bumpkin town

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Senior Member
Can the word "bumpkin", which only seems to be a noun according to the dictionary, be used as an adjective,
as in "How the heck did you end up in this bumpkin town?"

If not, would you give me some suggestions as to what kind of adjectives are usually used to modify that kind of town?
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Yes, it can. Nouns can often be used as adjectives in English. Their meaning as adjectives is, more or less, "of a type associated with this noun."

    For example, a house wall (to borrow from another current thread) is a wall that is associated with, or belongs to, a house. The same thread discusses car doors, which are doors on cars. An airplane rudder is a rudder on an airplane, as opposed to a rudder on a ship. A plane ticket is for air travel, as opposed to a bus ticket, a train ticket, or a theater ticket. All these common phrases use nouns as adjectives.

    Note that the noun used as an adjective always comes before the main noun, since in English adjectives come before the nouns they modify. Sometimes two words can be used in either order, but the meaning is different. An airplane propeller is a propeller used on an airplane, as opposed to one that is used on a ship. A propeller airplane is an airplane that is moved by means of a propeller, not jet engines.

    So, a "bumpkin town" would be a town that is associated with bumpkins. Not a very nice thing to say about a town, especially to someone who lives there (and is not a bumpkin), but it's correct. You could also say "hick town," a town associated with hicks - who are much like bumpkins.


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    It sounds strange to me. You might say a "town full of bumpkins", but I'm not sure it is what you want to say. What do you have in mind?

    You also might look at this thread in case it answers your question: williwags (= AE boondocks)

    Cross-posted with Egmont. :)


    Senior Member
    It sounds strange to me. You might say a "town full of bumpkins", but I'm not sure it is what you want to say.
    Does it? Hum... I guess I have to look for some other words then. I am just looking for a word to describe a sort of town, say, located in the countryside where nobody's heard of and where the rate of time seems much slower than in the city; a kind of town a townie like me would find unbearably boring.

    How about "sparrowfart town", which I remember from the movie, "Scent of a Woman", where Al Pacino said to the pimple faced Chris O'Donnell, "So, what are you doin' here in this sparrow-fart town?"? But I have no idea what that word means. According to dictionary, "sparrowfart" means "early". I don't know what kind of town is sparrawfart town. How does "sparrowfart" fare with "bumpkin"? How do they differ?

    I am not sure about your suggestion "town full of bumpkins", as far as my sentence above is concerned. The strung-out structure doesn't seem to sit well with what I am going for; I am looking for something that cuts clean through to the point, with a certain rugged quality to make the listener think he is not in Kansas anymore.


    In AE it is a small town, there is even a son like that, or hick town. There may be some other terms. Hick town may refer more to a Southern town, mostly redneck.
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