## Umpteen

Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.
sluggo
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 1476
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:58 pm
Location: Carolinia Agrestícia: The Forest Primeval

### Umpteen

The Indefinite Number; many

OED:
1905, "of an indefinite number," originally Morse code slang for "dash," influenced by association with numerals such as twenty, thirty, etc.; umpteen (1917) is World War I army slang, from umpty + teen

However, the disarmingly entertaining Uncyclopedia (qv) claimeth:

Umpteen is so called because it is ten plus ump. Ump was defined as umpteen minus ten by the Pythagoreans.

(ump tangentially being defined by the same source thus: Ump (or "umpt") is the base unit of the third axis of a three-dimentional number graph. Just as "math" (the base unit of the second axis on a two-dimentional number graph) is the square-root of math, ump is the square-root of umpteen)

At last my tired tagline gets the ball
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!

skinem
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 1197
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:33 pm
Location: Middle Tennessee
Thank you!
So "ump" is the base unit of the third axis of a three dimensional number graph? Never knew that...just thought of it as someone to fuss at...

When counting, why don't we use the terms "onety-one, onety-two, onety-three,"(instead of eleven, twelve, etc.)--at least we'd be consistent! (If not funny sounding...)

sluggo
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 1476
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:58 pm
Location: Carolinia Agrestícia: The Forest Primeval
So you wonder that too? Good. Better to be deranged in company.

It could be worse; we could count "four-twenties two" and "four-twenties seventeen" (97) as French does. They adapted it from the Celtic and failed to four-twenties six it.

Seems the most commonplace words are traditions that die hard. Let's not even get started on the days of the week...

PS note the spelling in the link: dementional
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!

Perry
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 2306
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:50 am
Location: Asheville, NC

### Re: Umpteen

sluggo wrote:The Indefinite Number; many

OED:
1905, "of an indefinite number," originally Morse code slang for "dash," influenced by association with numerals such as twenty, thirty, etc.; umpteen (1917) is World War I army slang, from umpty + teen

However, the disarmingly entertaining Uncyclopedia (qv) claimeth:

Umpteen is so called because it is ten plus ump. Ump was defined as umpteen minus ten by the Pythagoreans.

(ump tangentially being defined by the same source thus: Ump (or "umpt") is the base unit of the third axis of a three-dimentional number graph. Just as "math" (the base unit of the second axis on a two-dimentional number graph) is the square-root of math, ump is the square-root of umpteen)

At last my tired tagline gets the ball

I never knew about the Uncyclopedia. What a riot!
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
Anonymous

Audiendus
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 641
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:08 pm
Location: London, UK

### Re: Umpteen

As this has not yet been featured as a Good Word, I would like to renew this suggestion (see the discussion above).

Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 3050
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA
Contact:

### Re: Umpteen

And here I was thinking it referred to an adolescent who called balls and strikes behind home plate.
pl

eberntson
Lexiterian
Posts: 446
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:48 am
Location: Boston, Mass
Contact:

### Re: Umpteen

I was thinking that Humpty Dumpy broke into umpteen pieces.
EBERNTSON
Fear less, hope more;
eat less, chew more;
whine less, breathe more;
talk less, say more,
and all good things will be yours.
--R. Burns