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April 24, 2022

Slumgullion /slum·​gul·​lion / noun

Definition: The word “slumgullion” is a controversial noun with mysterious origins. Some etymologists believe the creators of the word did so by combining the words ‘slum’ and ‘gullion.’

“Slum” is an old word for ‘slime’ and ‘gullion’ represents the English dialectical term that means “cesspool” or “mud.” It’s unclear whether the words should have positive or negative connotations. We see the appearance of the word in the early 1800s in popular works of literature, including Mark Twain’s ‘Roughing It’ published in 1872.


We find the first use of the word “slumgullion” in American English literature between 1871-1890. Tom Sawyer famously used the word to describe a beverage he was drinking in the popular American novel entitled “Roughing It.” While etymologists speculate that “slumgullion” was created by combining the words ‘slum’ and ‘gullion’ to form the new word we know today, there are still questions about the exact origin of the rarely used word that describes a type of meat stew.

In a Sentence

The woman prepared a slumgullion stew from a secret family recipe.

Tourists were delighted to see slumgullion on the menu of the old-world restaurant.

Slumgullion recipes are gaining in popularity online.


Stew, Soup


Compound, MishMash


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