Word of the Day – Bumbershoot

Word of the Day : May 25, 2021


noun BUM-ber-shoot


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 gampsBumbershoot is a predominantly American nickname, one that has been recorded as a whimsical, slightly irreverent handle for umbrellas since the late 1800s. 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).


“Actually, it may be time to dig out the underused bumbershoot from the back of your closet.… According to Bagnall, these balmy days may be over for a while as three coming storms line up to bring cooler and wetter conditions….” — Steven Mayer, The Bakersfield Californian, 22 Jan. 2021

“Someday, umbrellas may do more than just keep people dry. A researcher in the Netherlands has designed a simple sensor that ‘listens’ to rain. And that sensor can turn a bumbershoot into a rain-measuring whiz.” — Cameron Walker, Science News for Students, 3 June 2014