What is Wump? | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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What is Wump?

A new piece of graffiti is spreading around the west side, but what does it really mean?


When stay-at-home orders first began, I started noticing a new graffiti tag showing up all over the west side of Bend. The tag? Wump. A new wump catches my eye almost every time I go out to walk the dog, and I shout it out every time it catches my attention. The tag is pretty simple and artless, for the most part—but what does it mean?

Merriam-Webster defines wump as "a heavy sound caused especially by a falling object." Urban Dictionary defines it as "not quite a wuss, not quite a wimp, but somewhere in the middle."

The detective in me isn't satisfied with these definitions as answers, so I took my sleuthing to the internet and used my imagination to find out what wump could possibly mean.

A wump, right in Drake Park. - ISAAC BIEHL
  • Isaac Biehl
  • A wump, right in Drake Park.
Here are five potential answers to the meaning of the wump tag that are probably inaccurate, but still pretty clever in my humble opinion.

The Voice of Pac-Man

Pac-Man strikes fear into the hearts of ghosts when he eats that special glowing pellet. Not only can the ghosts not hurt him, but they can hear him from yards away as he chomps through each pathway. I'd say that sound is pretty close to a wump-wump-wump-wump-wump-wump.

"Whoomp! (There It Is!)"

This 1993 song has a hook known around the world. Made by Tag Team, a duo from Miami, "Whoomp! (There It Is)" reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts in 1993. It's been used in commercials for products like Gain detergent and Hershey's Swoops. It's extremely catchy. Sure, this whoomp is spelled differently than the wump seen around town, but it's impossible not to have that song pop in your head after seeing the tag so  many times.

Wumpa Fruit

This is a long shot, and unless you've ever played the video game "Crash Bandicoot," you might not know what I'm talking about. But the fruit featured in the game to help get Crash new lives or power-ups in "Crash Team Racing" are not actually peaches, they are wumpa fruit. So who knows, maybe wump is a secret shout-out to one of the greatest video game series of all time. That'd be pretty cool.

"The Wump World"

  • Bill Peet

A children's book from 1981, Bill Peet's "The Wump Word" is a tale focused around the topic of pollution. Creatures from the planet Pollutus invade Wump World, home of the Wumps (capybara-type looking animals), harming the natural beauty and resources that the planet Wump was home to. Maybe "wump" is a secret call out to start treating our planet better?  

Mr. Gump's seven-hump Wump

Dr. Seuss has a way with words. In his classic book "One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish," a wump is shown as a camel-like creature. Characters Jay and Kay have a pet wump that they like to ride, and they know another man named Mr. Gump, who's wump happens to have seven humps. That's six more humps than Jay and Kay's wump, who ride together on the back of one large lump. 

So there you have it. Maybe one of these is the answer to what wump means?

About The Author

Isaac Biehl

Isaac is living proof that "Iowa Nice" is actually a thing. A journalism graduate from Iowa State University, he regularly writes about music, the outdoors and the arts/culture scene. Isaac loves the Trail Blazers, backpacking and a good IPA. He plans to one day win Survivor. Your move, Jeff Probst...

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