Treccani.it defines footing as:

  • s. m. [anglicismo formato sul v. ingl. (to) foot «muovere i piedi»; l’ingl. footing ha soltanto i sign. di «appoggio per il piede, base, fondamento» e sim.]. – Nel linguaggio sport., esercizio di allenamento praticato da varî atleti e in partic. dai pugili (ma diffuso anche tra i non atleti); consiste nell’alternare marcia e corsa su strada o in campagna, per raggiungere un opportuno grado di forma fisica.

The closest English meaning is:

Though somehow related to 'moving on foot', the term 'footing' has nothing to do with the way Italian use it. How come it is used to indicate 'exercise by walking and running' ?

  • In Spanish and Catalan we use "footing" in the same way as in Italian. – Charo Jul 27 '14 at 8:24
  • Good question. Footing is one of a family of “English” words that are misused in Italian, such as body for “leotard” or stage for “internship” (but in the latter the problem is only that stage should be used and pronounced as in French). – DaG Jul 27 '14 at 9:48
  • Let me add two more examples of English words that came to be used with different meaning in Italian: feeling and ticket. – DaG Jul 27 '14 at 14:39
  • @DaG: Out of curiousity, could you further explain what these two are used for in Italian? – carlspring Jul 30 '14 at 10:02
  • @carlspring: Of course: feeling is used more or less in the sense of “sympathy”, “empathy” (there is an Italian song from the '80s titled “Questione di feeling”); ticket is often used in the sense of a prescription charge (the part of the cost you are charged for a drug subsidised by the National Health Service) or of a luncheon voucher, as well as, in recent times, in the actual English sense of a set of candidates (say, one for President and one for VP). In Italian, ticket is never used for biglietto nor for multa. – DaG Jul 30 '14 at 18:09

It seems that the word footing belongs to the family of the so-called "falsi-forestierismi". Briefly, a forestierismo is a word borrowed from a foreign language; speaking about Italian, we can say that jazz, goal, gossip, tabloid, are good examples of forestierismi.

And footing? Footing is not a good one.

In fact, footing is built following the model of words like "training" et similia, using the term "foot" from "football" as base. But, differently from English - where "footing" means "moving on foot/feet" - in the Italian language that word has assumed the meaning of "training run". For a more accurated description (in Italian, I'm sorry), I leave you to the Treccani page; however, for lazy ones, I'll copy here the falsi-forestierismi section:

Dai forestierismi andrebbero invece escluse quelle parole che, nonostante presentino un aspetto straniero, non hanno alle spalle un modello alloglotto e non provengono da un effettivo processo d’interferenza: i derivati di prestiti (camionista, snobismo, sportivo), che non hanno alcun corrispettivo nella lingua di partenza (camionista in francese si dice camionneur o più spesso routier, ecc.); i nomi propri stranieri passati a nomi comuni solo nella lingua ricevente (montgomery «tipo di giaccone» dal nome del generale inglese, mussolina «tipo di tessuto» dal nome della città irachena di Mosul, scotch «nastro adesivo» dal marchio Scotch-Tape); i falsi-forestierismi, parole create sulla base di un modulo formativo straniero ma indipendentemente da un preciso modello, come, ad es., certi pseudoanglicismi del francese e dell’italiano: footing «corsa di allenamento» fu inventato – senza alcun rapporto con l’inglese footing «appoggio» – nel linguaggio sportivo francese alla fine del XIX secolo, secondo il modulo di training e simili formazioni, dalla base foot già presente in football; così il francese recordman è nato dall’incrocio di record e sportsman per indicare colui che in inglese si direbbe record holder. A questi pseudoanglicismi possono essere accodati i prestiti decurtati, composti inglesi che in francese e in italiano appaiono in forma abbreviata: dancing invece di dancing-hall, lift per lift-boy, ecc. (Gusmani 19862: 99-116).

I hope that this answer will satisfy your curiosity.

  • 1
    Nice answer! Only little point: I would say Scotch is used as a generic trademark in US English as well, it is not just an Italian thing. – nico Jul 27 '14 at 16:24

Actually "footing" is completely different from the Italian "correre"... but you know, Italian people use to translate everything from English also if they are wrong...

  • No, footing is used in Italian as correre. Vado a fare del footing equals vado a correre. The English equivalent would be jogging, which is also used in Italian. – nico Jul 27 '14 at 12:11
  • It's wrong...... – Sharon Jul 27 '14 at 13:53
  • 2
    it would be wrong if it were used in an English sentence. Loan-words do not necessarily behave/mean the same thing as in the language they come from. Similarly, you would say "ieri ho comprato i miei due nuovi computer", as English rules do not apply in Italian (hence the "wrong" pluralization and the "wrong" masculine gender of the "computer" word). There are plenty of examples of this in most languages, and English does the same (see "bravo", "segue" and many other). – nico Jul 27 '14 at 14:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy