Thursday, April 18, 2013

A-Z April Challenge P is for Checking out the Hudson

In an earlier post this month I wrote about how Ross has expanded my vocabulary horizons in a most colorful way.

Early on in our new relationship, during one of our first conversations,  Ross he asked me what my day was like.  After I told him what I had done that day,  I asked him the same question.

He said, "Oh, I just phumphered around."

I thought to myself,  "How strange."  I never heard anyone use that word before and wondered if it was one he made up.

The interesting thing about that word is I knew exactly what he meant.  It is an imagery word.
So, that day when Ross told me he spent the day phumphering, I immediately, conjured up a whole scenario.
I imagined Ross shuffling papers around on his desk, reading the NY times, doing the cross word puzzle, dunking his heavily buttered bagel in his coffee,  walking out on his balcony to check out what the Hudson was up to, waving hi to his neighbor,  driving into town to have a chat with Al, his antique dealer friend, coming home to shuffle more desk papers, driving back into town to have "a bite to eat," then, after coming home to watch a little TV, crawling into bed where he would phone me to ask me what my day was like.

verb to fumfer A Yiddish word meaning to "mumble", most often used to mean to be evasive; can also mean to putter aimlessly or to waste time.
  1. to stammer; to mutter nervously or confusedly;
Some common spellings: 'phumpher' and 'fumpher', to a lesser extent 'pfumpher' and 'pfumpfer', and very rarely, 'pfumfer'. Never 'phumfer'. The most common is 'phumpher', followed closely by 'fumfer'.

I am participating in the A-Z April Challenge.
Today's letter is P:


  1. I would add "faceBooking" to my list of phumphering activities. Essentially very little of worth to be found on FaceBook, but so many connections renewed and strengthened. I am a wordnick, so I deeply appreciate your posts on Ross's vocabulary adventures.

  2. Thanks for reminding me. Ross phumphers a lot on his iPad mini, iPhone & iMac. So would that be considered iphumphering?

  3. No! No! No! It's not I-phumphering ... it's ME-phumphering. Who's on first?

  4. It's amazing what a story a couple of syllables can tell. Thanks for the addition to my vocabulary--looking forward to giving it a spin on my next day off. ;)

  5. It’s always good to take time every once in a while for a little phumphering.