Fussy official pomposity, false self-importance of minor officials.


We must all remember the unforgettable Mr. Bumble from Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist; the parish beadle who made Oliver’s life miserable while lying to himself regarding the true nature of his deeds and holding deep pride for the special cocked hat he was wearing. Dickens’ Mr. Bumble actually did have feelings, a heart, but believed these to be his weakness and did all he possibly could, to disregard it. Bumbledom, stemming from Mr. Bumble and the French dome, standing for a house, means exactly that- a world of petty and incompetent officials.

Why this word?

As a huge Dickens fan, I do believe that a word coined after a character, especially one baring useful meaning- should be known and used.

But moreover, bumbledom is everywhere, we just call it bureaucracy! Turn on the news and watch it for a few days; all over the world, officials believe they have the right and the power to do as they wish, to act as if they are the law and above it.

How to use bumbledom?

Bumbledom is a descriptive noun. Although albeit playfully, it is a derogative one pointing to bureaucrats exclusively.

“I spent all morning at the interior ministry and I tell you- it is a bumbledom! You would not believe how the officials treated me”  

“I didn’t expect university to be a bumbledom! The secretary actually made me stand as long as she herself wasn’t comfortably seated!”

Teachers, police officers, secretaries; whoever forgets his place, his initial and most important being of a person, implies pretentious inefficiency, is thus a representative of a bumbledom.


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Written by Victoria Sheinkin

Victoria Sheinkin is a writer, content editor, translator and chief editor for Speaking three and a half languages, she holds two BAs from the Tel Aviv university- Communication and jounalism, English literature and linguistics.


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