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Juggling is a skill involving moving objects for entertainment or sport (see object manipulation). The most recognizable form of juggling is toss juggling, in which the juggler throws objects up to catch and toss up again. Jugglers often refer to the objects they juggle as props. The most common props are balls or beanbags, rings, clubs, and special bounce balls. Some performers use more dramatic objects such as knives, fire torches, and even chainsaws. The term juggling can also refer to other prop-based skills such as diabolo, devil sticks, poi, cigar boxes, fire-dancing, contact juggling, hooping, and hat manipulation.

The word juggling derives from the Middle English jogelen to entertain by performing tricks, in turn from the French jongleur and the Old French jogler. There is also the Late Latin form joculare of Latin joculari, meaning to jest.[1] "Juggling" is used metaphorically like "multi-tasking" to mean constantly refocusing attention among responsibilities, such as "Juggling Work and Family" as the title of a PBS documentary. [1] [2]


  1. Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, 1989: juggling entry
  2. Prof. Arthur Lewbel's Research in Juggling History
  3. The JIS Museum of Juggling's Ethnography section