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Bum   /bəm/   Listen
Bum

adjective
1.
Of very poor quality; flimsy.  Synonyms: cheap, cheesy, chintzy, crummy, punk, sleazy, tinny.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Bum" Quotes from Famous Books



... sporting. She isn't the kind that needs six butlers to live—she doesn't live that way now. That's just pride, Ted, thinking that—and a rather bum variety of pride when you come down to it. I hate these people who moan around and won't be happy unless they can do everything themselves—they're generally the kind that give their wives a charge account at Lucile's and ten dollars a year pocket money and go into blue fits whenever ...
— Young People's Pride • Stephen Vincent Benet

... passed through every phase of probationary shrewdness, he is qualified to act as a full-blown bus conductor. In the purlieus of the theatres are supper-rooms (lavish of gas and free-mannered waitresses), and bum-boat shops where they sell play-bills, whelks, oranges, cheroots, ...
— The Magnificent Montez - From Courtesan to Convert • Horace Wyndham

... The rule for elevator boys is still somewhat in the air, because so few of these bum hotels over here have elevators, but you can sort of reason the thing out if you put your mind on it. When you get on a street car in Germany, what tip do ...
— A Book of Burlesques • H. L. Mencken

... account for over ten years—ten years. Well, it seems they've got some autocratic rule that you have to keep over five hundred dollars there or they won't carry you. They wrote me a letter a few months ago and told me I'd been running too low. Once I gave out two bum checks—remember? that night in Reisenweber's?—but I made them good the very next day. Well, I promised old Halloran—he's the manager, the greedy Mick—that I'd watch out. And I thought I was going all ...
— The Beautiful and Damned • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... 'twould ha' look'd busy like, in me, to say a word; so I took up a warming pan, and I bang'd bum bailey, wi' the broad end on't, 'till he fell o' the ...
— John Bull - The Englishman's Fireside: A Comedy, in Five Acts • George Colman

... three of us against you. We can't sleep while you have that lamp burning. The light keeps us awake and it also makes the room so hot that the devil couldn't stand it. If you stay up reading to-night we'll give you the bum's rush." ...
— The Iron Puddler • James J. Davis

... look like easy marks? Listen, boh: you're the fish that got hooked. You bought a bum title. Get that? Didn't know this little piece of dirt was in the courts, eh? Well, it was; and Big Tom got it, and we got it from him. Your title ain't worth the paper it's written on. Now, you're guilty of ...
— The Plunderer • Henry Oyen

... "bum," well up to trap, creeps like a rascal from the sheriff's-office, and with his capias armed, ere you are half-dressed, gives you the chase, and, as you "leg" away for the bare life, his knuckles dig into the seat of your unmentionables, gripping you like a tiger—that indeed is ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete • Various

... camped for the night under a big, bare-faced cliff that was about as homelike and inviting as a charitable institution, and made a bluff at sleeping and cussed my bum luck in a way that wasn't any bluff. At sun-up I rose and mooched on." His cigarette needed another match and he searched his ...
— The Happy Family • Bertha Muzzy Bower

... BUM-BOAT. A boat employed to carry provisions, vegetables, and small merchandise for sale to ships, either in port or lying at a distance from the shore; thus serving to communicate with the adjacent town. The name is corrupted from bombard, the vessels in which beer was formerly ...
— The Sailor's Word-Book • William Henry Smyth

... play, but turning a spirited face toward her father. "What piffle! Whenever a player pitches rotten ball you'll always hear him howling about the support he didn't get. Schlachweiler was a bum pitcher. Anybody could hit him with a willow wand, on a windy day, with the sun in ...
— Buttered Side Down • Edna Ferber

... Sir Andrew; scout me for him at the corner of the orchard, like a bum-baily. So soon as ever thou see'st him, draw; and as thou drawest, swear horrible; for it comes to pass oft, that a terrible oath, with a swaggering accent sharply twang'd off, gives manhood more approbation than ever proof itself ...
— Twelfth Night; or, What You Will • William Shakespeare [Hudson edition]

... parlous case forlorn. Your frames are hard and dried like horn, Or if more arid aught ye know, By suns and frosts and hunger-throe. Then why not happy as thou'rt hale? 15 Sweat's strange to thee, spit fails, and fail Phlegm and foul snivel from the nose. Add cleanness that aye cleanlier shows A bum than salt-pot cleanlier, Nor ten times cack'st in total year, 20 And harder 'tis than pebble or bean Which rubbed in hand or crumbled, e'en On finger ne'er shall make unclean. Such blessings (Furius!) such a prize Never belittle nor despise; 25 Hundred sesterces seek no more ...
— The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus • Caius Valerius Catullus

