Did You Grow Up Using the Word ‘Tump’? If So, You Might be From Texas

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“Watch out! Y’all are fixin’ to tump that over!” Growing up in Texas, you might have heard the word “tump” used to describe knocking something over. According to Texas Monthly, it can refer to people falling over, objects being pushed over, or even flipping over like a kayak. “People can intentionally tump things out. In a worst-case scenario, you can tump over and tump everything you were carrying out of your basket. In my experience, it was mostly used in accusatory tones, as with my grandmother busting me for tumping out my toys,” Texas Monthly writer John Nova Lomax said.

Lomax studied the etymology of the word and found several leads, though he believes that the origin of the word came from onomatopoeia (the sound of something hitting the ground), and a desire to combine the words “tip over” and “dump.”

But is the word commonly used in Texas? According to commenters on the Texas Monthly article, it certainly is, and it’s said in Southern states like Alabama and Tennessee, as well. “I’m a 4th-generation Texan. I’ve heard and used ‘tump’ my entire life. Whether refering to the swingset, a bucket, wheelbarrow or anything else that spills over, falls over or is poured out,” Trudie Moses Sandberg said. When the Statesman posed the question as to whether or not readers had used/heard the word “tump,” the answer was once again a resounding “yes!”