Posted by Neal on February 23, 2008
There was an eye-catching action shot on the front page of a community newspaper this week. It was taken in an elementary school gym, and showed a first-grade girl jumping rope. (It seems all the local elementary schools do a unit on jumping rope around this time of year.) The photographer had caught her in mid-air, legs bent, arms out, red hair flying out horizontally, and a grin on her face (the usual place for grins to appear, I believe). It was such a neat shot that I showed it to Doug and Adam.
“What’s she doing?” asked Doug as he took the paper. “Oh, she’s jump-roping.”
“Jump-roping, huh?” I said. “Is that how you say it?” I handed the paper to Adam. “What would you say she’s doing, Adam? Jumping rope, or jump-roping?”
Adam thought for a second, then said, “Jumping rope.”
“Well, jump-roping is what all my friends say,” Doug told us.
I get 418K Google hits for “jumping rope”, and 127K for “jumproping”, “jump roping”, and “jump ropeing” combined. There were enough hits for jump-roping compared to jumping rope that my suspicion is that jump-roping has been around for quite a while. I don’t have any data correlating these forms with age, so I can’t say if jump-roping is something that’s only recently caught on. However, if Doug’s friends are representative of the general population of American English-speaking kids, I’m getting a feeling of deja vu.