I got that words from novel. I've been looking for the meaning but still can't get what it means. Is that kind of slang?

"Hi, Mr.Tushman! I see you're running a little behind today! Did your car get rear-ended again? What a bum rap!"

  • It is good that you have tried looking. Where have you been looking for the meaning and how have you searched?. Did you look for 'bum rap' as a phrase separate from its two constituent parts? Have you tried googling in the format 'define: bum rap? It is, indeed, some kind of slang. – Spagirl May 17 '16 at 14:01
  • Some online dictionary. But still can't get it. – Dian May 17 '16 at 14:28
  • A rap is aggression towards you: some form of hatred and you will know what sort of aggression from the novel. A 'Bum' is a tramp. You may be able to find on line the song "Alleluiah, I'm a bum!" which typified those thrown out of work by the great Wall Street crash. A bum rap reduces your status to that of a tramp. – Hugh May 17 '16 at 14:37
  • @Hugh That is somewhat different from what I've found google.co.uk/… just because Bum can mean tramp doesn't mean it does in this instance. Bum also means buttocks... – Spagirl May 17 '16 at 14:40
  • 2
    The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang dates "bum rap" as a noun phrase to 1926 and points to two definitions that appeared for it in that year: "A crime which he didn't commit" and "sentence imposed upon one who claims to be innocent." In those definitions, rap seems to connote either "accusation" or "conviction" and bum seems to connote "false." I think the origin of the term would be interesting to investigate, and I am voting to reopen. – Sven Yargs May 17 '16 at 16:57

Generally speaking, a bum rap is a false accusation of criminal behavior. "Rap" is an accusation (consider "rap sheet" still used on cop shows in the US) and "bum", in this sense, means "bad" or "false".

But in the OP's example the term is used as a play on words -- if your car is rear-ended you have been "rapped" on the "bum" (where "bum" in this sense means "buttocks").

(And, of course, "Tushman" is a play on words too, as "tush" is, I think Yiddish, for "buttocks".)

  • Not to mention "a little behind"... – Sven Yargs Sep 6 '16 at 3:32

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