February 2, 2017

New word learned today: "gazump."

I was reading "Malcolm Turnbull's approach vindicated by President Donald Trump's madness" in The Sydney Morning Herald:
Malcolm Turnbull, who has spent much of this week defending government secrecy over his phone conversation with Donald Trump, has just been done a favour by the forces of media scrutiny and public accountability.

On the surface, this is just another SNAFU - another uncontrolled leak that has gazumped the Prime Minister's agenda, right when he wants to talk about tax cuts, cheaper electricity, and affordable childcare.
The (unlinkable) OED says the slang word means to swindle, and traces it back to 1928:
1928   Daily Express 19 Dec. 2/7   ‘Gazoomphing the sarker’ is a method of parting a rich man from his money. An article is auctioned over and over again, and the money bid each time is added to it.
The spelling "gazump" arrives in 1971, and there's also "gasumph," "gezumph."

But wait, here's a blog post by that goes into much more detail: "Gazip, Gazipe, Gazump - Variants of Gazabo?" It looks at an earlier American word, "gazump," from 1910, that referred to an old automobile.

14 comments:

Rob said...

Oscar Wilde said of fox-hunting, "The English country gentleman galloping after a fox – the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible." If he'd lived a little longer, he could have spoken about "the English country gentleman gazumping after the unlinkable."

Amos said...

I'm in Australia, our media and showbusiness 'elite' is contaminated with the same hysterical leftists that infest America's. They do not represent the broader public's opinion and Turnbull is hated here by conservatives. He usurped a genuine conservative leader, Tony Abbot, who we loved. In return, we decimated his government in the recent elections. We hate that lying, trecherous, backstabbing, speech-making incompetent, and the only reason he's holding onto power at all is people despise Labour even more.

Of couse the SMH is gloating about this, they're our New York Times. But don't believe ANYTHING they write.

Ann Althouse said...

Hi, Amos. Thanks for commenting from Australia!

Comanche Voter said...

Gaumping also has a British usasge in the red hot parts of the London real estate market. You make an offer at the seller's listing price--and you get "gazumped" by several offers over the listing price--and lose the house to the highest bidder.

Owen said...

Comanche Voter: that was the meaning I learned studying U.K. law: an "overbid" that defeated a bid at full asking price. There was at least a whiff of dishonorability to the practice, more I think on the seller for reneging on the (implicit) promise to sell to whomever first met his stated price; but I think generally the seller's acceptance of the overbid was considered legal.

These other meanings are new to me, but frankly I have not seen the word used in many years.

John Tuffnell said...

‘Gazoomphing the sarker’

Sounds like language from A Clockwork Orange (a very Trumpian color).

"Oh, bliss, bliss and heaven. I lay all nagoy to the ceiling, my gulliver on my rookers on the pillow, glazzies closed, rot open in bliss, slooshying the sluice of lovely sounds."

rhhardin said...

Gazebos are in Africa. Lions eat them.

rhhardin said...

Tim Blair (Sydney) Daily Telegraph, has a couple of phone call squibs posted.

Paddy O said...

This whole kerfuffle shows what's wrong with contemporary politics and ethics.

Was listening to the story on NPR this afternoon and got the longer scoop.

So Australia refuses entry to any refugees or such who come by boat. They put them in internment camps offshore. Some have been there for years, media isn't allowed in. Not nice conditions at all, meant to deter people from trying to get in by boat.

Again, Australia has a blanket ban all such refugees trying to make it into their country. Causing a big headache and controversy. They've been trying to make a deal with other countries to take some of these refugee seekers off their hands.

Obama finally said yes. The only one to do so. Trump thinks it's a bad idea, so told Turnbull not without vetting them.

Trump is called the bad guy. For not taking refugees that Australia has kept interned for years. Why can't Australia let them in?

When America is the only country that has to live up to idealist ethics, ethical discussions have lost all meaning.

DOuglas2 said...

Owen: likewise my understanding, and even outside of London -- but it is not just the implicit contract of the asking price, you can have an offer verbally agreed-to and still be gazumped -- the verbal contract is not legally binding in this context until official paperwork is signed and exchanged.

A source of great stress, because many house sales are contingent upon the buyer selling *their* house -- they cannot qualify for the new mortgage otherwise, and some dishonorable seller pulling out of an agreed deal can cause a further half-a-dozen house sale agreements to fall apart.

But a search on Turnbull and "Gazumped" shows that it is a common term in AU media, with a meaning perhaps much like "Pwned" rather than just preampted

Todd Galle said...

Vocabulary Day! I came across a new word as well just yesterday. I don't have my OED (hardbound, not online) handy, so can't check the earliest usage. It's from the Bishop of Chichester, in 1629, about how the religious situation then occurring "...have so distracted and engarboyled the world." Engarboyled - I must work that into conversation after I check the actual definition.

Hagar said...

There is no reason for the U.S. to take Australia's embarrassment off their hands; it is for them to solve.
Trump has agreed to take these 1,200 since Obama committed us to it, but told Turnbull there will be no more of this B.S., so cut it out.

SteveGW said...

To get some idea of the Sydney Morning Herald's take on the world, consider it's online front page of January 31, recorded here on Andrew Bolt's blog.

Morsie said...

The so called refugees are not interned.They are not even locked up,Some have started businesses on the islands.They are free to return to their place of origin.The problem for most of them is that they are venue shoppers, economic refugees in the main.
BTW gazumped has a particular application to real estate transactions.When teh vendor promises to sell to you but another buyer comes along with a better offer, you have been gazumped.