Bum's rush

Posted by Bob on January 04, 2005

In Reply to: Bum's rush posted by Smokey Stover on January 04, 2005

: : P. Krugman uses this phrase as follows: 'The people who hustled American into a tax cut to eliminate an imaginary budget surplus and a war to eliminate imaginary weapons are now trying another bum's rush.' Though there are some comments about the phrase in the archives I don't find them very helpful. Thanks for any additional help.

: Bum's rush is typically used to indicate the way you hustle someone OUT as you would a bum (down-and-outer probably trying to cadge something--money or drinks). Paul Krugman (a professor of economics at Princeton University) is emphasizing the hustle aspect, rushing the country or its poulation into something before they have time to think about it, the way you would hustle a bum out the door. I can't say I like the usage, although Krugman is a refreshingly honest and well-informed commentator for the New York Times (at the moment on vacation or hiatus). SS

I have a mental image of the late great Sheldon Leonard as Nick, the bartender, in It's A Wonderful Life. Right after he says "That's it. Out you two pixies go - through the door, or out the window." He gives them the bum's rush. You grab the "bum" (apologies to our UK friends, in the US it means hobo/tramp/homeless person) by the back of the shirt collar and the back of the belt, and propel them out into the snow.