Gumption

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4 comments on this post.
  1. Robert Tasher:

    In the middle of the 20th Century we used an abrasive cleaner coloured pink and named “Gumption”, and were constantly urged by our elders “to put more gumption in it”.

  2. James Stahlnecker:

    I was going to say after reading Brian Whiteheads comment. The “Gumption” i know of (here in Oregon) is “drive”, willing to going above whats expected.

  3. Barbara Paquette:

    My Grandmother b1897 in WV of Irish and Welsh/English Newfoundlander descent used the phrase, “show some gumption” or someone needs gumption as in show some moxie, pluck, street smarts, courage, nerve, initiative. It was an invitation to join
    ones peers, perhaps of another background, shoulder to shoulder with the courage to be oneself and not be subordinated.

  4. Alison Tomlin:

    Thanks for reminder of the pink paste. Gumption as drive or common sense: I think in Manchester (N of England) in my youth (b. ’52) the two were merged. ‘Show some gumption’ meant much the same as ‘Don’t be feeble': it implied the speaker knew the addressee could do [it] if s/he used their common sense and initiative, and therefore s/he should not be fearful of/reluctant to try [it]. It implies the speaker is (a little) irritated by the addressee’s request for advice or help.

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