Like so many words and phrases in the English language, the term wayward pine has more than a single meaning. And in a contemporary, techno-laden world, it's not surprising to find that such a common phrase with an obvious definition can be linked to the other worlds of computer life, fantasy and literature.
Native to the northern hemisphere, varying species of pine trees grow in most corners of the world. They are evergreen, with needle-shaped foliage and seed-containing cones. When the cone blooms, the wind most typically disperses its seeds. Birds and rodents can also transport seeds away from the parent tree, however.
A Wayward Pine
Because of the method of seed dispersal, it isn't uncommon for a pine tree to pop up in an unexpected location, far from its parent tree. This would be a wayward pine in its most literal sense.
Sword of Truth
According to the fictional world created by Terry Goodkind in his fantasy book series "Sword of Truth," the wayward pine is a massive tree with drooping bows that offers shelter to travelers. These protective fortresses are throughout Goodkind's stories in the fairyworlds of Westland and the Midlands.
World of Warcraft
In the gaming world, a wayward pine is a member of a raiding guild composed of older players. Members consider their loosely organized guild to be casual and welcoming, offering players whatever intensity of play they desire.