... out bum dope, as usual," Scotty added. "He hasn't even read the letter." He grinned widely. "But I have. And he'll eat his words before ...
— The Blue Ghost Mystery • Harold Leland Goodwin

... any one to get a black eye. She had the name of a thief wished on her until she got to be one. She was expelled from school; put in a reformatory; ran away; stole to keep herself alive. Then they all took a hand at her—ministers, society girls, charitable associations; they gave her a bum steer and made her feel she was a hopeless outcast, so she felt more at home with the vagrant class. The only person who had ever made her feel she wanted to be straight was a Salvation Army woman, but she had gone away and no one ...
— Penny of Top Hill Trail • Belle Kanaris Maniates

... the next morning. Usually I decide to save the money so I do not have to earn more. En extremis, I repeat the old Yankee marching chant like a mantra: Make do! Wear it out! When it is gone, do without! Bum, Bum! Bum bi Dum! Bum bi di Dum, Bum bi ...
— Organic Gardener's Composting • Steve Solomon

... of the many slum saloons abounding in that locality, and here he watched the mounted police hard at work trying to again open the thoroughfare. While he thus passed the time until he could cross the street, he was accosted by a typical Chicago rum-soaked bum. "Say, friend," the semi-maudlin wretch pleaded while he edged most uncomfortably close to Joe, "would you mind assisting a hungry fellow who has not eaten a square meal in a week?" More for the sake of getting rid of his unpleasant company, ...
— The Trail of the Tramp • A-No. 1 (AKA Leon Ray Livingston)

... some bum I suppose; looks like he had been on a big spree. I only hope I can keep him sober long enough to help ...
— That Printer of Udell's • Harold Bell Wright

... morning, point blank at not fifteen metres off. His machine gun quit firing and his propeller wasn't turning and yet the darn fool just hung up there as if he were tied to a cloud. Say, I was so sure I had him it made me sore—felt like running into him and yelling, 'Now, you fall, you bum!'" ...
— Flying for France • James R. McConnell

... pulmonary subject I, Tra la la la la, bum bum! It can't last long until I die, Tra la ...
— The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann - Volume II • Gerhart Hauptmann

... E17051431 for mills and round steak," says the one-spot. "She kept me till the rent man came. It was a bum room with a sick kid in it. But you ought to have seen him go for the bread and tincture of formaldehyde. Half-starved, I guess. Then she prayed some. Don't get stuck up, tenner. We one-spots hear ten prayers, ...
— The Trimmed Lamp • O. Henry

... a hole was dug, just four shaku (feet) in depth. The Osho[u] began the recitation of the sutra. The priests stood by in vigilant attention. As the last word reverberated on the bishop's lips they seized the sutra wrapped bamboo, slipped it in the long box—bum! the lock snapped. The congregation was tremendously impressed. For a decent time Shu[u]den remained in prayer and meditation. "The charm is complete. O'Iwa no longer wanders, to her own penance and the disaster of men. Henceforth he who says she does so lies. ...
— The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O'Iwa Inari - Tales of the Tokugawa, Volume 1 (of 2) • James S. De Benneville

... derby was a marvel of dust-covered crown and torn rim. He was going forth to eat as the wanderer may eat, and sleep as the homeless sleep. By the time he had reached City Hall Park he was so completely plastered with yells of "bum" and "hobo," and with various unholy epithets that small boys had applied to him at intervals, that he was in a state of the most profound dejection. The sifting rain saturated the old velvet collar of his overcoat, and as the wet cloth pressed against his neck, he felt that there no longer ...
— Men, Women, and Boats • Stephen Crane

... full play, and his gaze came to rest upon Calvin Gray; his eyes began to blaze. "You—you big bum!" he cried. "I might have known ...
— Flowing Gold • Rex Beach

... At 12.30 A.M. still coaling up. Every thing working smooth and nothing to stop, it is a beautyfull night and the Southern Cross looms up with more beauty than I ever seen befor. But the ships bum Boat is all right too, she loomed up with a big ketle of hot Steaming cocoa, Just the thing a man wants when he has the mid watch. the wether is very cold down hear. a few of the men is going ashore to morrow. I dont think I will be able to go as I will have the ...
— The Voyage of the Oregon from San Francisco to Santiago in 1898 • R. Cross

