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tump or tumped

Posted: Wed Dec 03, 1997 12:00 am
by Archived Topic
As children we used a slang word "tump" or "tumped" for upset or turned over, as in "the lamp tumped over and broke". I was surprised that some others not from my area are familiar with its use. Are you aware of the term, and if so of its origins?
Submitted by Trish Williams (Mountain view, ca - U.S.A.)

tump or tumped

Posted: Wed Dec 03, 1997 8:00 am
by Jonathon Green
Tump sounds like a regionalism, and sems as much as anything to be based on onomatopoeia, i.e. being echoic of the thump of the object as it hits the ground. The Eng. Dial. Dict. and thence the OED do have tump, but based in the Welsh twmp, a small hill, a mound, and itself meaning a small hill, a heap, uneven land and, spec. a pile of stored potatoes. It also offers tumpoke or tompoke, which does mean to fall (head over heels). Unfortunately the last volume of the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) has yet to appear, but when it does, I would be very surprised were tump, as you use it, not included.