Mock Medieval Combat – We know what you’re thinking … boffering sounds like a dirty word. Or at least a slightly naughty one. Well, rest easy: Anyone doing a lot of boffering is probably not doing a lot of what it seems to suggest. That’s because boffering is the hobby of suiting up in padded armor and grabbing a foam-covered “weapon” to engage in mock medieval combat. So carry on, weekend warriors! You’re not hurting anyone, certainly.
Watching Birds – This entry might seem like a dark horse, in that the hobby of watching birds is called … birdwatching. Or sometimes birding. It is on here because the amazing, direct simplicity of the name is almost as jarring as the seeming randomness of some others on the list. Birdwatching is one of the world’s most popular hobbies, and it involves great knowledge of taxonomy and biology, not to mention keen aural and visual observational skills. The fact that none of its adherents has championed a weightier name is enough to earn a nod from us. Keep on watching, birdwatchers.
Cave Exploration – You probably know the term “spelunking,” but have you ever thought, “Hey, just why the hell is cave exploration called that?” The answer is that the Ancient Greek word for cave/cavern was “spelunks.” It’s always the Ancient Greeks, isn’t it? Or sometimes the Romans. And occasionally the Franks.
Coin Collecting – Technically the word “numismatics” refers to the study and/or collection of money itself, but it is most commonly applied to the hobby of coin collecting, a hobby that is sometimes called the “King of Hobbies.” There are coin collectors who only go for ancient monies, those who try to complete modern sets, such as the quarters now being issued by US mints at a furious pace, and those who seek the rare coins with misprints or errors on them.
Postcard Collecting – While the word “deltiology” might sound like it should refer to the study of river deltas, or to some sort of muscular examination, it actually refers to collecting postcards. The phrase comes from the Greek words for “little writing tablet” and “story,” so it kind of makes sense, etymologically, but still: not what you would have thought of, are we right?