Hustle and side hustle

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Hustle and side hustle are two termss that are somewhat related, though some find them confusing. We will examine the definitions of hustle and side hustle, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

The word hustle has several meanings. Most often, it is used to mean to hurry or to force someone else to hurry, though it is also often used to mean to sell something aggressively. This may mean selling something aggressively in a hard-working manner, or it may mean selling something that is illicit. Related words are hustles, hustled, hustling, hustler. Hustle is used as a noun to mean a flurry of activity, or it may mean a swindle. The word hustle first appeared in the 1600s, when it meant to shake back and forth.

A side hustle is an occupation one engages in as an addition to one’s main job. Some people cobble together many side hustles in order to make a living. The word side hustle first appeared in the 1950s. As the cost of living has risen and it has become more and more difficult to be economically viable, more people are engaging in side hustles. Thus, the word has become more common.


The football player, who of course sported some swag from the local brand, hustled on over to the new Faneuil Hall location, where he spent more than an hour chatting up fans, posing for pics and signing autographs. (The Boston Herald)

Ruiz had doubled on a bloop to right, hustling out of the box and taking an extra base to move into scoring position.  (The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette)

I have long argued that side hustles develop entrepreneurial muscle and can lead to significant and unforeseen outcomes. (Forbes Magazine)