What does Voluntold mean?

Voulntold is a fitting ironic expression for times, when someone obliges someone else to volunteer for a task, while that someone does indeed not want to volunteer.

The term is mostly used to highlight the fact that the word “volunteer” is often used instead of the phrase “you must”.


What's the origin of Voluntold?

Although it is not clear, when the term “Voluntold” was created, the portmanteau of the words “Volunteer” and “Told” appeared in print as early as the early 1900’s.

The first documents containing the term are the Vol. 75 of The Judge, and the Vol. 109 of Baily’s Magazine of Sports & Pasttimes, both having been published in 1918.

This allows the conclusion that the expression was first conceived sometime during the 1910’s.

Spread & Usage

How did Voluntold spread?

Due to the widespread nature of situations, where people are “Voluntold” to do something, resulting in an overwhelming relatability for the term, it spread rapidly throughout the 20th century.

It became even more popular in the 2000’s, thanks to the internet, where people had the opportunity to complain about being “Voluntold” to do a task at work, in the form of image macro memes and reaction GIFs.

The term was first defined on Urban Dictionary on February 18th, 2009.

External resources

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