Word of the Day : December 28, 2010

galumph

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verb guh-LUMF

Definition

: to move with a clumsy heavy tread

Did You Know?

Bump, thump, thud. There's no doubt about it, when someone or something galumphs onto the scene, ears take notice. "Galumph" first lumbered onto the English scene in 1872 when Lewis Carroll used the word to describe the actions of the vanquisher of the Jabberwock in Through the Looking Glass: "He left it dead, and with its head / He went galumphing back." Etymologists suspect Carroll created "galumph" by altering the word "gallop," perhaps throwing in a pinch of "triumphant" for good measure (in its earliest uses, "galumph" did convey a sense of exultant bounding). Other 19th-century writers must have liked the sound of "galumph," because they began plying it in their own prose, and it has been clumping around our language ever since.


Examples

Mary's teenage son galumphed into the house and flung himself onto the couch, sighing heavily.

"Marmots reside near the panoramic summits of Colorado's high mountains. They look like beavers, but galumph among the boulders a mile above the ponds…." -- From an article by David Olinger in The Denver Post, September 13, 2010



Test Your Memory

What is the meaning of the verb "burke," which we featured on December 9, 2010? The answer is ...


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