Work out
Posted: 03 January 2009 11:23 AM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  1276
Joined  2007-02-14

What is the origin of the phrase ‘work out’ meaning to exercise as with weights or cardio equipment?

Posted: 03 January 2009 12:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  3020
Joined  2007-01-31

The OED2 has the noun phrase “work-out” ("A boxing bout for practice; more widely, an exercise session, practice, or test") from 1909, the phrasal verb in the related sense from 1927.  No detailed etymology is give but “out” is often used as an adverb or part of a phrasal verb to indicate full (or fuller) extent, completion, conclusion, etc. (Hear me out, live out your days, fight it out, tired out, worn out, tough it out, ride out the storm, etc.)

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