Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The buttocks.
  • noun A tramp; a vagrant.
  • noun A lazy or shiftless person, especially one who seeks to live solely by the support of others.
  • noun An incompetent, insignificant, or obnoxious person.
  • noun One who spends a lot of time doing a particular recreational activity.
  • intransitive verb To live by begging and scavenging from place to place. Often used with around.
  • intransitive verb To pass time idly; loaf. Often used with around.
  • intransitive verb To acquire by begging; cadge. synonym: cadge.
  • intransitive verb Slang To depress, dishearten, or dismay. Often used with out.
  • adjective Inferior; worthless.
  • adjective Disabled; malfunctioning.
  • adjective Unfavorable or unfair.
  • adjective Unpleasant; lousy.
  • idiom (on the bum) Living as a vagrant or tramp.
  • idiom (on the bum) Out of order; broken.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make a hollow noise; boom; hum; buzz.
  • To rush with a murmuring sound.
  • 3. To guzzle; drink.
  • To sponge on others for a living; lead an idle or dissolute life.
  • To dun.
  • To spin (a top).
  • To strike; beat.
  • noun The buttocks; the part of the body on which one sits.
  • noun An imitative word expressive of a droning or humming sound, as that made by the bee; a hum.
  • noun A drink.
  • noun A drunken loafer; one who leads an idle, dissolute life; a bummer.
  • noun 4. A drunken spree; a debauch.
  • noun Hence A convivial meeting.
  • Of poor quality; low-down: as, a bum show; a bum performance.
  • noun A bumbailiff; the follower or assistant of a bailiff.

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

  • noun A humming noise.
  • intransitive verb To make murmuring or humming sound.
  • intransitive verb to wander about idly or aimlessly.
  • noun Low The buttock.
  • transitive verb informal To borrow without intention of returning; to cadge; ; -- usually with inexpensive items as the object.

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

  • verb to depress; to make unhappy
  • noun dated A humming noise.
  • noun The buttocks
  • noun UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, informal (rare, Canada, US) The anus
  • noun informal A person
  • verb UK, transitive, colloquial to sodomize; to engage in anal sex
  • noun North America, colloquial A hobo; a homeless person, usually a man
  • noun North America, Australia, colloquial A lazy, incompetent, or annoying person, usually a man
  • noun North America, Australia, colloquial, sports A player, usually a man, who often or usually plays poorly
  • noun colloquial A drinking spree.
  • verb transitive, colloquial To ask someone to give one (something) for free; to beg for something
  • verb intransitive, colloquial To behave like a hobo or vagabond; to loiter
  • verb transitive, slang, UK To wet the end of a marijuana cigarette (spliff)
  • adjective Of poor quality or highly undesirable.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English bom.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Back-formation from bummer.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Back-formation from bum out.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1387, Unknown, but possibly Old Irish, Scottish Gaelic bun ("base, bottom")

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1864, Back-formation from bummer., from German Bummler ("loafer"), from bummeln ("loaf")

Examples

  • For example, in 1997 my friend (and then coworker) Ross Raihala was interviewing Art Linkletter, and Linkletter became upset when Ross used the terms hobo and bum interchangeably (apparently, Linkletter had worked as a hobo in his twenties and found the word bum to be mildly offensive).

    Chuck Klosterman on Pop

  • For example, in 1997 my friend (and then coworker) Ross Raihala was interviewing Art Linkletter, and Linkletter became upset when Ross used the terms hobo and bum interchangeably (apparently, Linkletter had worked as a hobo in his twenties and found the word bum to be mildly offensive).

    Chuck Klosterman on Pop

  • For example, in 1997 my friend (and then coworker) Ross Raihala was interviewing Art Linkletter, and Linkletter became upset when Ross used the terms hobo and bum interchangeably (apparently, Linkletter had worked as a hobo in his twenties and found the word bum to be mildly offensive).

    Chuck Klosterman on Pop

  • For example, in 1997 my friend (and then coworker) Ross Raihala was interviewing Art Linkletter, and Linkletter became upset when Ross used the terms hobo and bum interchangeably (apparently, Linkletter had worked as a hobo in his twenties and found the word bum to be mildly offensive).

    The American Radiohead

  • “Barry called me Bubble Lips, and said my bum is the size of Texas.”

    CHOCOLATE MILK • by Ladonna A. Watkins

  • This bum is about the sleaziest piece of scum that has ever achieved the level of a senator in my lifetime.

    Reid stands by Lieberman despite Obama attack

  • This they thought had been the child, but it was her fundament, that was slipped out with the mollification of her straight entrail, which you call the bum-gut, and that merely by eating of too many tripes, as we have showed you before.

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

  • This they thought had been the child, but it was her fundament, that was slipped out with the mollification of her straight entrail, which you call the bum-gut, and that merely by eating of too many tripes, as we have showed you before.

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

  • This they thought had been the child, but it was her fundament, that was slipped out with the mollification of her straight entrail, which you call the bum-gut, and that merely by eating of too many tripes, as we have showed you before.

    Gargantua and Pantagruel, Illustrated, Book 1

  • You are only seeing the side of her one leg and her bum is in the back part.

    Pink is the New Blog | Everybody's Business Is My Business » Blog Archive » Heidi Klum Does German ‘GQ’ Magazine . . . Again

Comments

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  • slugs for everyone

    December 7, 2006

  • What is this that roareth thus?

    Can it be a motor bus?

    Yes the smell and hideous hum

    Indicat Motorem Bum

    .....

    How shall wretches live like us

    Cincti Bis Motoribus?

    Domine, defende nos

    Contra hos Motores Bos!

    Alfred Denis Godley (1856-1925), The Motor Bus. Letter 1914

    September 20, 2009