If we follow the pattern of 'cat lover', is it correct to say 'run lover'?

If I use Google translator to Spanish (my mother tongue), 'run lover' sounds more like a shout you'd say to your lover to start to run.

  • 4
    Note the difference between cat (a noun) and to run (a verb); you can’t just substitute one for the other. A run can also be a noun, but then it’s not the generic act of running, but a particular instance of going out, running a certain distance, finishing, and coming back (i.e., going for a run); and when you love to run, it’s the generic act you love, not the individual run. Sep 10, 2018 at 12:52
  • 4
    Maybe its time to coin a new word, trexophile. If you're influential enough as a writer, it might catch on.
    – Octopus
    Sep 10, 2018 at 18:47
  • I'd be curious to hear what you call it in Spanish. Sep 10, 2018 at 19:25
  • 'Cat' is also a verb, so 'cat lover' is also a shout you'd say to your lover to tell them to throw up. Sep 11, 2018 at 14:35

6 Answers 6


You'd most often use a noun for the person (eg runner, jogger) and then an adjective to describe them (keen, avid). So you might call them an avid runner or a keen jogger.


I think Mike C. has a great answer, but if you'd prefer a noun version over an adjective, I would call the person a running enthusiast

A person filled with or guided by enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm, of course, being:

Intensity of feeling; excited interest or eagerness.

So a running enthusiast is one who is excited about running or eager to run.

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    I might interpret "running enthusiast" as someone who follows races, etc., rather than someone who enjoys running on their own. This may or may not be appropriate. Sep 10, 2018 at 19:26
  • @AzorAhai In the case of athletics it's generally understood that an "enthusiast" follows a sport as much out of general interest as out of a desire to learn to perform better at it themselves, especially for raw performance sports like running. Even with sports more often watched than played, like football, you'd sooner hear an avid spectator referred to as a "fan" than an "enthusiast" (in the U.S. at least). Calling someone who doesn't run a "running enthusiast" would most likely be met with confusion.
    – talrnu
    Sep 11, 2018 at 17:53
  • @talrnu I'm splitting hairs here. Maybe I shouldn't have said "rather than someone who enjoys running." It would have been better to say "who may or may not enjoy running on their own." Sep 11, 2018 at 18:01

In Spanish, the same form is used for both the infinitive and the gerund. So when translating to English, you need to be able to distinguish between the two. Here, "correr" is a gerund, not the infinitive, so it should be translated as "running". However, in English the same form is used for both the gerund and the present progressive, so "running lover" can be ambiguous as to whether "running" is a gerund ("amante de correr") or present progressive ("amante corriendo"). Using the term "enthusiast" makes the gerund interpretation more prominent. The term "aficionado" can also be used in English: "running aficionado", although that can be ambiguous as to whether it's someone who likes to run, or someone who likes to watch other people run. Using the noun form "runner" also avoids the ambiguity between gerund and present progressive, and then an adjective such as "avid" can be added to describe what sort of runner they are.



One who is addicted to running.

Example from I'll Meet You at the Finish!, written by Chris Pepper Shipman and published by Life Enhancement Publications (1987), page 65:

One such woman complained, "My husband has become a 'runaholic'. He constantly talks about his running time, his equipment, people he has seen doing unusual things while he was running and on and on and on. […]

Do note that this word is very informal, and thus not yet available in other authoritative sources such as Merriam-Webster or Cambridge.

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    Indeed, the fact that the word is given in quotation marks (of a sort) is likely intended to indicate that it's not a "real" (for some value of "real") word but made up for the moment. As such I wouldn't recommend using it. Of course you could do as Shipman did and use the quote marks yourself, but why, when there are better options? Sep 10, 2018 at 17:00

You could try "amateur" as an adjective, e.g. "she's an amateur runner".

Noawadays that mostly means that, "she's not a professional runner", but it originally meant that, "she runs for the love of it, not for money".

An amateur, from French amateur "lover of", is generally considered a person who pursues a particular activity or field of study independently from their source of income.

I mention that because it includes some of the "love" that you were asking for (if you accept a word's etymology as having any meaning, which maybe some people don't).

Also, "amateur" is often (idiomatically) used of sports.

  • This was today's learning day for me; very interesting
    – Caius Jard
    Sep 11, 2018 at 15:21
  • The meaning has changed even more than that - these days, amateur is used interchangeably with beginner and inexperienced. Little remains of the implication that an amateur "loves" what they're doing, beyond the intuition that someone who's just started practicing a hobby is obviously interested to some degree in learning more about it and becoming better at it.
    – talrnu
    Sep 11, 2018 at 17:43
  • @talrnu Perhaps so -- I'd specify "amateurish", though, if I meant "inept" and "unprofessional". FWIW I know a 92-year-old academic who wrote in an autobiography that it used to be that an amateur might be better than a professional, because they do it for love and not just for money. There may be some classism involved in that too, I don't know -- see e.g. Olympic Games: Amateurism and professionalism.
    – ChrisW
    Sep 11, 2018 at 17:57

Forrest Gump

Now you wouldn't believe me if I told you, but I could run like the wind blows. From that day on, if I was going somewhere, I was running!

  • Welcome to English Language & Usage! Could you explain why you believe the word is suitable? Perhaps you could cite a definition or usage example that suggests it fits the asker's needs. Sep 11, 2018 at 16:31
  • 2
    I don't think if you call some one a Forrest Gump, running will be the first association...
    – Skooba
    Sep 12, 2018 at 12:10

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