Is there a single word (or maybe two) for an interest or hobby that you dabble in briefly, especially in the context of dabbling in many of these interests over time?

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    @Edwin Ashworth - are you sure this is a duplicate of that question ??????
    – user 66974
    Dec 1, 2022 at 19:13
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    @669 Yes. 'A dilettante is currently defined as: "a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge" - OED, online (2020) version': one who dabbles in an interest (and 'without real commitment' usually refers to a time limit). The duplicate uses 'object' to refer to the area of interest: 'my ___ include astronomy and metaphysics'. // You could add the answer 'fad' at the earlier question. Dec 1, 2022 at 19:24
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    @EdwinAshworth - not sure the OP has a dilettante in mind, but probably someone who is just temporarily attracted by new interests, who are not necessarily dilettanti.
    – user 66974
    Dec 1, 2022 at 19:40
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    Why don't you think "hobby" or "interest" applies? What research have you done, e.g. thesaurus? Is there any type of thing you're particularly interested in? It helps to provide more information.
    – Stuart F
    Dec 1, 2022 at 23:06
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6 Answers 6


In three words, this could be called a passing fancy:

a passing fancy

Something that captures one's interest or enthusiasm for only a brief period of time.

Jim was really into learning about horticulture for a while, but it turned out to be only a passing fancy.

I played a few sports during college, but they were all just passing fancies.

She sure spent a lot of money on that fancy camera, so I really hope photography isn't just a passing fancy for her.

Source: The Free Dictionary


  • Thanks. I immediately upvoted your answer lol. Perfect match for the question, in my opinion.
    – jrdevdba
    Dec 2, 2022 at 18:21
  • This is something one dabbled in, not something one dabbles in. So like, don't even ask me to do it because I don't anymore. As opposed to, don't ask me to do it because I suck at it.
    – Mazura
    Dec 3, 2022 at 19:08
  • @Mazura — Photography is just a passing fancy for her means she is doing it now, dabbling in it now. Dec 3, 2022 at 21:26
  • So says you, unless you are clairvoyant. It's just a phase huh? Hopefully photography is just a passing fancy for her because she sucks at it or because I don't like her work. ... "for only a brief period of time" not, only for brief periods of time.
    – Mazura
    Dec 3, 2022 at 21:29
  • "turned out to be" - "but they were" - "I really hope" - all of the examples are past tense or projections about the future that hope to make it past tense as soon as possible.
    – Mazura
    Dec 3, 2022 at 21:39

Historically, an avocation was exactly this, but it has gained a more formal tone and today implies a more serious level of devotion and usually concerns a respectable subject matter.

Today, I'd just call it a pastime.


How about a dalliance:

brief or casual involvement with something

"Berkeley was my last dalliance with the education system."

Source: Oxford Languages

Dalliance is most commonly used in a romantic sense, but it can also be used in other contexts to suggest similarities to a passing fling.


I would call it a "hobby" or a "venture" if looking for a noun.

Example: "Yes, I have ventured into the world of corporate finance when I have extra time."

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    But beware implying a "business venture," which ought involve more than dabbling.
    – A. R.
    Dec 2, 2022 at 20:47

I think fad may suits your request:

an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived.


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    Fad often suggests something that a lot of people are interested in (some definitions emphasise it as something that's very popular for a brief period), like a craze or fashion, but I don't think that's an absolute requirement.
    – Stuart F
    Dec 2, 2022 at 10:30

How about avocation?

Definition from Oxford Languages: "a hobby or minor occupation"

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