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

  • n. A tramp; a vagrant.
  • n. A lazy or shiftless person, especially one who seeks to live solely by the support of others.
  • n. An incompetent, insignificant, or obnoxious person: The batter called the pitcher a bum.
  • n. One who is devoted to a particular activity or milieu: a beach bum.
  • intransitive v. To live by begging and scavenging from place to place. Often used with around.
  • intransitive v. To loaf.
  • transitive v. To acquire by begging; cadge. See Synonyms at cadge.
  • transitive v. Slang To depress, dishearten, or dismay. Often used with out.
  • adj. Inferior; worthless: gave me bum advice; did a bum job of fixing the car.
  • adj. Disabled; malfunctioning: a bum shoulder.
  • adj. Unfavorable or unfair: got a bum deal on my final grade for the course.
  • adj. Unpleasant; lousy: had a bum time at the party.
  • idiom on the bum Living as a vagrant or tramp.
  • idiom on the bum Out of order; broken.
  • n. Chiefly British Slang The buttocks.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A hobo; a homeless person, usually a man
  • n. A lazy, incompetent, or annoying person, usually a man
  • n. A player, usually a man, who often or usually plays poorly
  • n. A drinking spree.
  • v. To ask someone to give one (something) for free; to beg for something
  • v. To behave like a hobo or vagabond; to loiter
  • v. To wet the end of a marijuana cigarette (spliff)
  • adj. Of poor quality or highly undesirable.
  • adj. Unfair.
  • adj. Injured and without the possibility of full repair, defective.
  • adj. Unpleasant.
  • n. The buttocks
  • n. (rare, Canada, US) The anus
  • n. A person
  • v. to sodomize; to engage in anal sex
  • n. A humming noise.
  • v. to depress; to make unhappy

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The buttock.
  • n. A humming noise.
  • intransitive v. To make murmuring or humming sound.
  • transitive v. To borrow without intention of returning; to cadge; ; -- usually with inexpensive items as the object.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • Of poor quality; low-down: as, a bum show; a bum performance.
  • n. An imitative word expressive of a droning or humming sound, as that made by the bee; a hum.
  • n. A drink.
  • n.
  • n. A drunken loafer; one who leads an idle, dissolute life; a bummer.
  • n. 4. A drunken spree; a debauch.
  • n. Hence A convivial meeting.
  • n. The buttocks; the part of the body on which one sits.
  • n. A bumbailiff; the follower or assistant of a bailiff.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the fleshy part of the human body that you sit on
  • v. ask for and get free; be a parasite
  • v. be lazy or idle
  • n. a person who is deemed to be despicable or contemptible
  • n. a disreputable vagrant
  • n. person who does no work
  • adj. of very poor quality; flimsy


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

Back-formation from bummer.
Middle English bom.

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")

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Back-formation from bum out.



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  • 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

  • slugs for everyone

    December 7, 2006