Slang dictionary

bumper crop

[ buhm-per krop ]

What does bumper crop mean?

A bumper crop is an unusually abundant harvest from a particular crop. The term is now most commonly used in a figurative way to refer to a large amount or influx of something (that’s often likened to a harvest).

Example: We have a bumper crop of candidates for the position.

The literal sense of the term usually refers to the harvest of a specific crop, but it can be applied to one at a particular farm or to the season’s harvest of a crop in general, such as across an entire region.

Example: Thanks to ideal growing conditions, California had a bumper crop of strawberries this year, and farmers’ markets are flush with them.

Where does bumper crop come from?

field of crops, green filter.

In bumper crop, crop is used in its usual noun sense referring collectively to produce being grown for harvesting—specifically the yield of such growing. The adjective bumper is much more specialized and is now primarily used in the term bumper crop. As an adjective, bumper means “unusually abundant” and derives from the obsolete (no-longer-used) verb bump, meaning “to bulge.” Picture containers bulging with the new harvest because there’s so much of it—that’s a bumper crop.

The term bumper crop has been used since at least the 1800s. Its figurative use increased in the 1900s.

Examples of bumper crop

Love our garden. Bumper crop of apples, pears and grapes this summer. Delicious!
@MelanieMasson1, August 25, 2017
In fact, there’s a bumper crop of intriguing documentaries about interesting people just released or about to debut: politicians, artists, athletes, musicians, and more will be coming to screens this fall.
Peter Larsen, Los Angeles Daily News, November 10, 2021

Who uses bumper crop?

Bumper crop is perhaps most commonly used in a figurative way.

 

It’s also still commonly used literally.

 

 

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Note

This is not meant to be a formal definition of bumper crop like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of bumper crop that will help our users expand their word mastery.