Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
1590s, "protuberance caused by a blow;" 1610s as "a dull, solid blow;" see bump (v.). The dancer's bump and grind attested from 1940.
1560s, "to bulge out;" 1610s, "to strike heavily," perhaps from Scandinavian, probably echoic, original sense was "hitting" then of "swelling from being hit." Also has a long association with obsolete bum "to make a booming noise," which perhaps influenced surviving senses such as bumper crop, for something full to the brim (see bumper). To bump into "meet" is from 1880s; to bump off "kill" is 1908 in underworld slang. Related: Bumped; bumping. Bumpsy (adj.) was old slang for "drunk" (1610s).