If you’ve ever tumped something over -- not dumped, not thumped -- but “tumped,” then you might also like your beers Shiner and your brisket smoked. You might be a Texan, that is.
Texas Monthly took a long hard look at a phrase that either sounds just right or completely off to you depending on, it appears, where you’re from.
If the meaning isn’t immediately clear, Texas Monthly pulled the Merrian-Webster’s dictionary of “tump,” which means “to tip or turn over especially accidentally.”
The definition is prefaced with “chiefly Southern.”
Texas Monthly’s John Nova Lomax explores a few different etymologies behind “tump,” including it being simply onomatopoeic (reminiscent of the noise an object makes when it falls over) and the possibility that it is derived from a British colloquialism “tumpoke,” which means to fall head over heels.
Ultimately, however, Lomax settles on his own “tump” take:
“I believe tump is a cross between tip, as in “tip over,” and “dump,” as in “dump out,” and a “thump” is the result. (I thought I invented that etymology, but the Internet beat me to it.) And if I’m wrong, I’ll take my time-out on the stairs.”
Where do you stand? To “tump” or not to “tump.” To “tump” or to just use a normal word like everyone else, Texas.