Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.
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Postby SeasiderWR » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:58 am

Having been born and raised in Seattle,where 'rain' is a way of life, the word 'Bumbershoot'.....(meaning umbrella) has been part of my vocabulary for as long as I can remember.

Tonight, I saw ads for Seattle's three-day Arts and Music festival 'Bumbershoot 2012' , which began yesteday...and that brought the word into my consciousness again. Does anybody know the background of 'Bumbershoot'? It is a funny word...for both eyes and ears. :)

Perry Lassiter
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Re: Bumbershoot

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:00 pm

The dictionaries say bumbershoot combines alterations of umbrella plus parachute. I remember a Paul Bunyan story as a child entitled something like "The Year It Rained Up." Turned out a baby raincloud got caught in a cave and cried in fright, thus raining from underground. There were drawings of townspeople inverting bumbershoots and wearing them on their feet to stop it raining up their pantslegs. I had always thought that was the only source until I began seeing the word elsewhere. Could a couple of influential journalists or writers read the same children's book?

Philip Hudson
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Re: Bumbershoot

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:39 pm

I first heard the word bumbershoot from my wife's Australian aunt. Actually she called it a bumpershoot, an alternative pronunciation/spelling. She also called an umbrella a brolly. In England I have heard people say brolly and sometimes they say gamp. Don't them thair furrin folks talk funny?

Umbrella comes from the Latin umbra which also comes directly from Latin to English and means, in the most general non-technical sense, a shade.

I think the slang words for umbrella are just for funzies.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.

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Re: Bumbershoot

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:43 pm

It is an Americanism, although prominently used in Mary Poppins. But we've already done it: http://www.alphadictionary.com/goodword ... umbershoot
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