Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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RUMMLE-GUMPTION, n. Also rumel-, rummal- (Sc. 1825 Scots Mag. (Jan.) 71), -el-, -il, rum(m)le-, rumul-, rumble- (Sc. 1787 J. Elphinston Propriety II. 208); -gum(p)sh(i)on, -gumshan, -gum(ph)tion; ¶-gulshion. [rʌməl ′gʌm(p)ʃən]

1. With semantic stress on gumption: (1) understanding, common-sense, levelheadedness (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 262; n. and m.Sc. 1968). Also in n.Eng. dial. Cf. Rumgumption. Sc. 1751  Letter in Atholl MSS:
A good deal of rumulgumtion, attended with a Spice of Libertanism of all kinds.
Ayr. 1787  Burns Letters (Ferguson)No.112:
As muckle smeddum and rumblegumtion as the half o' some Presbytries.
Per. c.1800  Lady Nairne Songs (1905) 231:
Nae rummelgumshion folk now hae.
Slk. 1822  Hogg Siege Rxb. (1874) 622:
Ye sude hae staid at hame an' wantit a wife till ye gathered mair rumelgumption.
Fif. 1844  J. Jack St Monance 19:
But for the smeddum an' rummel-gumtion o' a fisher.
e.Lth. 1885  S. Mucklebackit Rural Rhymes 228:
Half-frightened out of his “rumblegumption”, as he styles his wits.
Per. 1904  R. Ford Hum. Sc. Stories 104:
The feck o' a' the wrack an' ruin o' married life, may be traced to the want o' rummelgumption in the maitter o' selection.
Kcb. 1911  G. M. Gordon Auld Clay Biggin' 2:
Mair rumblegumption i' ane o' her finger ens nar puir auld Davy wud hae i' his hale body.
Ags. 1952  Forfar Dispatch (12 April):
We'd the rummel-gumption tae keep wir traps sneckit.

(2) Courage, pluck, spirit (Abd.4 1928, Abd. 1968).

2. With semantic stress on rummle-: (1) a disturbance, commotion, clattering noise. Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
There was sic a rummlegumption in the pantry.

(2) used jocularly of wind in the stomach, flatulence, freq. in pl. (wm.Sc., Kcb. 1968). Sc. c.1850  A Few Rare Proverbs:
Ye're baith fash'd wi' the rumelgulsions, the farting fits, and lousy nerves.
Fif. c.1850  R. Peattie MS.:
A rummilgumption i' the collie-wobbles.

[A variant of Rumgumption after Rummle.]

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"Rummle-gumption n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2019 <>



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