Greetings internet! I am here today to discuss the regional use of the word “tump.”
It is one of those words that was just part of my normal vocabulary growing up, and I didn’t find out until I worked up North awhile that its use was apparently regional.
For those of you unfamiliar with the word, it is a verb which I believe is some combination of “tip” and “dump,” and is used in such phrases as “Quit jostling around or you’re going to tump over the canoe!” Or, in perhaps its most useful form, “Don’t swing too high or you will tump over the swingset.”
During a ballers night discussion, I brought up that I thought the term was probably Southern in origin. Brendan rather huffily disagreed, because he had never heard the word before (he is from Richmond, a smaller town in KY) and claimed that it was not a real word and it was just something us crazy Louisvillians used.
According to Merriam-Webster, which I consider a reputable dictionary, it is in fact a real word.
Main Entry: tump
Etymology: perhaps akin to British dialect tumpoke to fall head over heels
intransitive senses, chiefly Southern : to tip or turn over especially accidentally — usually used with over (sooner or later everybody tumps over. Nothing to worry about if you don’t get caught under the canoe — Don Kennard)
transitive senses, chiefly Southern : to cause to tip over : OVERTURN, UPSET — usually used with over
Anyway, I checked with Will (originally from even smaller Morgansfreakinmiddleofnowhere, KY), and he also said the word was not a frequent visitor of his vocabulary. So now I’m more curious as to where “tump” is actually used?
So, internet, tell me: Do you use this word? Have you ever heard of it before? Where are you geographically located? Linguistics folk, I expect replies.