A workplace fiction. The myth goes something like this:
  • You don't go in to work for a preset number of days.
  • During this time you accrue pay just as if you were there
  • This time can be used to do whatever you want
If I were to take the time to type out the whole elaborate myth structure, I would introduce fantastic characters like "friends" and "family."

Like Christmas, this myth has gained such wide-spread acceptance that people generally talk about it as if it were real. In fact, my pay stub has life-like figures that indicate the imaginary number of hours I could use as vacation. I can only assume that this level of effort is spent purpetuating the myth so as to not shatter the world of people who still believe in it.

Wouldn't the world be a better place if our parents just explained to us that vacation isn't real? I suppose the whole point is the spirit of vacation... but still...

(UN*X systems:)
A program for replying to mail automatically (i.e. an autoresponder). The idea is you set your .forward file to pipe all incoming mail to the vacation program. vacation replies to each correspondent with a precomposed message (which, typically, says that you're on vacation), typically in .vacation.msg in your home directory.

Some effort is made to prevent mail loops, by adding special headers to outgoing mail, and not responding to messages flagged as bulk.

A database of people already replied-to is kept, so normally each will receive notification only once.

Va*ca"tion (?), n. [F., fr. L. vacatio a being free from a duty, service, etc., fr. vacare. See Vacate.]


The act of vacating; a making void or of no force; as, the vacation of an office or a charter.


Intermission of a stated employment, procedure, or office; a period of intermission; rest; leisure.

It was not in his nature, however, at least till years had chastened it, to take any vacation from controversy. Palfrey.

Hence, specifically: -

(a) Law

Intermission of judicial proceedings; the space of time between the end of one term and the beginning of the next; nonterm; recess.

"With lawyers in the vacation."



The intermission of the regular studies and exercises of an educational institution between terms; holidays; as, the spring vacation.


The time when an office is vacant; esp. Eccl., the time when a see, or other spiritual dignity, is vacant.


© Webster 1913.

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