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Alternative forms[edit]


First attested in 1876 in the United States[1] and common since the late 1890s,[1][2][3] apparently from a blend of umbrella +‎ parachute.[1][2][3] Compare umbershoot.


bumbershoot (plural bumbershoots)

  1. (slang, humorous, US) An umbrella, especially when seen as a stereotypically English accessory.
    It smells like rain. Perhaps we should take along a bumbershoot.
    • 1887, Olivia Lovell Wilson, "Left", in Plays, page 113:
      Oh! hang the bumbershoot! [Flings umbrella away, clasps Mrs. Dobbs wildly.]
    • 1891 March 21, Brooklyn Life, volume III, number 55:
      Little drops of water/ It is safe to bet/ If you have no bumbershoot,/ Make you doosid wet.
    • 1912, L. Frank Baum, Sky Island:
      "It--it belongs in our family," said Button-Bright, beginning to eat and speaking between bites. "This umbrella has been in our family years, an' years, an' years. But it was tucked away up in our attic an' no one ever used it 'cause it wasn't pretty."
      "Don't blame 'em much," remarked Cap'n Bill, gazing at it curiously. "It's a pretty old-lookin' bumbershoot."
    • 1968, Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman (lyrics), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang:
      "Me ol' bamboo, me ol' bamboo, you'd better never bother with me ol' bamboo, you can have me hat or me bumbershoot, but you'd better never bother with me ol' bamboo."
    • 1970, Walt Disney, The Aristocats:
      "Napoleon: Wait a minute! Where's my hat? Where-- and somebody stole my bumbershoot!"

Usage notes[edit]

  • Since c. 1940 many Americans have mistakenly assumed the word is British slang, whereas in fact it is little known in Britain.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 bumbershoot” in Merriam–Webster Online Dictionary.
  2. 2.0 2.1 bumbershoot” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present.
  3. 3.0 3.1 The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (2015)