Noun & Adjective – Yo-Yoing
ou know the toy: one axle, two discs, one long string that can’t wait to get hopelessly tangled.
Figuratively speaking, a yo-yo is anything that moves up and down, over and over, in a jerky way.
And to yo-yo is to move up and down, over and over, in a jerky way.
And yo-yoing is the act of moving up and down, over and over, in a jerky way.
YO YO ing
Part of speech:
Both a noun (“all this yo-yoing is stressful”) and an adjective (“their yo-yoing sales figures”).
Sometimes we’ll just use “yo-yo” as the adjective: “yo-yo dieting,” “that yo-yo policy.”
How to use it:
This word is playful, with a negative tone: things that “yo-yo” don’t make progress, and they don’t just “fluctuate” or “oscillate;” they keep making the same gains and losses again and again.
Call something (or someone) a yo-yo if it keeps changing back and forth.
You might talk about yo-yoing weights, grades, scores, prices, interest rates, approval rates, temperatures, sea levels and other measurements, policies, feelings, public interest, etc.
And you can talk about things (and people) yo-yoing between things, or from one thing to another. “The price yo-yoed between $33 and $198.” “The price keeps yo-yoing from $33 to $198 and back.”
“Call it Jason’s Rule: When he is on top of the golf world, it is an excellent bet that he’s headed down. And when he’s down, and has been forgotten, it’s an even better bet that he’s on the rise. In other words, Jason Day is the human yo-yo.”
— Shane Ryan, Golf Digest, 14 March 2018
“[The album] The Game was released in June 1980. Like Jazz and News of the World, it yo-yoed between styles and sounds, as each of its four writers hustled for space. But this disjointedness was fast becoming a key ingredient of the Queen sound.”
— Mark Blake, Is This the Real Life?: The Untold Story of Queen, 2011