... formi:'cam, O: pi'ger, et co:nsi:'dera: vi'a:s e'ius et di'sce sapie'ntiam: quae cum no:n ha'beat du'cem nec praecepto:'rem nec pri:'ncipem, pa'rat in aesta:'te ci'bum si'bi et co'ngregat ...
— Latin for Beginners • Benjamin Leonard D'Ooge

... and that of his master, and I attempted to draw him out with a crass compliment. He denied me gently. 'The best things I do, or rather did, young feller, are jest a little poorer than his worst. Between ourselves, he painted some pretty bum things. Some I suppose he did, like me, by lamplight. Some he sketched with one hand while he was lighting that there long pipe with the other. Sometimes, I guess, he was in a hurry for the money. Now, when I'm painting my level best, like I used to could, mine are about ...
— The Collectors • Frank Jewett Mather

... just about to enter to call on my friend, Mr. Elsworth, to sip an afternoon glass with him, when a big-booted fellow cried out, halt. Now, sir, the idea of asking a man well in both legs to halt, is preposterous. So I said, and walked on as straight as I could, when bang, bum, whiz, came one, two, three bullets scattering after ...
— Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: Love in '76 - An Incident of the Revolution • Oliver Bell Bunce

... d'you make out? Aren't they darn suckers? Look at that job line in bum ink. Could you get that face from a Limburger cheese? And the dope? After handing you a valentine that 'ud scare a blind Choyeuse, and you couldn't rec'nize for a man without a spy glass, they set right in to tell you he's ...
— The Heart of Unaga • Ridgwell Cullum

... ain't got rights to even lay my hands on 'em! O-h-h!" he shuddered, and agonizedly pulled taut on every tired, aching muscle. "Yuh oughter be beat up with a club. Yuh oughter get pounded with a rawk. You're a rotten, whisky-soaked bum, that's all yuh are now, and yuh oughter be killed and kicked out ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. 31, No. 1, May 1908 • Various

... you, Luck, I'll take that there camery and bust it over your danged head!" he spluttered. "I'll show ye! Call me a bum that's wearin' a shurf's star fer the first time in his life, will ye! Why, I'll jest about ...
— The Phantom Herd • B. M. Bower

... was his opinion concerning the rights of these people. He was tender, I suppose, of the reputation of the Chief-Justice. For Sir Elijah Impey, though a very good man to write a letter, or take an affidavit in a corner, or run on a message, to do the business of an under-sheriff, tipstaff, or bum-bailiff, was not fit to give an opinion on ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. XII. (of XII.) • Edmund Burke

... Peterson, his Oxonian friend, burst in on him open-mouthed with delight, and, as usual with bright spirits of this calibre, did not even notice his friend's sadness. "Cupid had clapped him on the shoulder," as Shakespeare hath it; and it was a deal nicer than the bum-bailiff rheumatism. ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... leaving a call with the night clerk for eight o'clock in the morning, she seems to drift off into a peaceful slumber, but awakens on the moment and hurrying all the way up to the other end of Main Street she slams the bass keys a couple of hard blows—bumetty-bum! And so it goes for quite a long spell after that: Tippy-tap!—off to the country for a week-end party, Friday to Monday; bumetty-bum!—six months elapse between the third and fourth acts; tippetty-tip!—two years later; dear me, how the old place has changed! Biffetty-biff! Gracious, ...
— Cobb's Bill-of-Fare • Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb

... is," I said. "Charlie says it's a good Monday night town because two through freights lay over there till daylight. Tuesday night we have to double back to Greenwich, and that's where Charlie gave us the bum deal. This gag of chasing us back over the same route is rotten, because somebody may be sitting up for us with a rock. But Charlie says Greenwich has developed into a great show town since five new families' moved there last summer. Wednesday we get into Stamford for a run—two ...
— You Can Search Me • Hugh McHugh

... fishery cruise. Halifax was our next port of call after leaving Bermuda. Halifax seemed dear to us after we had paid our first visit there, the reason being rather a curious one. Bum-boat men were wont to visit the ships with large quantities of sausages, which were quickly bought up, being regarded as a luxury. I have seen the cook's galley crowded with seamen frying these sausages, and on several occasions a sentry was placed ...
— From Lower Deck to Pulpit • Henry Cowling

