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March 19, 2022

Stumblebum /stəmbəlˌbəm/ noun 

Definition: Stumblebum is a word we use to describe the behavior of someone we see as clumsy, inept, awkward, and incapable. The word is especially used to reference the abilities (or lack thereof) of professional boxers or prizefighters.

Stumblebums are second best or second rate when compared to others within the same category. Stumblebum can describe an inept prizefighter or any person we see as clumsy.

Etymology: In 1932, the first use of stumblebum in American English referred to an alcoholic derelict and people of ill-repute. They derived the word from a combination of Scandinavian, Norwegian, and Swedish roots.

Norwegians used the root word stumble as stumla in the 13th century. The original definition meant to miss one’s footing. The Swedish used the root word stambla, meaning to stumble. We also find stumblebum in mid-15th century Roman and Greek.

In a Sentence

Boxing fans believed he was a stumblebum when he got knocked out during the fight.

They called the governor a stumblebum because of his inept response to the statewide emergency.

Whatever you do, please don’t elect another stumblebum to the office!


Lightweight, Middleweight


Genius, Intellectual


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