I grew up calling "somersaults" tumblesauces. A Google search turns up a Jewish women's forum deliberating on whether this is a Jewish thing (I am Jewish too by the way.)

So, has anyone else here heard of that term? And where did it come from?


3 Answers 3


The Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE, paywalled) records 'tumblesauce' as a variant of "tumblesault n, v":

Also tumb(l)ersault, tummersault; also, esp freq among Black speakers, tumblesauce [Blend of tumble + somersault] chiefly Northeast, Central Atlantic; also Gulf States.

Most of the informants reporting 'tumblesauce' to DARE were queried during the 1965-70 survey. A later informant, recorded in a 1986 American Speech article (v. 61, p. 379), reports

An eleventh [variant of somersault] is tumblesauce (the last syllable is pronounced exactly like sauce), which I remember from my childhood in New York City (1945 →).


I too called them tumblesauce, came from Flushing queens, mother originally from lower east side of manhattan and Jewish.

  • 1
    Hi Janice, can you give more information about the source of this term with other sources? Please take a moment for the site tour and FAQ, and welcome!
    – livresque
    Mar 21, 2021 at 4:06

For what it's worth, I too called it a tumblesauce, growing up in South Jersey near Philadelphia, in the 1970s. Our family is Jewish, but none of the family ever lived in the New York area, only the Philly area. (All four of my grandparents were immigrants, from the Russia/Ukraine/Galicia area.)

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