Is there a word for the jig you do trying to get around someone on the sidewalk?

From this weeks e-mail,

A couple of decades ago, LA Times columnist Jack Smith covered this topic for a few weeks, and a lot of readers sent in suggestions. My favorite was by a JPL engineer, who submitted a NASA style acronym, SPLAF. It stood for “simutaneous pedestrian lateral avoidance failure”.


Well, that sounds like Situation Normal.

I suppose most of what’s said in the column goes for indoors too. I haven’t been in the windy city in ages, but here on the east coast the dance doesn’t happen on the sidewalk very much. If you’re indecisive, the other guy will be decisive anyhow and mow you down.

Douglas Adams already defined numerous such concepts.I think you’ll find his efforts admirable

William Safire also covered this a couple of decades ago. He suggested “the shuffle” but I don’t remember what other candidates were listed.

Since moving back to the US from a country where people drive on the left, I’ve noticed this hallway jigjag is more of a problem. It was a problem when I first moved to the English Caribbean, too. I think people instinctively walk on the same side they drive.

I’ve heard it called kinesic stuttering, but google doesn’t hit on it, so I doubt that is a commonly used term.

If only. People in New York and New Haven walk wherever the hell they want. I try to stick to the right, if only to be consistent.

I was about to mention this. Douglas Adams did indeed name this concept the Droitwich:

I know it’s not the perfect fit as in definition, but what about the already-in-existence word “sidle” ? It makes no mention of a dance, but is essentially an accurate description of what’s going on.

Brrreeeeeeet!!! Ten-point penalty for unfair use of Reason!

Haven’t seen the links, but I do the sidestep.

If both do it, it’s a mutual (simultaneous) sidestep.