... became dark, the camp fires were allowed to bum low; and shortly afterwards the whole corps, with the exception of the sentries, were sound asleep. At four o'clock they were roused, and marched silently off in the appointed direction. By five o'clock each party was at its post and, for half an hour, they ...
— The Young Franc Tireurs - And Their Adventures in the Franco-Prussian War • G. A. Henty

... compressed k splendor, where the richest decoration did not hinder the y practical employment of every corner of space. He takes us to the crowded Piazza before San Giacometto at the Rialto, where the business of the world is transacted, not amid shouting and confusion, but with the subdued bum of many voices; where in the porticoes round the square and in those of the adjoining streets sit hundreds of money changers and goldsmiths, with endless rows of shops and warehouses above their heads. He describes the great Fondaco of ...
— The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy • Jacob Burckhardt

... Slovaks and bum farms are played out. There's no money in Shadow Hill—or if there is, it's locked up—or the income tax has paralysed it. No, I'm through. There's nothing doing in land; no commissions. And I'm ...
— The Crimson Tide • Robert W. Chambers

... than sorrows ever helped to flow in sparkling jets. Dinah, happy in seeing Etienne taking his ease, smoking a cigar after breakfast, his face beaming as he basked like a lizard in the sunshine, could not summon up courage enough to make herself the bum-bailiff of ...
— Parisians in the Country - The Illustrious Gaudissart, and The Muse of the Department • Honore de Balzac

... one tune to another. "Don't that sound like the Plaza Major in old Chihuahua by moonlight?" cried McKinney, as a swinging band march came squealing out through the door. "That's a piece by a Mexican band. Can't you hear the choo-choo, and the wee-wee, and the bum-bum? They're all ...
— Heart's Desire • Emerson Hough

... around me. Says Corder, struggling with his pack, "Bann, will you help me into my corset." Pickle says to Reardon (out of David's hearing) "Ten cents for a bum piece of pie that you have to eat with your hands! That gets my goat." And just now has come a hoot from every part of the camp when from I company, in line to start and loading guns for a skirmish, sounded the pop of an accidental ...
— At Plattsburg • Allen French

... neither; he has a gloaming sight o' what's reasonable—that is anes and awa'—a glisk and nae mair; but he's crack-brained and cockle-headed about his nipperty-tipperty poetry nonsense—He'll glowr at an auld-warld barkit aik-snag as if it were a queezmaddam in full bearing; and a naked craig, wi' a bum jawing ower't, is unto him as a garden garnisht with flowering knots and choice pot-herbs. Then he wad rather claver wi' a daft quean they ca' Diana Vernon (weel I wet they might ca' her Diana of the Ephesians, for she's little better than a heathen—better? she's ...
— Rob Roy, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... we made him eat horseflesh. He carried a revolver, too, this natter-list did, to load wi' shot as small as dust a'most, an' shoot little birds with. I've seed him miss birds only three feet away with it. An' one day he drew it all of a suddent an' let fly at a big bum-bee that wos passin', yellin' out that it wos the finest wot he had iver seed. He missed the bee, of coorse, 'cause it wos a flyin' shot, he said, but he sent the whole charge right into Martin's ...
— The Dog Crusoe and His Master - A Story of Adventure in the Western Prairies • Robert Michael Ballantyne

... a tip from the C'miss'ner's office this evening that Anisty would be here at seven o'clock lookin' for a party named McCabe. I guess it's a bum tip, all right; but of course I ...
— The Brass Bowl • Louis Joseph Vance

... they saw very funny things. They were up so high that they could look down and see everything, you know. They could see the big ponds up in the sky where the rain is made, and the awful big windmills up there where the wind blows from, and the cannons that bum the ...
— Hoodie • Mary Louisa Stewart Molesworth

... good bum!" the old man shouted at me. "That no-good from nowhere! I'll fix him! Thinks he's something, does he? I'll show him! Anything he can ...
— Sense from Thought Divide • Mark Irvin Clifton

... inside of yore haid 'stead of brains. Yore disposition concernin' wimmen is gen'ally soured. You 'mind me of the man from New Jersey who come out west to buy a ranch. A hawss throwed him five times hand-runnin'. He ropes a steer that happens to run into the bum loop he was swingin' an' it snakes him out'n the saddle. A pesky cow chases him when he was afoot, a couple calves gits a rope twisted round his stummick an' lastly a mule kicks him into a bunch of cactus. Whereupon he remarks, 'I don't figger ...
— Rimrock Trail • J. Allan Dunn

