bumbershoot was our Word of the Day on 10/16/2011. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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
First Known Use: circa 1896See Words from the same year
Learn More about bumbershoot
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up bumbershoot? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).