Tump, the Wordnik word of the day

Today’s word of the day is tump, meaning “to overturn” or “to fall over.” It’s probably etymologically related to tumble and probably is not a contraction of “turn over” and “dump.”


Photo of a tumped-over outhouse by Ryan Junell under a Creative Commons license.

3 thoughts on “Tump, the Wordnik word of the day

  1. “Tump-line” springs to mind and I wondered if there was a “pull” meaning in there somewhere. OED says “tump-line” (a strap on an old style pack) was local to Maine and originated in native Indian usage. I certainly knew the word in Quebec.

  2. Not sure if you’ve come across ‘tump’ as ‘totally useless male poet’. Coined by Wendy Cope in a poem (perfectly describes an ex-boyfriend of mine, though he has seemingly become useful in my aftermath):


    Don’t ask him the time of day. He won’t know it,
    For he’s the abstracted sort.
    In fact, he’s a typically useless male poet.
    We’ll call him a tump for short.

    A tump isn’t punctual or smart or efficient,
    He probably can’t drive a car
    Or follow a map, though he’s very proficient
    At finding his way to the bar.

    He may have great talent, and not just for writing–
    For drawing, or playing the drums.
    But don’t let him loose on accounts–that’s inviting
    Disaster. A tump can’t do sums.

    He cannot get organized. Just watch him try it
    And you’ll see a frustrated man.
    But some tumps (and these are the worst ones) deny it
    And angrily tell you they can.

    I used to be close to a tump who would bellow
    ‘You think I can’t add two and two!’
    And get even crosser when, smiling and mellow,
    I answered, ‘You’re quite right. I do.’

    Women poets are businesslike, able,
    Good drivers, and right on the ball,
    And some of us still know our seven times table.
    We’re not like the tumps. Not at all.

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