from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A dunce; a blockhead; a soft, dull fellow.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Scot. A dunce; a blockhead.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Scotland A dunce; a blockhead.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Origin unknown.


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  • Nova Scotia only a detail; he knew that all his services counted for less in their eyes than did the claims of {130} some 'sumph' whose father or uncle could influence a vote on a division.

    The Tribune of Nova Scotia A Chronicle of Joseph Howe 1903

  • All of a sudden he goes like this -- "And giving a queer dull" sumph "of a sound, he jerked his body limp towards his knees --" Gone!

    Tatterdemalion John Galsworthy 1900

  • And ony sumph that keeps up spite, in conscience, I abhor him

    Tullochgorum 1996

  • And ony sumph that keeps up spite, in conscience, I abhor him

    Tullochgorum (2) 1996

  • "The're coming; cock the piece, ye sumph!" cried the laddie, while his red hair rose, from his pow like feathers.

    The World's Greatest Books — Volume 06 — Fiction Various 1909

  • Fool, idiot, sumph -- Jones tried them all on the image of the defunct, but they were too small.

    The Man Who Lost Himself 1907

  • "She was; but he's such a perfect sumph, I'm thankful she's got quit of him."

    The Prodigal Father 1907

  • To his face she referred to him as a doited sumph, but to Grizel pleading for him she admitted that despite his warts and quarrelsome legs he was a great big muckle sonsy, stout, buirdly well set up, wise-like, havering man.

    Tommy and Grizel 1898

  • Saunders -- the muckle tongueless sumph there got dirt cheap -- ye see

    The Lilac Sunbonnet 1887

  • My God, what a ke-o of _my_ life I've made -- that auld trollop for my wife, that sumph for my son, and that dying lassie for my dochter!

    The House with the Green Shutters George Douglas Brown 1885


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  • "I like a man to travel," she went on, tossing her head and looking altogether fierce Ellen's mother. "I never go into the bank without looking at the clerks and thinking what sumphs they are, sitting on their high stools."

    - Rebecca West, The Judge

    July 17, 2009

  • I like it. :-)

    July 17, 2009

  • This word was chosen as Wordnik word of the day.

    November 11, 2009