Beggar vs Bum - What's the difference?

beggar | bum |

As nouns the difference between beggar and bum

is that beggar is a person who begs while bum is the buttocks or bum can be (north america|colloquial) a hobo; a homeless person, usually a man or bum can be (dated) a humming noise or bum can be (obsolete) a bumbailiff.

As verbs the difference between beggar and bum

is that beggar is to make a beggar of someone; impoverish while bum is (uk|transitive|colloquial) to sodomize; to engage in anal sex or bum can be (colloquial) to ask someone to give one (something) for free; to beg for something or bum can be to depress; to make unhappy or bum can be to make a murmuring or humming sound.

As an interjection bum is

(label) an expression of annoyance.

As an adjective bum is

of poor quality or highly undesirable .



(wikipedia beggar)


(en noun)
  • A person who begs.
  • * , chapter=13
  • , title= The Mirror and the Lamp , passage=“[…] They talk of you as if you were Croesus—and I expect the beggars sponge on you unconscionably.” And Vickers launched forth into a tirade very different from his platform utterances. He spoke with extreme contempt of the dense stupidity exhibited on all occasions by the working classes.}}
  • * 1983 , Stanley Rosen, Plato’s Sophist: The Drama of Original & Image , St. Augustine’s Press, p. 62:
  • Odysseus has returned to his home disguised as a beggar .
  • A person suffering from extreme poverty.
  • * 1883 , :
  • I'm to be a poor, crawling beggar , sponging for rum, when I might be rolling in a coach!


    * (who begs) mendicant, panhandler, schnorrer, spanger, truant * (extremely poor person) palliard, pauper, vagabond

    Derived terms

    * beggarly * beggarliness * beggar's-lice * beggar-tick * beggarweed * beggary * beggars can't be choosers


    (en verb)
  • To make a beggar of someone; impoverish.
  • To exhaust the resources of; to outdo.
  • Synonyms

    * ruin

    Derived terms

    * beggar-my-neighbor * beggar thy neighbor * beggar belief * beggar description



    Etymology 1



    (en noun)
  • The buttocks.
  • Okay, everyone sit on your bum and try and touch your toes.
  • (UK, Irish, AU, New Zealand, informal, rare, Canada, US) The anus.
  • (by metonymy, informal) A person.
  • Usage notes
    * In the United States and Canada, bum'' is considered the most appropriate term when speaking to young children, as in ''Everyone please sit on your bum and we'll read a story.'' For older children and teenagers, especially males, as well as adults, the term (butt) is the most common term except in professional contexts such as medical, legal, and scientific where (buttocks) is generally used or (gluteus maximus), (gluteus medius), etc. for the muscles specifically. ''Glutes]]'' is often used in sports medicine and bodybuilding. ''Ass'' (US derivation of Old English ''[[arse, arse ) is considered somewhat vulgar in North America, whereas (backside), (behind), and (bottom) are considered to be old-fashioned and non-specific terms.
    * (buttocks or anus) arse , ass (North America), backside, behind, bottom, bum (North America), butt (North America), heinie (North America), fanny (North America), tush (North America), tushie (North America) ** (buttocks specifically) butt cheeks (North America), buttocks (technical), cheeks, glutes (muscles), gluteus maximus (primary muscles) ** (anus specifically) anus (technical), arsehole , asshole (North America) * See also


  • (UK, transitive, colloquial) To sodomize; to engage in anal sex.
  • Interjection

  • (label) An expression of annoyance.
  • * 2010 , Jill Mansell, Sheer Mischief:
  • Maxine tried hers. 'Oh bum ,' she said crossly. 'The sugar isn't sugar. It's salt.'

    Derived terms

    * bum bum * bumhole * bums in seats *

    Etymology 2



    (en noun)
  • (North America, colloquial) A hobo; a homeless person, usually a man.
  • (North America, Australia, colloquial) A lazy, incompetent, or annoying person, usually a man.
  • ''Fred is becoming a bum - he's not even bothering to work more than once a month.
    That mechanic's a bum - he couldn't fix a yo-yo.
    That guy keeps interrupting the concert. Throw the bum out!
  • * 1987 , (The Pogues) - (Fairytale of New York)
  • You're a bum
    You're a punk
    You're an old slut on junk
    Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
  • (North America, Australia, colloquial, sports) A player or racer who often performs poorly.
  • Trade him to another team, he's a bum !
  • * 2001 , (Laura Hillenbrand) -
  • Seabiscuit, wrote another reporter, “was a hero in California and a pretty fair sort of horse in the midwest. In the east, however, he was just a ‘bum ’”
  • (colloquial) A drinking spree.
  • Synonyms
    * (hobo) hobo, homeless person, tramp, vagrant, wanderer, vagabond * (lazy person) loafer, bumpkin, footler, idler, lout, yob, yobbo, layabout * (drinking spree) binge, bender * See also * See also


  • (colloquial) To ask someone to give one (something) for free; to beg for something.
  • Can I bum a cigarette off you?
  • (colloquial) To behave like a hobo or vagabond; to loiter.
  • I think I'll just bum around downtown for awhile until dinner.
  • (transitive, slang, British) To wet the end of a marijuana cigarette (spliff).
  • Synonyms
    * cadge (British)


  • Of poor quality or highly undesirable.
  • bum note
  • Unfair.
  • bum deal
  • Injured and without the possibility of full repair, defective.
  • I can't play football anymore on account of my bum knee.
  • Unpleasant.
  • He had a bum trip on that mescaline.
    * (defective) duff (UK)

    Derived terms

    * bum around * bum bailiff * bum rap * bum's rush * on the bum

    Etymology 3


  • To depress; to make unhappy.
  • References


    Etymology 4

    See boom.


    (en noun)
  • (dated) A humming noise.
  • (Halliwell)


  • To make a murmuring or humming sound.
  • (Jamieson)

    Etymology 5



    (en noun)
  • (obsolete) A bumbailiff.
  • * 1705 , (Bernard Mandeville), The Fable of the Bees :
  • About her Chariot, and behind, / Were Sergeants, Bums of every kind, / Tip-staffs, and all those Officers, / That squeeze a Living out of Tears.