Nearby words

  1. bulrush,
  2. bultmann,
  3. bulwark,
  4. bulwer,
  5. bulwer-lytton,
  6. bum around,
  7. bum bag,
  8. bum out,
  9. bum rap,
  10. bum steer


    bum (someone) out, Slang. to disappoint, upset, or annoy: It really bummed me out that she could have helped and didn't.
    on the bum, Informal.
    1. living or traveling as or in a manner suggesting that of a hobo or tramp.
    2. in a state of disrepair or disorder: The oven is on the bum again.

Origin of bum

1860–65, Americanism; perhaps shortening of or back formation from bummer1; adj. senses of unclear relation to sense “loafer” and perhaps of distinct orig. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for on the bum


/ (bʌm) /


British slang the buttocks or anus

Word Origin for bum

C14: of uncertain origin


/ (bʌm) informal /


verb bums, bumming or bummed


(prenominal) of poor quality; useless
wrong or inappropriatea bum note

Word Origin for bum

C19: probably shortened from earlier bummer a loafer, probably from German bummeln to loaf

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for on the bum
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with on the bum

on the bum

see under on the blink.


In addition to the idioms beginning with bum

  • bum around
  • bum out
  • bum rap
  • bum steer

also see:

  • on the blink (bum)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.