one of my mother's favourite words. . . had something to do with "painting the town red" (but being her, it was critical not joyous) (come to think of it, most of what she said was critical rather than joyous)
right, I'm just off to find out more about that interesting word. . .
"gallivant" (from Wiktionary) alternative spelling: galavant, from gallant; (C19th apparently): it's an "intransitive" verb, the infinitive of which is to gallivant; (there is an obselete definition: to flirt, to romance - which I'll leave in for vicus and dave)
more commonly it means to roam about for pleasure without any definite plan (which sounds good to me, but no wonder my mother didn't approve!)
and the W-dictionary provides a short illustration of the usage, just to make sure we're talking about the same thing:
"Bertram, it is true, when he heard of the plan, rebelled, and asserted that what Billy needed was a rest, an entire rest from care and labour. In fact, what he wanted her to do, he said, was to gallivant - to gallivant all day long." Eleanor H.Porter: Miss Billy - Married, Chapter 18. 1914
lucky Miss Billy I say!
(actually, I'm dismayed, I thought there'd be far more to it than that; I might have to go off and do some more research. . .) (*goes off) (*returns*) (OK! found this, which is slightly more interesting: to go about usually ostentatiously or indiscreetly with members of the opposite sex*, but I was after something from Old Norsk to be perfectly honest) (and does that mean that one can't gallivant with members of the same sex? eh?) (and finally, I draw a blank, apart from to say I prefer gallivant to the alternatives: traipse, ramble, meander, junket, travel, wander, roam, stray, rove, gad about, range) (altho I do quite like the word meander, as it makes me think of rivers and streams and I like rivers and streams, and I've always liked wander and roam, but they don't have quite the same humour attached, do they? more romantic in the traditional sense, I'd say) (and gad about is somewhat mad, and we've done quite enough of that here)
(*and this is probably what my mother was so disapproving of. . .) (that woman has a lot to answer for)