One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The action of performing rapid footwork in place, intended to confuse, distract, or demoralize an opponent.
1960s; earliest use found in The Washington Post. From the name of Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay, 1942), world heavyweight champion three times between 1964 and 1978, who adopted this distinctive footwork as part of his early boxing style + shuffle, probably after shuffle.
Ali shuffle/ˌali ˈʃʌfl//ɑːˌliː ˈʃʌfl/
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