February 08, 2015


ZOOMBUM [zoom-BUHM] – 1. interjection: an exclamation of joy, thrill, etc. 2. verb: to go, to move fast. 3. noun: playground slide (archaic).


Scout sometimes lets loose two equally intriguing and relatively long-lasting catch-phrases – BUCKAWUZZIE [pr. buh-kuh-WUH-zee] and ZOOMBUM – the latter being, personally, my favourite word in the world. Whereas BUCKAWUZZIE can be described as entirely abstract with, to this day, no known etymological background, ZOOMBUM at least has traceable origins. A friend had a similarly-aged daughter who referred to playground slides as whee-bums, and it may have resulted from using and modifying this term during Scout's introduction to slides – which now rate high among her favourite things in the world.

Initially, ZOOMBUM was used as a physical description of a slide, but as time passed the term also became a declaration that a slide attempt was commencing (i.e., READY SET ZOOMBUM). Zoom to present day, and the word has pretty much lost its connection to slides and has integrated itself into Scout's lexicon, associated with speed in any form. Examples include backing the car into the alley, navigating the icy ruts in the alley, and scooting around on one's bare bum in the bathtub.

I have also likely prolonged Scout's usage of the word by using it so often myself, in hopes she will repeat it back to me. It doesn't always succeed, and I now dread the oncoming day when she learns to roll her eyes and tell me I'm being lame.

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