Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BUMFLE, BUMFILL, Bumphle, Bumphil, Bumphel, v. and n. [bʌmfl, ′bʌmfɪl]

1. v. Gen. used as ppl.adj. and followed by up.

(1) To puff out. Ppl.adj. bumphled, bulging. Fif. 1872 Mrs G. Cupples Tappy's Chicks 253:
A' the time, there he sat, wi' his speckled breast bumfled up like a ba', but never whistling a note.
Ayr. 1913 J. Service Memorables R. Cummell iii.:
He was tickled at my wee bumphled pooches stappit fu' o' peeries and bools.

(2) To roll up untidily; “to rumple up” (Rnf.1 c.1920). Known to Abd.19, Fif.10, Edb.1, Arg.1, Lnk.3, Kcb.1 1937. Uls. 1908 A. M'Ilroy Burnside iii.:
The girls opposite looked self-conscious on account of new dresses and some of them having their hair bumphilled up for the first time.

(3) “To overload with clothes, making one seem stouter than one is” (Abd.7 1925, bumfill).

2. n. An untidy bundle; a pucker, ruffle, in a garment (Ags.1 1937); “an untidy mass of clothing” (Uls.1 c.1920, bumphel). Known to Fif.10 1937. Lth. 1933 (per Lnk.3):
Tak' the box oot o' your pooch; it maks a bumfill in the breeks.
Kcb.1 1937:
You have the blankets in a bumphle round your neck.

[Prob. from Bumph, n., 1, q.v., with frequentative suff. -le.]

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"Bumfle v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Dec 2021 <>



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