Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bump v.1

1. in sexual contexts.

(a) [mid-17C–late 18C; 1960s+] (US campus, also bump off) to have sexual intercourse; thus bumped adj.; bumping n.; bump and grind

(b) [1930s+] (US) to impregnate.

(c) [1980s] (W.I., Baha.) to work as a prostitute.

2. in fig. uses of ‘knock’ (into, over etc).

(a) [late 19C; 2010s] (US) to terminate a relationship (with).

(b) [late 19C+] (Aus./US, also bump someone’s head) to get the better of, to outdo, to deceive.

(c) [late 19C+] to meet, to accost.

(d) [20C+] to dismiss an employee, or someone from a team.

3. in the context of violence.

(a) [1910s+] to kill; to murder.

(b) [1910s+] to shoot dead.

(c) [1910s+] to beat up.

(d) [1940s] to fight successfully, to defeat.

4. to increase.

(a) [1920s+] (also bump up) to increase a prison sentence.

(b) [1940s+] (also bump up) to increase wages or, in gambling use, a bet.

(c) [1940s+] to move someone up or down a queue, appointment calendar etc.

(d) [1960s+] (also bump up) to promote.

(e) [1990s+] to boost one’s intoxication (by taking more drugs).

5. (US campus) to curry favour.

6. [1970s] (US) to dance; thus bumping n., dancing.

7. [1990s+] (US black) to create, to produce.

8. [2000s] of music, a record, to play.

9. (US black) to leave.

10. [2010] (US black) of a cell/mobile telephone, to ring or vibrate.

In phrases

bump and grind (v.)

1. [20C+] to thrust one’s abdomen and gyrate one’s hips; also as n.

2. [20C+] to have sexual intercourse, esp. cursory or spontaneous; also as n.

bump bellies (v.)

[20C+] (US) to have sexual intercourse.

bump off (v.)

see sense 1 above.

bump on someone (v.)

to assault.

bump someone’s head (v.)

see sense 2b above.

bump uglies (v.) (also bump nasties) [SE bump + ugly (bodies)]

[1990s+] (US black/teen) to have sexual intercourse.

bump up (v.)

1. see sense 4a above.

2. see sense 4b above.

3. see sense 4d above.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

bump-in (n.) [SE colloq. bump into, to meet accidentally]

[1990s+] (US) a chance meeting.

bump man (n.) [he ‘bumps into’ his victims]

[1930s–40s] (US) a pickpocket.

bump stick (n.)

[late 19C–1910s] a police truncheon.

In phrases

bump across (v.) [a var. on SE bump into]

[late 19C+] (Aus.) to meet by accident.

bump along (v.)

[1900s] (Aus.) to appear, to arrive.

bump and grab (v.) [on model of SE smash and grab]

[1990s+] (US black) to drive deliberately into someone’s car with the intention of stopping and then robbing them.

bump heads (v.) [1950s] (US)

to clash (physically or otherwise), to argue, to debate.

bump (off)

see separate entries.

bump one’s gums (v.) (also run one’s gums)

[20C+] (orig. US black) to argue, to talk excessively.

bump start

see separate entries.

how (are) you bumping?

[1900s] (Aus.) a general phr. of greeting.

wouldn’t that bump you?

[1910s] a phr. of disappointment, complaint.

In exclamations

bump that!

[1980s] (US campus) an excl. of dismissal.