Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
BUMMER, Bomer, n.1 [′bʌmər Sc., but Ork. ′bomər]
1. An insect that makes a humming noise, esp. a bumble-bee or bluebottle (Bnff.2, Abd.19, Ags.1, Fif.10 1937).
Sc. 1862 A. Hislop Proverbs 185:
The loudest bummer's no the best bee. Abd.(D) 1922 G. P. Dunbar A Whiff o' the Doric 17:
Wi' spiders, mochs, an' bummers, ay, an' a' kin-kine o' flees. m.Sc. 1870 J. Nicholson Idylls o' Hame 33:
Big blue bummers, wasps an' flees.
2. (1) (a) “A boy's toy, made with a piece of twine and a small circular disc, usually of tin; it makes a humming noise” (Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.); “a thin piece of wood swung round by a cord” (Sc. 1821 Blackwood Mag. (Aug.) X. 35). Cf. bum-speal, s.v. Bum, v.1, 6 (5); (b) used also of a humming-top, see second quot. Known to Bnff.2, Abd.22, Ags.1, Lnk.3 1937.
(1) (a) Ags.(D) 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) xviii.:
It mindit me o' the schule laddies an' their bummers. (b) Ayr. 1928 4 :
That top's a fair bummer.
(2) “A flat piece of wood used as a marker in a bale of flax” (Ags. 1910 Arbroath Guide (22 Oct.) 2/7; Ags.1 1937).
3. A factory siren (Abd.19, Slg.3, Lnk.3 1937).
Ags. 1929 W. L. Anckorn in Scots Mag. (Feb.) 321:
Behind him the bummers in half a dozen factories in Aberbrothock were skirling the skailing hour.
4. A blunderer; an ineffective reader, singer or player (Ags.1 1937).
Abd. 1832 Anon. Jamie Fleeman (1893) 23:
He a piper! He's a bummer; he canna play the Piper's Maggot! Edb. 1931 E. Albert Herrin' Jennie 109:
“A fine auld bummer he is.” So she taunted him. Dmf. 1910 R. Quin The Borderland 53:
Come, pay yer kip, or out you trot, I'll harbour no cheap bummers.
5. “One who is addicted to weeping” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 19; Bnff.2 1937).
6. (1) Anything (or anyone) very large or wonderful of its (their) kind, e.g. a boat, a woman (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)), a duck (Ork. 1929 Marw., bomer), a cow (Bch. 1928 (per Abd.15)), a grilse (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Known to Cai.7 (obsol.), Bnff.2, Lnk.3, Kcb.9 1937.
(2) Specially applied to a gross exaggeration or a lie (Bnff.2 1937).
Dwn.(D) 1886 W. G. Lyttle Sons of the Sod xxiv.:
The Dominie and Johnnie Hunter were vieing with each other as to who could tell the “biggest bummer,” (i.e., the greatest lie) a practice quite common on such occasions.
Comb.: heid-bummer, head-, manager, overseer; prominent or important person; “sarcastically: An officious person” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., also simply bummer). Gen.Sc., but Arg.1 1937 says rare.
Abd. 1934 D. Scott Stories and Sketches 90:
Erchie's been secretly merriet t' the dother o' een o' the heid bummers o' the firm! Fif. 1894 W. D. Latto Tammas Bodkin, Swatches o' Hodden-Grey i.:
The aunchent an' honourable family o' the Bodkins, whaurof I . . . am at the present day head-bummer! Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 20:
Johnnie was ane o' the heid bummers in the kirk.
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Bummer n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Nov 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/bummer_n1>
Try an Advanced Search