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Etymology 1[edit]

Of unknown origin.

Alternative forms[edit]


gumph (countable and uncountable, plural gumphs)

  1. A foolish person; a gump.
    • 1825, John Jamieson, Supplement to the Etymological dictionary of the Scottish language:
      Gump, a numscull.
    • 1860, Susan Warner and Anna Bartlett Warner, Say and Seal, page 246:
      Drossy saw ’em in her drawer, and for all the gumph he is, he knew the writing; and I made him get ’em for me this morning while they were at breakfast.
    • 1919, St. John Greer Ervine, John Ferguson
      He strikes me as the perfect example of an intellectual gumph. He knows too much!
    • 1938, George Smith, The Cornhill Magazine, page 816:
      ‘ Tell them what, you gumph ? ’ cried Squibs. ‘ Are you all mad ? ’
    • 1971, Ronald Hayman, John Gielgud, Random House, New York
      If Romeo were just a lovesick gumph, occasionally falling into a deeper trance in which he speaks unaccountable poetry, then Olivier is your Romeo.
  2. (uncountable, slang) Nonsense.
    • 1998 December 15, T.C. Van Adler, St. Agatha's Breast: A Novel, St. Martin's Press, →ISBN,
      Things had not been going will with Pino ever since he started to take Sister Apollonia’s bloated gumph as gospel. Thanks to the wacko, his man was actually getting a Christ complex.
    • 2000 April, Linda Grant, Remind Me Who I Am, Again, Granta Books, New Ed edition (July), →ISBN, page 266
      ‘It’s like listening to adolescent daughters with all their gumph and they’re going to chew you out...
    • 2003 June 6, Chris Wooding, Crashing, Scholastic Point, Scholastic Paperbacks (November), →ISBN, pages 100-101
      Between a couple of silent factories, beat-box music drifted over to us. Some kind of unrecognizable chart gumph; the usual mix of soul and rap.

Etymology 2[edit]

Shortening of gumption.

Alternative forms[edit]


gumph (uncountable)

  1. (uncountable) Gumption; grit.
    • a. 1923, Violet Hunt, The Coach
      Never lifted a hand to defend himself, hadn’t got any gumph.
    • 1955, Mathematics Teaching, Association of Teachers of Mathematics
      ...anyone likely to use the book would surely have enough gumph to try both before giving up.

Etymology 3[edit]

From Scottish.

Alternative forms[edit]


gumph (third-person singular simple present gumphs, present participle gumphing, simple past and past participle gumphed)

  1. (intransitive) To grope, especially after fish.
  2. (transitive) To catch fish by groping. Used with out.