Touron is a derogatory term combining the words "Tourist" with "Moron" to describe any person who, while on vacation, commits an act of pure stupidity.[1] The term is considered park ranger slang that describes how some tourists act when entering a national park.[2] The phrase indicates an act of ignorance and is known to be used in different subcultures. It is also used to describe tourists in general when they are outside their normal "comfort zone".[3]

A tourist at an unsafe distance from bison


Early mentions are '="touron n. A tourist, usually an annoying one. —"Say wha?", The Washington Post, September 20, 1987". In 1991 the term was cited in: "Over at U.S. 192 and State Road 535, westbound touron — (a combo of tourists and morons, according to a local dj) are constantly making sudden U-turns from the left lane, causing oodles of rear-end wrecks. —"The Road Toad," Orlando Sentinel, September 29, 1991".[4] The National Park Service constantly warns park guests about the dangers of wildlife and the natural surroundings. Images and video of tourist in dangerous situations are uploaded to the internet and demonstrate their, often stunning, behavior.[5] Tourists acting as Tourons can drive erratically. A common occurrence is to see vehicles stopped in the middle of the road at the first sighting of deer. Drivers and occupants leave the vehicle to take pictures, backing traffic up for miles. The term is used as humor to defend against the usual aggravation of continued exposure to tourists by even local residents of tourist areas.[1]

It has been argued that everyone is a touron outside their own home and away from familiar surroundings.[1] Just being a traveler in a foreign location could make one a touron.[6] Author Kelsey Timmerman believes that: "A touron is one part eager tourist and one part well-meaning moron. You yourself have likely been a touron at one time or another." Tourists become touronic out of an innocent reaction to places they have never been due to a greater curiosity.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Hannigan, Patrick (August 2007) [1972], "Yes, we are all tourons", Colorado Central Magazine
  2. ^ Dickson, Paul (1 September 2010). Slang: The Topical Dictionary of Americanisms. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 2–. ISBN 978-0-8027-1849-5.
  3. ^ Reid, Luc (4 September 2006). Talk the Talk: The Slang of 65 American Subcultures. Writer's Digest Books. pp. 179–. ISBN 978-1-59963-375-6.
  4. ^ McFedries, Paul (March 26, 2003). "Logophilia Limited". Paul McFedries and Logophilia Limited. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
  5. ^ "YouTube videos evidence of tourons' arrival in Yellowstone". The Billings Gazette. The Billings Gazette. July 6, 2011.
  6. ^ a b Timmerman, Kelsey (2010-08-19). "Invoking the Great Touron King". Retrieved 2013-12-12.