to hump

Discuss word origins and meanings.
Post Reply

to hump

Post by dalehileman » Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:48 pm

And the e-mails to Abramoff didn't help, especially those that seemed to suggest that the man who had deplored in print Washington's system of "honest graft" was eager to be part of it. "I need to start humping in corporate accounts!" he wrote Abramoff a few days after the 1998 election--TIME

I suppose it means to exert oneself, or hustle. If not,

What does it mean
Is it a new expr
Is it slang

Thanks guys

to hump

Post by russcable » Tue Aug 22, 2006 6:45 pm
intransitive verb
1 : to exert oneself : HUSTLE
2 : to move swiftly : RACE

to hump

Post by JerrySmile » Wed Aug 23, 2006 1:42 pm

Abramoff might have used it as hustle + the vulgar (slang) meaning of hump.

to hump

Post by gdwdwrkr » Wed Aug 23, 2006 1:54 pm

Ass in, to bust my hump.

to hump

Post by Ken Greenwald » Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:41 am

Dale and Russ, According to The Historical Dictionary of American Slang the verb HUMP has 12 different meanings some transitive and some intransitive. Restricting myself to the relevant forms (for Dale’s “I need to start humping”), they say that the above two Merriam-Webster Online uses of the word are both slang and have been since the 19th century. And I’ve been using HUMP with these two meanings (and, of course, a few others) since at least high school.

Historical Dictionary of American Slang

HUMP verb: To work hard; get busy
<1897 “Grit makes the man, the lack of it the chump; Therefore, young man, take hold, hang on and HUMP.”—‘Chicago Advance,’ 25 February, page 263/1>

<1920 “Keppin’ it going’ll keep me HUMPIN’, see?”—‘In American’ by Weaver, page 30>

<1931 “From now on, your gonna HUMP.”—‘McGinty’ by J. T. Farrell, page 312>

<1936 “But on the whole, everybody was HUMPING.”—‘Old Bunch’ by Levin, page 120>

<1949 “In a week he’ll be making even me HUMP or he’ll be bossing the place.”—‘Shane’ by Schaefer, page 33>

<1956 “You’ll get up a four o’clock in the morning, and you’ll go to bed at nine, and from morning till night you will keep a-HUMPIN’.”—The Girl He Left’ by Hargrove, page 43>

<1973 “I am going to school full-time at Southern Illinois University and, believe me, I really have to HUMP in order to keep up with these kids today.”—‘UFOs’ by Fowler, page 281>

<1987 “The new man is one tough, brave, HUMPING guy.”—‘Macho Man’ by E. Spencer>
HUMP verb: Go fast; get moving.
<1864 “General Logan played a trump/Which made the rebels HUMP.”—in ‘University of Missouri Studies, (1940), XV, page 370>

<1889 “Ef you wanter go, you’d better HUMP.”—‘Tramp at Home’ by Meriwether, page 98>

<1935 “Believe me, neighbor, he could HUMP and run.”—in ‘Kansas Historical Quarterly,’ (1939) VIII, page, page 44>

<1971 “HUMPING . . . walking rapidly.”—‘Third Ear’ by H. Roberts

<1989 “I gotta HUMP back and collect a lady lawyer coming in from Pasadena.”—‘Rummies’ by P. Benchley, page 41>
However, as it turns out, some dictionaries (e.g. M-W Online), think that this intransitive form of HUMP is Standard English, some think that it is slang (e.g. American Heritage Dictionary), and some think that it is something called ‘informal English’ (e.g. Random House Unabridged Dictionary). This ‘informal English’ category is supposedly somewhere between ‘slang’ and Standard English, but I would just throw it in with slang, and in my experience of looking up the same word in several dictionaries, I can tell you that many dictionaries do just that. The Oxford English Dictionary (and also Encarta) doesn’t list these intransitive forms at all, and so by exclusion they don’t consider them Standard English. But, the OED does list many slang forms – so why not these? Got me! However they do list the forms ‘to hump it / yourself / himself’ (sounds dirty)!

American Heritage Dictionary

HUMP intransitive verb: 1) Slang. To exert oneself 2) Slang. To hurry

Random House Unabridged Dictionary

HUMP verb intransitive: 1) Informal. To exert oneself; hustle or hurry.

Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary

HUMP intransitive verb: 1a) : To exert oneself : Hustle, hurry <will have to hump to get through . . . tomorrow.— Richard Bissell> <keeps humping even with three assistants”— C. E. Lovejoy> < hump along and do your chores—Howard Troyer>. 1b) To move swiftly or at top speed: race <it's moving southeast and humping toward the north Springfield (Massachusetts)—Daily News> <really humping along ahead of that tail wind> Norman Carlisle>

And this all raises the delicate question of at what point, if ever, does a slang word come to be considered Standard English, with the above discrepancies showing that there isn’t always any clear agreement.

James, In the slang phrase BUST / BREAK (ONE’S) HUMP, the slang word HUMP is a noun meaning, usually figuratively, ASS. And to BUST / BREAK (ONE’S) HUMP means 1) To exert (oneself) to exhaustion. 2) To harass, vex, annoy, persecute (someone).
<1939 “These guys don’t seem to be BREAKIN’THEIR HUMP. Look at ‘em just loafin’ along.” [reference to 1925]—‘One-Way Ticket’ by O’Brien, page 38>

<1953 “If they see the three of us knocking around, they gonna BREAK OUR HUMP.”—‘Rumble’ by Paley, page 17>
Ken G – August 24, 2006

to hump

Post by gdwdwrkr » Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:43 am

I get a persistent image of an inchworm humping along.....

to hump

Post by mongrowl » Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:55 pm

I get a persistent image of an inchworm humping along.....

I think this is one of those anglo saxon words that are not and never were catchable by the Lit majors. I think the noun and verb grew up togther. If I were to try and say " load the truck by levering the load up with first my thigh, then hip, then back, I would be more apt to say ""humpit up"". AND thus the sexual derivation----
Signature: All we can do is the Best we can do.

to hump

Post by daverba » Sun Aug 27, 2006 3:05 am

Years ago, no one did any appreciable amount of work standing straight as a rod -- except the boss. Anyone who has ever done "backbreaking" work, especially to move heavy objects (stones, firewood, bales of hay, shovels of dirt, etc) to/from the ground or to work near the ground (planting, weeding, reaping etc), puts a hump in his/her back -- if only temporarily. And it certainly feels like your "breaking your hump." When the boss drove you hard, he was "busting your hump."
Signature: "Say any word, and I'll tell you how the root of that word is Greek." - Gus Portokalos, My Big Fat Greek Wedding

to hump

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:56 am

For inquiring minds, here's the etymology of the verb HUMP, meaning to have sexual intercourse, copulate, screw, fuck, etc., etc.:

The noun HUMP, which is much younger than I would have expected, became a synonym for and eventually replaced the earlier CRUMP (800 A.D.) and is first recorded in 1681 in the combination HUMP-BACKED = CRUMP-BACKED. And HUMP-BACK, HUMP-SHOULDER/SHOULDERED all correspond to the earlier forms with CRUMP. The OED speculates that the HUMP-BACKED of 1681, “might be taken as a mixed form uniting HUNCH-BACKED (1598) and CRUMP-BACKED (1661), since these were both in earlier use."

CRUMP (obsolete)

1) adjective [circa 800 A.D.] – Crooked: said chiefly of the body or limbs from deformity, old age, or disease. In combination CRUMP-SHOULDERED (1542), -FOOTED (1599), -BACKED (circa 1661).

2) noun 1) [1659] A hump or hunch on the back 2) [1698] A crooked person, a hunch-back.

HUMP [1681] A rounded protuberance, especially a fleshy protuberance on the back, as that due to abnormal curvature of the spine in humans, or that normally present in certain animals, as the camel or bison.

HUMP [1769] To have sexual intercourse. From the hump in the man’s back when in the ‘missionary position.’ The term started in the U.K., died out by the early 19th century, then came to the U.S. in the early 20th century, and then went back to the U.K. in the mid-20th century, and is still in use in both (as well as elsewhere). U.S. playwright Edward Albee with his Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (see 1962 quote below) certainly added to the popularity of the word and the fashionableness of its use as an IN word in the 1960s and 70s when everybody and his brother were using it along with their other 4-letter favorite.
<1769 The sexual verb appears in the “Session Papers of the Central Criminal Court, 1729-1913” according to A Dictionary of Slang (8th edition) by Eric Partridge, page 582)

