bumbershoot

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noun bum·ber·shoot \ˈbəm-bər-ˌshüt\

Definition of bumbershoot

bumbershoot was our Word of the Day on 10/16/2011. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Umbrellas have plenty of nicknames. In Britain, "brolly" is a popular alternative to the more staid "umbrella." Sarah Gamp, a fictional nurse who toted a particularly large umbrella in Charles Dickens’s novel Martin Chuzzlewit, has inspired some English speakers to dub oversize versions "gamps." "Bumbershoot" is a predominantly American nickname, one that has been recorded as a whimsical, slightly irreverent handle for umbrellas since the late 1890s. As with most slang terms, the origins of "bumbershoot" are a bit foggy, but it appears that the "bumber" is a modification of the "umbr-" in "umbrella" and the "shoot" is an alteration of the "-chute" in "parachute" (since an open parachute looks a little like an umbrella).

Origin and Etymology of bumbershoot

bumber- (alteration of umbr- in umbrella) + -shoot (alteration of -chute in parachute)

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to reach the highest or a decisive point

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