Bumper crop

Bumper crop is an idiom with its origins in the 1600s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom or other parts of speech is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions that native speakers understand such as in a blue moon, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, chin up, on the ball, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, as they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker. We will examine the meaning of the idiom bumper crop, where this phrase came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

A bumper crop is a very large amount. Most often, the term bumper crop is used to describe a high yield of harvest in an agricultural endeavor, but it may be used figuratively to mean a large amount of something. The expression bumper crop came into common use around 1830, but the word bumper dates back farther. In the 1600s, a bumper was an extra large wine cup that when filled to the brim, held a great amount of wine. By the 1700s, the word bumper was used in conversation to mean a large amount of something. By 1830, this definition of the word bumper came to be used mostly in the expressions bumper crop and bumper year.


California almond growers are on track for a bumper crop this year, producing a record 2.5 billion pounds of almonds, which would be a nine percent increase of over last year’s crop. (Global Trade Magazine)

Concerts a bumper crop at Conant Homestead (The Press Herald)

Much like the bountiful farm fields blanketing the state, lacrosse has been planted in Iowa and is beginning to yield a bumper crop of youth programs. (US Lacrosse Magazine)

What I found was a bumper crop of red oak acorns will greet hunters — and the many critters that love to eat them — this fall, at least in central Minnesota. (The Brainerd Dispatch)

Noting the 30 nonresident kindergarten students this year, Winstead said, “It was a bumper crop of teachers’ kids.” (The Maryville Daily Times)

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