Wacky Word Wednesday

Bumbershoot – Wacky Word Wednesday

When it’s raining cats and dogs, most of our moods are as gloomy as the weather outside. This week’s Wacky Word Wednesday brings some humor into those cloudy days. Don’t forget to bring your bumbershoot though- it’s wet out there!

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Bumbershoot

 

ˈbum-ber-ˌshoot

 

noun

 

Umbrella

quo botImage of a Bumbershoot in action

As humorous of a term as bumbershoot may appear to be, it was actually a distinguished way to say umbrella in America back in the 19th century.  How it came to be is still not fully understood, however it is believed that the first part derives from the word umbrella, with an additional b in front to make the first syllable bum. The second part is a re-spelling of the chute from parachute, presumably due to the similar shape.

Although the word scarcely appears, here is an example of it in use from L Frank Baum’s book Sky Island of 1912:

“This umbrella has been in our family years, an’ years, an’ years. But it was tucked away up in our attic an’ no one ever used it ’cause it wasn’t pretty.” “Don’t blame ’em much,” remarked Cap’n Bill, gazing at it curiously. “It’s a pretty old-lookin’ bumbershoot.”

Even though the word remains uncommonly used, it can be found occasionally. As usual, here are a few sentences with this week’s wacky word in action:

  • It looks fairly cloudy, perhaps we should bring along a bumbershoot.
  • Don’t forget your bumbershoot; it looks like it might rain!

That’s it for today, but fret not- we’ll be back with more wacky word fun next Wednesday, rain or shine.

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