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Feb 2, 2022
This week’s theme
Homonyms

This week’s words
waffle
taw
chum
marl
grouse

chum
Chumming the water
Photo: Brocken Inaglory / Wikimedia

chum
Postcard, c. 1910

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

chum

PRONUNCIATION:
(chuhm)

MEANING:
noun:1. A close friend.
 2. A roommate.
verb intr.:1. To be a close friend or to be friendly.
 2. To share a room, especially in a dormitory at a school or college.

ETYMOLOGY:
Originally university slang, probably from chamber fellow or chamber mate. Earliest documented use: 1684.

MEANING:
noun: Matter, especially fish parts, dumped into the water to attract fish.
verb intr.: To throw fish parts into the water.

ETYMOLOGY:
Of uncertain origin, perhaps from chum salmon. Earliest documented use: 1857.

MEANING:
noun: Chum salmon, a fish of the northern Pacific Ocean.

ETYMOLOGY:
Probably from Chinook Jargon tzum (spotted, striped). Earliest documented use: 1908.

USAGE:
“And once you’ve chummed up with your God, you’ll never be alone again, poor you. For that’s the end of you. You and your God chumming it through time and eternity.”
D.H. Lawrence; Kangaroo; Martin Secker; 1923.

“If he could be manipulated into doing something useful, then so be it. With the water sufficiently chummed, she then sat back, kept her mouth shut, and watched to see if he’d bite.”
Brad Thor; The Athena Project; Atria Books; 2010.

See more usage examples of chum in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Jobs are like going to church: it's nice once or twice a year to sing along and eat something and all that, but unless you really believe there's something holy going on, it gets to be a drag going in every single week. -Thomas Michael Disch, science fiction author and poet (2 Feb 1940-2008)

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