New One On Me
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However, when I hear/see a usage which I do not understand, or which appears to have several credible, but distinct meanings I would like some clarification, despite this risk.
The particular usage I found today (on LT, but "no names, no pack-drill") is:
"I was getting all bummed this morning because they hadn't come yet"
Now the word 'bummed' has all sorts of connotations, from anal intercourse, through importuning, to being treated as one of the entities often referred to as a bum, but I find myself at a loss here about what the author actually meant. I cannot even determine whether the said bumming was a pleasure or an inconvenience, or even 'a practice illegal in many US states' that I should report to the appropriate authorities.
Perhaps some 'streetwise' LT correspondent could enighten me?
It's not listed as such at dictionary.com, and the OED is silent, too. Bummed is listed as " a. Of garments: Padded out, made to project. b. Having a bum (only in comb.).", Illustrated by the following examples:
> 1588 W. AVERELL Comb. Contrarieties Bij, This yeere bumbd like a Barrell, the next shottend like a Herring.
> 1611 COTGR., Fessé..Fat-bumd.
If this rare use of this particular word form has become obsolete, then the form "bummed" will be available for new uses. Cheers to English, then.
ETA: it might be surfer slang.
It always means disappointed, but the degree varies with context, especially if the speaker is consciously channeling the surfer dude mentality.
In view of this I wish to protest at this hijacking of a superb word - the noun 'bum' as a nicely rounded word that designates that nicely rounded part of the human anatomy which attracts attention as no other does, save for the female mammaries, of course. However, since twice as many members of the human race possess the former as the latter, I feel it should be accorded higher status and should certainly not be so lightly demeaned.
More seriously, I find it an interesting word in that its usage says so much about cultural differences amongst English speakers, specifically where it sits on the spectrum of 'rude words'.
Oh and I think it's funny that no one really hit on how us New Englanders would use the word bummed. We'd say we were wicked bummed.
Before my birth, "bum" as a noun in the U.S. would only have referred to a person who begs or is homeless. By the time I learned the language, "bum" was mostly an adjective, as in "bum rap." See Merriam-Webster definition 2, adjective, at http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bum.
Evidently also coined when I was a toddler in the '60s was "bummer", entry 2:
1 : an unpleasant experience (as a bad reaction to a hallucinogenic drug)
2 : failure, flop
In my own U.S. speech, I use "bummed," which in my mind I think of as shorthand for "bummed out," meaning disappointed, sad, or depressed as the result of some news I have learned or some situation. Being bummed is not a pleasure in my world!
Had the most wonderful ass.
Not, as you'd think, firm, round and pink
But dark grey with long ears, and eats grass.
Butt was also considered an almost-swear word in my family. But "bum" wouldn't have occurred to us - I wanna say doopie went back to the Polish side of the family...
But I really think some of the politer words actually sound worse than the impolite ones. I mean, I'm much more comfortable saying "I've gotta take a shit" than "I've gotta poop"...