Jogging along

Although this is many years ago, I distinctly remember the day when I first heard the word jogging. A friendly Englishman, who had given me a lift, pointed to a man on the pavement and told me that was this man was doing was called jogging. This was long before the word jogging entered the German language as a foreign loanword, or at least long before it was widely known. Curiously, what I saw then was quite different from what we now call jogging in German. The man wasn’t running at all, but moving in a slightly awkward, unsteady way in what could at best be called a quick way of walking, and he was wearing no sports gear at all but his normal civilian clothes. When the word came to us, is was and still virtually is a synonym of running (although it is gradually being replaced again by Laufen), with one or two particularly clumsy runners reminding us inadvertently of the word’s original meaning.

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