hustle-rustle [-bustle] (Reduplication)

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Senior Member
Consider the expression - "hustle-rustle"
Both means hurry. And sometimes they are used together this way to mean one single meaning - to hurry. The reason of it is mostly for reasoning purpose.
But there are other instances where the first part of "-" means a valid meaning, but the next part simply plays a rhytming purpose without meaning anything.
My question is on what basis the second rhytming word is chosen when it means nothing?
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I'm afraid this may be a philosophical/psychological question beyond the scope of this forum, MFI.

    By the way, I presume you mean hustle-bustle.
    And the word is rhyming. (You're confusing rhyme and rhythm, I suspect.)


    English - England
    Both hustle and bustle appear in the dictionary, as does rustle. You perhaps are thinking of something like harum-scarum, which, plausibly, is said to come from hare (to chase) them and scare them.

    If you can think of a similar set and cannot work out the origins of both words, then do post again.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    Well, I made the mistake by writing "hustle-rustle", but it should be "hustle-bustle". So how will I be able to make up such expression? On what basis?
    One suggestion I got is by looking the origin but how? And there are words that don't have any meaning at all.
    And what this kind of expression is called? I want to google it.


    Senior Member
    English UK
    The process is called "reduplication", ManfI: see the Wiki article with this title, and in particular this section dealing with reduplication in English: click. The words themselves are often called "reduplicatives".

    As to how you make up new ones yourself: my recommendation to you is "don't - you'll probably confuse your listeners":D.
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