This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Monday, 3 February 2014

Spot the frippet: tump.

This is an easy spot, but it's such a lovely word I couldn't resist it.
 
Tump!
 
It sounds like the noise you'd make on a small drum, but actually tump isn't anything to do with sounds at all. A tump is a small mound, especially if it's a round barrow, which is a stone age burial place.
 
 
 

 
In Worcestershire, England, even a large barrow can be a tump, such as Whittington Tump. In fact Worcestershire loves the word tump so much that they seem to use it whenever they have the least excuse. The gorgeous unty tump is a mole hill.
 
For hill walkers, a tump is any hill in Britain with a prominence of over 30m. That's not very high at all, but then there are are over 16,000 of them, so covering the lot would still would make a fair walk.
 
A tump can also be a clump of trees, shrubs or grass.
 

 If you're in America then a tump or tumpline is something entirely different. Here's it's a band worn just under the hairline to support a load.

 
That sort of tump isn't going to be an easy spot for most of us, but it might be worth trying out a homemade one as an experiment if you buy too many packs of toilet roll, say, in the supermarket.

Do let us know how you get on.
 
Spot the Frippet: tump. No one is sure where the word for hill comes from, but there's a Welsh word twmpath which was once applied to a mound or village green. The strap sort of tump is Algonquian. There's also a Abnaki word mádŭmbi, which means pack strap.
 

7 comments:

  1. I love this word!
    I first came across it in the form of anty-tump - a dialect word for an anthill.
    It's way more delightful to say, as it has much more oomph to it!
    Great word. It needs to be used more!
    Tump!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm very glad you like it, Jingles. Anty-tump and Unty tump sound like married trolls who run a tea shop amongst the higher tumps serving ditch water and poliwogs to poor benighted travellers.

      Actually, come to think about it, I think I might once have stopped off there.

      Delete
    2. And that of course was at the tea-tump! :)

      Delete
  2. In my area (Southeast Texas), "tump" is synonymous with word such as "bump" or "tip", most often used with "over", for example: "Don't tump that over!" or, "I accidentally tumped over a whole pitcher of tea!".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's really interesting, Emily. The derivation tip+bump sounds convincing to me. It's a dead useful word in that sense which I'm sure I shall use often. Thank you!
      There's absolutely no chance at all of my ever putting tea in a pitcher, though.

      Delete
  3. Yes, I like TUMP too...the Texan connection is interesting to read about!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't the world a multifarious and marvellous place!

      Delete