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A hobby (German plural : hobbies ) is a leisure activity that the person practicing voluntarily and regularly pursues, which serves for their own enjoyment or relaxation and contributes to their own self- image, i.e. represents part of their identity. The word "hobby" is derived from the English hobby horse , which is translated as " hobby horse " in both meanings - children's toys and leisure activities. The wooden hobby horse does not carry its rider anywhere because it is held in the hands, so the hobby does not generate any income and is not a profession .

Examples of common hobbies are activities such as collecting , handicrafts , handicrafts , model making , sports , art or further education .


The term hobby is somewhat related to the term game . As a hobby, an activity is, however, only called when a special compared to other recreational activities preference (for this activity preference has) and it exercises regularly.

An important criterion for distinguishing between what counts as a hobby or work is often, but not necessarily, whether it serves as a source of livelihood. In common parlance, those who deal in their leisure time with an art to be amateurs or volunteers as a counterpart to professional - called expert , professional . Voluntary work does not have to be a hobby, however, it can also arise out of necessity.

Doing something as a hobby can also have the character of being a fan of something, if it is a kind of worship of the thing.

Engaging in a hobby often has relaxing or other beneficial therapeutic side effects. In some cases, however (for example when collecting ) the lines between work, hobby and addiction can begin to blur. Some collections can be considered investments, for example art collections. In addition, there are amateurs who acquire knowledge and skills in their respective fields in which they are not inferior to professional experts and also enjoy a corresponding reputation.

According to the research results of the Foundation for Future Issues in the Leisure Monitor 2013, media and recreation in particular shape everyday life for German citizens. According to this, television remains the most common leisure activity. German citizens have an average of 3 hours and 49 minutes of free time per working day. That is 14 minutes less than in 2010.


The term is derived from the English hobby-horse , which is usually shortened to hobby (plural: hobbies ) in English , and originally referred to a small horse or a pony , which can be traced back to hobyn / hoby , but also a Children's toys, the hobby horse . Later this German term also took on the secondary meaning “leisure activity”.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Leisure activity  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Hobby  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Hobby horse  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Foundation for Future Issues - an initiative by British American Tobacco : Freizeit-Monitor 2013 - The most popular leisure activities of Germans ( Memento from October 17, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), Forschungs aktuell, 249, 34th year, August 29, 2013.
  2. a b c Wolfgang Pfeifer (Ed.): Etymological Dictionary of German (= dtv 3358). Unabridged, revised edition, 2nd edition. Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-423-03358-4 , p. 547.
  3. hobby definition. Dictionary.com, LLC, accessed May 31, 2009 .
  4. Hobby. Dudenverlag , accessed on August 31, 2013 .
  5. de.thefreedictionary.com/Hobby