noun, verb (used with or without object) Slang.
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Origin of ump
Words nearby ump
What does ump mean?
Ump is especially used as an informal way to address an umpire, as in Hey, ump, that way out of the strike zone!
In higher levels of baseball and softball, there are often multiple umpires on the field. They are primarily responsible for determining whether base runners are “safe” or “out.” The most important one is the home plate umpire, who determines whether each pitch is a “ball” or a “strike.”
Umpire is also sometimes used to refer to someone who acts as an impartial judge during some kind of conflict, such as two friends having an argument. Ump can be used in the same way, as in Jane and Mike were losing their tempers with each other at the meeting so I had to step in and act as an ump until they calmed down.
Less commonly, ump can be used as a verb meaning to perform the duties of an umpire, as in I signed up to ump my daughter’s softball games.
Example: The ump called him out, but I’m pretty sure he was safe.
Where does ump come from?
The first records of the word ump come from the 1900s. It’s simply a shortened form of umpire, which comes from the Old French nomper, meaning “arbiter” or “one who is not equal,” from non-, “not,” and per, “peer” or “equal.” Nomper was adopted into Middle English as noumpere but eventually became umpere—the first two letters were struck out because people heard “a noumpere” as “an umpere.” This is called metanalysis, and the same thing happened in words like apron (originally napron) and nickname (originally ekename).
Several sports have umpires, including tennis and American football, but the term ump is typically used in reference to the umpire in baseball and softball. The role of the ump is to be an enforcer of the rules who does not favor either player or team. Being an ump is often seen as a thankless job since players and fans are known for arguing with their calls (which, yes, are sometimes terrible), often by saying things like “Hey, ump, you should get your eyes checked!”
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How is ump used in real life?
The word ump is most commonly associated with baseball. It’s always used informally.
Serious baseball question: when they do the check swing appeal to the base umpire, what percentage of the time do you think that ump just gives the safe sign because he wasn't actually paying attention? Think it's over 10%?
— Chris Rongey (@ChrisRongey) September 1, 2020
Bench were warned after Antone threw a pitch over Rizzo's head to start the fourth. David Ross was ejected. Based on what he said to home plate ump Nic Lentz, he was not happy. Don't know if was audible on the broadcast but it was loud and clear in the press box. #reds
— John Fay (@johnfayman) August 30, 2020
My husband used to ump my son's baseball games. He is the most fair ump I know, including being fair to our son, no favoritism. But that made for some quiet rides home.
— Maskqueraider (@MommaKingMWD) February 8, 2020
Try using ump!
Is ump used correctly in the following sentence?
I ended up having to ump their argument by acting as the voice of reason.
Example sentences from the Web for ump
Similarly, another UMP exec, Sébastien Huyghe, quipped to the i-Télé channel, “The coincidence is striking.”France’s Ex-Prez Sarkozy Placed Under Formal Investigation for Corruption|Tracy McNicoll|July 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
With 20.8 percent on Sunday, the UMP is set to drop a third of its seats.How Marine Le Pen and France’s Ultra-Right Won the Day|Tracy McNicoll|May 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST
For the last 18 months, Sarkozy has seen his political party, the UMP, tear itself to pieces.
Some observers expect the virulence of the opposition to gay marriage to cool accordingly after the UMP leadership convention.
The head of the ruling UMP, Nicolas Sarkozy's party, claimed he was “happy.”
The two Highlanders bobbed down hastily, as a heavy shell fell with a rolling cr-r-r-ump within a hundred yards of them.Grapes of wrath|Boyd Cable
"Very like the 'ump et is," said the carter after an enormous pause.
"Got something very like the 'ump," said the carter from Upmorton.
Under the hammering of the hard-headed Ump, I saw Woodford in another light.
Ump and Jud had gone to the stable and the old waggon-maker was busy with the breakfast.