rough-housing

csicska

Senior Member
hungarian
Hello. Could you please tell me what "rough-housing" means and why it is called "rough-housing"? Thank you.

Growing up, my siblings and I were often admonished to “stop that rough housing!” after the sugar buzz kicked in and the fists and feet had started to fly. Roughhousing « The Word Detective

Do you think it's a big deal to rough house before bed? I'm talking about like 20 minutes of rough housing, then straight to bedtime routine, then to bed. Rough housing before bed? TV before bed? • r/beyondthebump
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Have you checked the dictionary, csicska? Here's a link to the WR dictionary definition of "roughhouse." The etymology and derivation of the phrase are outside the scope of this forum, though your first link appears to have some comprehensive suggestions (as well as good examples of its meaning).
     

    csicska

    Senior Member
    hungarian
    Hello Florentia52. Yes, I checked dictionary definitions and also tried to search on the internet but still don't know what kind of activity exactly I should picture. Is it only when children are playing or also a parent with a children? Does it involve fighting or can it be just, for example, running around noisily?


    n. [uncountable]
    1. rough, disorderly playing, esp. indoors.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think that AE "roughhousing" is the same as BE "horseplay".

    I don't think merely running around qualifies. I think there has to be physical contact, most likely of a kind that to the sober adult mind might lead to injury - jumping on one another, pushing, wrestling. But it is play, not bullying, and not meant nastily.

    The OED traces the word back to contexts in which the word refers to premises (pubs and similar disreputable establishments) where fights frequently occurred - rough houses.
     
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    jmichaelm

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I think there has to be physical contact.
    I agree. If it doesn't resemble wrestling of some sort I don't think qualifies as roughhousing. And if it turns into fighting it's no longer roughhousing.

    Adults seldom engage in roughhousing although I have seen young men as old as 18-20 play this way.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    If a lamp gets broken accidentally, it's definitely roughhousing, not just running around.
     

    Ginobilesse_Oblige

    New Member
    English-United States
    I think that AE "roughhousing" is the same as BE "horseplay".

    I don't think merely running around qualifies. I think there has to be physical contact, most likely of a kind that to the sober adult mind might lead to injury - jumping on one another, pushing, wrestling. But it is play, not bullying, and not meant nastily.

    The OED traces the word back to contexts in which the word refers to premises (pubs and similar disreputable establishments) where fights frequently occurred - rough houses.
    While "rough-housing" is perhaps more widely used, I can confirm that we do use "horseplay" as well<-----Unauthorized video clip removed by moderator (Florentia52)----> If rough-house does have more currency I'd attribute it to the fact that horseplay can't really be used as a verb, if I'm not mistaken.
     
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