<1785 “HUMP. TO HUMP; Once a fashionable word for copulation.”—‘A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue’ (1963) by Captain Francis Grose, page 197>

<circa 1800 “Keep your wife at home, for HUMPERS will be at her.”—“Later Broadside Ballads’ by Holloway & Black, page 224>

<1911 “HUMP /vulgar/ to cohabit with a woman.”—‘Australian Slang’ by O’Brien & Stephens, page 74>

<1923 “I know a couple who’ll really give a guy a little HUMPING if you coax ‘em enough.”—‘Village’ by McAlmon, page 61>

<1936 “‘Let the clot HUMP her,’ Gargantua replied.”—‘The Complete Works of Rabelais’ translation by LeClercq, page 144>

<1951 “He HUMPED a girl from our town.”—‘[VMF-323] Old Ballads’ [[Fixed Wing Marine Fighter Squadron]], page 15>

<1961 “The girls had shelter and food for as long as they wanted to stay. All they had to do in return was HUMP any of the men who asked them to.”—‘Catch-22’ by Heller, page 131>

<1962 “George: Let’s see now . . .what else can we do? There are other games. How about . . . how about . . . Hump the Hostess? [[George’s wife]] HUNH?? How about that? How about Hump the Hostess? (to NICK) You wanna play that one? You wanna play Hump the Hostess? HUNH? HUNH?”—“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’ by Edward Albee, Act II>

<1966 “Your mama must have HUMPED a whole bunch of anteaters for you to have a snout like that.”—‘ The Free-Lance Pallbearers’ by Reed, page 81>

<1968 “Come on over to Moose’s barn, Laddy, Ole Moose gonna HUMP a cow.”—‘The Race for Home’ by J. P. Miller, page 280>

<1971 “Her mother . . . had HUMPED with who knows how many men in between.”—‘Go Ask Alice’ author anonymous, page 99>

<1972 “This sex revolution thing. Everybody’s supposed to be HUMPING and jumping.”—‘New York Times Magazine,’ 26 November, page 102>

<1995 “I still end up getting HUMPED and dumped.”—‘Wild Girls Club: Tales from Below the Belt’ by Anka Radakovich, page 166>
(Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Oxford English Dictionary, Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang, A Dictionary of Slang by Eric Partridge, Wicked Words by Rawson, Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Grose)

Ken G – August 26, 2006

to hump

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:21 am

That last citation hints that Humpty Dumpty was rather more active in the love nest than might otherwise be guessed from his profile.

What other folkloric figures can we next expect to fall from grace in a similar manner? Little Red Riding Hood, perhaps, or Jack and the Bonestalk? Or the shepherdess with a sideline who starred in the Little Bo Peepshow? And what about Little Jumping Joan?

For those who have forgotten their Mother Goose, the latter rhyme goes as follows:

Here am I, little jumping Joan,
When nobody's with me
I'm always alone.

I cannot be alone in finding that highly suggestive.
Signature: -- Looking up a word? Try OneLook's metadictionary (--> definitions) and reverse dictionary (--> terms based on your definitions)8-- Contribute favourite diary entries, quotations and more here8 -- Find new postings easily with Active Topics8-- Want to research a word? Get essential tips from experienced researcher Ken Greenwald

to hump

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:19 am

Ya got trouble, folks, right here in River City with a capital 'T' and that doesn’t rhyme with 'N' which stands for 'Nursery Rhymes.' And what about Old Mother Hubbard? It’s funny that you never hear anything about Father Hubbard, do you? I find that kind of suspicious and maybe that old variation wasn’t just a vicious rumor after all:

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor doggie a bone
When she bent over
Rover took over
And gave her a bone of his own


Ken – August 26, 2006

to hump

Post by gdwdwrkr » Sun Aug 27, 2006 10:33 am

And what of the shoe-dwelling old lady? Mr. Ibister, and his sister, Miss Webster? The beautiful pea-green boaters?
Dave, that boss is always shouting, "I want to see only a$$holes and elbows!"

to hump

Post by Wizard of Oz » Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:05 am

.. and what kind of incestuous fantasy abounds with Jack and Jill,

Jack and Jill went up the hill
Both had a dollar and a quarter
Jill came down with two and a half
Do you think they went up for water?

WoZ of Aus 28/08/06
Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Post Reply