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Words nearby stumper
What does stumper mean?
A stumper is a question that’s incredibly difficult to answer—one that stumps you.
As a verb, stump can mean to confuse, puzzle, or perplex completely, as in The last question on the test really stumped me.
When you are stumped in this way, you are usually at a loss—you don’t know the right answer and you might not even have a guess.
This sense of the word usually refers to questions or riddles, but it can also refer to a problem whose solution is unknown.
Unrelatedly, the word stumper can also refer to a person who campaigns for a politician candidate.
The word stump can refer to a platform for making speeches. This use isn’t common, but this sense of the word is commonly used in a figurative way to refer to the place where political campaign speeches are made, especially in the phrase on the stump, as in The senator went out on the stump to try to win re-election. Stump can also be used as a verb meaning to campaign, as in He’s stumping in Iowa today or He has endorsed the senator and will be stumping for her.
The term stump speech most often refers to a speech made on a campaign tour. It most commonly refers to a speech made by the politician who’s campaigning, but it can also refer to a speech made in support of that politician—a stumper.
Stumpers are known for making stump speeches, but they can also do other things to stump for the candidate they’re supporting, such as giving interviews or making appearances.
Example: My nephew came up with a riddle that’s a real stumper—it took me a week to figure it out!
Where does stumper come from?
The first records of the word stumper come from the 1700s, but it wasn’t used to refer to a hard question until around the early 1800s. Its use to refer to a campaigner is first recorded in the 1860s.
To stump someone is to make it so that they can’t think of a single answer or solution, and that’s what a stumper does. A stumper might be a puzzle or just a complicated situation that may not even be possible to solve.
When it refers to a campaign supporter, the word stumper is often used in a negative way. Calling someone a stumper may be intended to be dismissive of them or their message.
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How is stumper used in real life?
Stumper is very informal. It’s sometimes used sarcastically to refer to a question that’s very easy. When it refers to a campaign supporter, it can be used dismissively.
Tricky Tuesday today…this was a real stumper…but some students were able to come up with an answer. Great thinking grade 2’s! pic.twitter.com/TVJQD32FDM
— Mrs. Dinunzio (@bonav_adinunzio) September 25, 2018
🤔 hmm… that’s a stumper pic.twitter.com/xwdL0V2W7N
— Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) November 7, 2018
#MSNBC graphic showed 6 best stumpers for HRC; BHO, FLOTUS, Bernie, Kaine, Biden, Warren. Not Bill. But now Al Gore?
— Gus 💈 (@GusZernial) October 5, 2016
Try using stumper!
Is stumper used correctly in the following sentence?
The candidate has several stumpers who serve as her surrogates—they’re on the media circuit trying to get out her message.
Example sentences from the Web for stumper
One day I sailed safely through a problem that was noted as a regular stumper.At Boarding School with the Tucker Twins|Nell Speed
Enough was a complete stumper, because there was no f in it.At the Court of the Amr|John Alfred Gray
That was a "stumper" for the poor woman, who evidently did not understand one-half of the sentence.Among the Pines|James R. Gilmore
It wur a stumper to Sally, so she got Jess to explain it, and the way he did it was enormous.
That was a 'stumper' for the poor woman, who evidently did not understand one half of the sentence.