-equipped business office – VoIP phones, co-working spaces, online meeting rooms, cloud services, you name it.
The growth of the location independent online entrepreneurs is rapidly increasing and disconnecting from the original concept of a nomadic lifestyle. The first nomadic society, most likely, developed circa 8000 B.C. in the eastern Mediterranean area, forced to roam to provide pasture for the kept animals and hunt for new ones.
The Ancient Greeks used the word nomos to name ‘pasture’ and naturally nomas developed as a term to name the members of the wandering pastoral tribes. The Latin term was specifically applying to wandering groups in Arabia and as such spread into most Roman languages, to enter the English language circa 1550 through the French noun nomade.
The first recorded European description of nomadic people and the usage of the plural form of the word nomades come from the Spanish cartographer M. F. de Enciso and his 1544 Brief Geography Summary.
In 1587, the word made its first appearance in English print when the prolific translator Arthur Golding finished the translation, started by the knight Sir Philip Sidney, of A woorke concerning the Trewnesse of the Christian Religion, written by the French Protestant writer Philippe de Mornay: “… we come to houses dispersed; from houses, to Sheds; from Sheds to Tents; and from Tents to the life of the people called the Nomads or Grazyers.” (The very term grazier, to name one who raises and feeds livestock, is in use in the English language since 1503.)
The adjective nomadic was firstly defined in 1818, in Henry John Todd’s English Dictionary as: “Nomadic..having no fixed abode [dwelling, home].”