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Dr. Goodword
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Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:54 pm

• rumpus •

Pronunciation: rêm-pês • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. An uproar, hullabaloo, brouhaha, fracas. 2. A loud, disorderly quarrel.

Notes: My picture of our recently renovated 160-year-old basement on Dr. Goodword's Facebook page brought to Jackie Strauss's mind a rumpus room. A rumpus room was a room for recreation that didn't have to be kept tidy. She was right; the perfect name for our basement. Rumpus is yet another lexical orphan without derivational relatives.

In Play: The first meaning of today's word is usually associated with kids: "What is all the rumpus in here? When I said you could have a party, kids, I didn't mean you could take the house down!" The other meaning is more often associated with adults: "Must we have a rumpus every time I ask you to clean the garage?"

Word History: Rumpus was apparently an attempt to make romp sound more like Latin by combining it with ruckus. The best guess is that ruckus arose from ruction "uprising, disorderly quarrel", a mispronunciation of insurrection. The earliest form of ruction was 'ruction, indicating an omission (see also 'gator, 'coon, 'possum). Romp is also of questionable origins. The best guess here is that it is a mispronunciation of the ramp in rampant. Ramp originally referred to an animal rearing up on the hind legs in a threatening position. This sense is still used in the world of heraldry, as a lion rampant on a gold crest. (Thanks to Steve Pashkevich for remodeling our basement and to Jacqueline Kravitz Strauss for remembering what it should be called—both without making any rumpus at all.)
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Postby gailr » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:08 am

Let the wild rumpus start!

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Postby MTC » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:36 am

"Rumpus" has loudly overcome its isolation as a "lexical orphan." Rump, romp, rumpus. Let's have a party! In flops "rumpus" with big clown shoes. You can't even say "rumpus" without cracking a smile. (Try it.)

Poets have fun with "rumpus" too; Dylan Thomas with the felicitous "rumpus of shapes," for instance. ( ... homas.html)

Who better to have created this comic word than that rambunctious bunch--the Americans.

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Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:17 pm

Rump, romp, rumpus: sounds like you are conjugating or
something. It is a funny word.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

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