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See also: bum-fluff and bum fluff


A man with stubble on his face

Alternative forms[edit]


bum +‎ fluff, from its resemblance to the sparse hair on the buttocks.


  • IPA(key): /ˈbʌmflʌf/
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  • Hyphenation: bum‧fluff.


bumfluff (uncountable)

  1. (Australia, Britain, New Zealand, derogatory) The first, sparse beard growth of an adolescent. [from late 19th c.]
    • 1983, John Carroll, Token Soldiers, Boronia, Vic.: Wildgrass Books, →ISBN, page 247:
      He still had bumfluff on his cheeks, he was that young. About once a month he used to shave it off, and come skiting about it. I smiled at the memory of him all lathered up, grinning at me through the mirror as he went to work on the bumfluff.
    • 2006, David Mitchell, Black Swan Green: A Novel, London: Hodder & Stoughton, →ISBN:
      Dad'd kill me for doing this. It's so obvious that I mustn't touch his shaver, he's never even told me not to. [] His shaver came closer to the bumfluff on my upper lip ... closer ... It bit me! I unplugged it. Oh God. Now my bumfluff had a ridiculous patch missing.
    • 2008, Simon Barnes, How to be Wild, London: Short Books, →ISBN, page 18:
      There was a basic core of twelve: hard, canny females, with a few young males coming into their strength, just beginning to grow manes: bumfluff lions.
    • 2008, Christian O'Connell, The Men Commandments: The Bible for Blokes from the Daddy of Breakfast Radio, London: Collins, →ISBN:
      In my peer group I looked the oldest because I had bum fluff. Who can forget bum fluff? Wispy growths of hair around your chin that you thought made you look like Clint Eastwood in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
    • 2012, Lesley A. Beaumont, Childhood in Ancient Athens: Iconography and Social History (Routledge Monographs in Classical Studies), London: Routledge, →ISBN, page 27:
      Sometimes the post-pubertal life stage of a young male figure is indicated by the appearance on his cheeks of ‘bum fluff’ or an incipient beard. [] The pictorial context would, therefore, suggest that the representation of ‘bum fluff’ on the cheeks of a male youth usually indicates that he has passed beyond the limits of minority status and has already reached at least his eighteenth year when in civic, legal, military and social terms he was accorded new roles and responsibilities not appropriate to the status of those who were still paides, or boys.
    • 2013, Rikki Brown, Frankie Vaughan Ate My Hamster: Growing Up in the East End, Edinburgh: Black & White Publishing, →ISBN:
      There was me, Eddie, Wilco and a guy called Bobby Thomlinson who we never went around with much because he wore a lot of crushed velvet and had bumfluff. Our thinking was he could get the tickets because, thanks to the bumfluff on his face, he looked much, much older than the fourteen-years-old that he was.
    • 2016, James Yorkston, Three Craws, Glasgow: Freight Books, →ISBN:
      There was no way I was twenty-one. I looked nineteen at a push. Maybe sixteen-and-a-half, which is what I was. Big though – not fat – but tall. No baby-face and no bum-fluff moustache. The fisher boys had their bum-fluff moustaches and they looked total pricks.