... safely. She could have been counted on both to keep the secret and to help him. They always stuck together, he and Cathy, until she had changed. Now half the time she acted as if she were against him. Look at the way she had snooped around the attic like a bum detective. If she had found the money she would have very likely said it was her duty to tell on him. Jerry almost never could know in advance how she was going to act. Almost he did not like ...
— Jerry's Charge Account • Hazel Hutchins Wilson

... manner how Gargamelle was brought to bed, and delivered of her child, was thus: and, if you do not believe it, I wish your bum-gut fall out and make an escapade. Her bum-gut, indeed, or fundament escaped her in an afternoon, on the third day of February, with having eaten at dinner too many godebillios. Godebillios are the fat tripes of coiros. Coiros are beeves fattened at the ...
— Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete. • Francois Rabelais

... broke the hostile silence. "He ought to be here. I've sent for him. Sit down and wait, though f rom the looks of you, you haven't got a chance. I can't throw the public down with a bum fight. Ringside seats are selling at fifteen dollars, ...
— The Night-Born • Jack London

... they were. But Venly he spotted them in a minute, when he was out there, and he asked me if they weren't from the Beuschoten factory—he was turned off from there last week; they're cutting down the force; they always do, come spring. He said they looked like part of a bum lot that had flaws in them. He got the magnifying-glass and showed me, and, sure enough, 'twas right he was! He says they've got piles of them they've been workin' off on the trade at a cut price. Venly he said he didn't have any stomach for a ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. 31, No. 1, May 1908 • Various

... even stuck a louse on the lens and located the beast in the heavens, for the benefit of a doubting Cardinal. It was all a joke, but at the time no sober, sincere man of Science could argue him down. He owned "bum" telescopes that proved all kinds of things, to the great amusement of the enemies of Galileo. The intent of Porta was to expose the frauds and fallacies of Galileo. Porta also claimed that he had seen ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 12 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Scientists • Elbert Hubbard

... pot was on the fire, a little old man came into the house. "Bum-bum," he said; "give me something to ...
— Poets and Dreamers - Studies and translations from the Irish • Lady Augusta Gregory and Others

... slaves of the stews, wretched servants of the bagnios, whose lives seem sweet and decorous when compared with those of a Sandwich or a Dashwood or a Duke of Grafton. Yet these men, whose companionship might be rejected by Jack Sheppard, and whose example might be avoided by Pompey Bum, are the men whose names are ceaselessly prominent in the early story of the reign, and to whose power and influence much of its ...
— A History of the Four Georges and of William IV, Volume III (of 4) • Justin McCarthy and Justin Huntly McCarthy

... Academy textbooks since I was old enough to read. Or why I wanted the radar deck instead of the control deck. I didn't want to have to make a decision! My father had to make a decision once. As skipper and pilot of the ship he decided to save a crewman's life. He died saving a bum, a ...
— Stand by for Mars! • Carey Rockwell

... the fellow who had given his name as Mike Hogan. "Don't call me a bum! I'm onto your curves, and there ain't no reason why you and me ...
— Frank Merriwell's Races • Burt L. Standish

... you know your own affairs best. But with all your money, you'd better take to the tall pines yourself, like these old guys in the 'Lobster Club.' That's the advice of a man who's in the business for money not glory. This is a bum game. They'll get me some day, some of these yeggs or bunk artists that I've sent away for recuperation, as the doctors call it. But I'm doing it for bread and beefsteak, while it lasts. You run along and play—a good way from the fire, or you'll get more than ...
— The Voice on the Wire • Eustace Hale Ball

... big bum, do you think I really care?" He grinned. "Don't feel too guilty, Twin. We've been back to back on ...
— Gold in the Sky • Alan Edward Nourse

... "I'm through. Get to hell out of here. You'll be hung yet, you loafer. A good-for-nothing bum, that's ...
— Cheerful—By Request • Edna Ferber



Words linked to "Bum" :   stagnate, disagreeable person, lie-abed, lazybones, laze, dilly-dallier, lounger, slacker, spiv, couch potato, slug, trailer, rear end, idle, mope, vagrant, floater, daydreamer, ass, street person, freeload, vagabond, poke, drifter, dosser, drone, body part, sluggard, inferior, good-for-nothing, shirker, colloquialism, trifler, ne'er-do-well, dillydallier, unpleasant person, laggard, dallier, goldbrick, goof-off, lagger, slugabed, woolgatherer, dawdler, torso, nonworker, trunk, sunbather, no-account, obtain, good-for-naught, whittler, clock watcher, body, loon



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