The Gumbie Cat

gargamill

New Member
Italian
i'm translating this poem by T.S.Eliot, but i can't find anything about the word "gumbie". Can you help me?
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Welcome to the forum gargamill.

    As far as I know, it's a name made up by T.S. Elliot.

    Please note that under forum rules, capitalization is not optional and that sentences begin with capital letters and the personal pronoun 'I' is capitalized.
     

    gargamill

    New Member
    Italian
    Thank you sdgraham! And sorry for the "I", it was a slip.
    I know that Eliot made it up, but I was wondering about the meaning Gumbie could suggest; I was thinking something like being big and fat, could be?
     

    xjm

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Like Gumby, the clay figure? Maybe? (Edit: of course, Gumby didn't exist when T. S. Elliot wrote his poems, but both could have origins in related slang words.)

    Googling that spelling gives me a ton of different views on the word's meaning and origin.

    http://dictionary.die.net/gumby has:

    1. An act of minor but conspicuous stupidity, often in `gumby maneuver' or `pull a gumby'. 2. [NRL] n. A bureaucrat, or other technical incompetent who impedes the progress of real work.
    Then there's a lengthy discussion of the alleged history of "Gummi" and "Gumby" on Google Answers:

    http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/301289.html
     

    xjm

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Oh! Urban dictionary defines the similar word "gumpy" it as "slow-moving, obese, uncoordinated," etc. Sounds like Jennyanydots, who sits and sits and sits. :) So your first guess seems plausible.

    I think, in the poem, "bureaucratic" could also be a possible meaning, since she sits and sits during the day, but makes the roaches march and so forth. Neither is standard, though, so you could make your pick, or even treat it as a proper noun and not even translate it.
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top