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bumble along

To go about bunglingly, awkwardly, mindlessly, etc., during some task or in general. There are so many problems in the world, but people would rather bumble along than do anything to help change them. That new kid just bumbles along in the warehouse, not paying attention to any of our safety requirements.
See also: bumble

bumble through

To go about bunglingly, awkwardly, mindlessly, etc., during some task or in general. There are so many problems in the world, but people would rather bumble through than do anything to help change them. You got a D because you just bumbled through this paper without making any meaningful analysis of the text.
See also: bumble, through


1. Someone who muddles their way through something in an inept, haphazard manner; a blundering, incompetent fool. With a stumble-bumble like him running the company, it's hard to believe we haven't gone bankrupt yet. She may have been an amazing businesswoman, but she is has been absolute stumble-bumble as our governor.
2. dated slang Any powerful, addictive narcotic, especially a barbiturate. Typically used in plural constructions. The officer could tell the two suspects were high off their gourds on stumble-bumbles.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

bumble through something

to get through something clumsily. I guess I will have to bumble through this speech again. Lily bumbled through her song and fled from the stage.
See also: bumble, through
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. and stum [st?m] and stumble-bumbles (ˈstəmblæˈbəmblæz) n. barbiturates; sedatives; tranquilizers; alcohol. (Drugs.) Kelly was shocked to find a handful of stumble-bumbles in his brother’s jeans.
2. n. the inability to stand up and walk straight. I guess I have the stumbles today. Not enough sleep, I guess.
See also: stumble


McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
But if you have grown up to be such a male bumbler that you aren't quite sure when it would be appropriate to hug a female co-worker, and you can't quite trust yourself not to grope her backside while you're at it, it's always fine not to hug co-workers at all.
Bush continued this attack, part of a decades-long strategy to enact huge tax cuts by portraying government as an ineffective bumbler and sugar daddy for welfare queens and wasteful programs.
But he was a born bumbler. He was involved in a shady bank failure in Montreal, for example, though Zuckoff suggests that Ponzi may have been the fall guy for higher ups.
Then there's the barking MP and magazine editor Boris Johnson, a bumbler who insulted Liverpool and everyone else voicing grief at poor Ken Bigley's beheading.
Instead of replacing the guy who's just been sacked with another well meaning bumbler from Head Office, my tip would be for the top brass at M&S to pull in the first good-looking 17-year-old they find in the street and ask her to explain to them what it is that women really, really want when it comes to great gear.
Einstein might have been the master of space-time, but here on Earth he was a naive bumbler, the absent-minded professor.
Elsewhere, special guest columnists abound, with bearded bumbler Bill Bryson, who will be arching an eyebrow for timesonline.co.uk (subscription required), an interesting selection.
Williams, as is notorious among his parliamentary colleagues, is a nonentity (as well as a political naif), and his tendentious support for Australia's membership of this `fundamentally flawed Court' (as even The Australian described it in a 21 June 2002 leader) has been as doggedly stupid as one would expect from such a bumbler. However, when the debating chips were finally down weeks ago, both in the Coalition's Joint Party Room and in the Cabinet, it became clear that the real eminence (sic) noir in the matter was our Foreign Minister in Fishnet Stockings, Mr.
The ending doesn't change, of course, but the author has assembled new information that in many ways vindicates Scott, who for years has carried the reputation of an inept leader and bumbler. Susan Solomon is perhaps better known for her insights in explaining ozone depletion, first discovered and announced by the British Antarctic Survey in 1985, and followed up by her and others in the U.S.
You'll see Revels (celebrations of small victories and 'people it's good to know'), the Bumbler (deconstructing mainstream boo-boos) and Three-Minute Activism, where, for example, you might have linked to that inspired petition campaign to change Stockwell Day's name to Doris.
An editorial in Yedioth Ahronoth was headlined, "Trust the Schlemiel", using the Yiddish word for bumbler. It said: "What began as a military campaign, an expression of a new uncompromising policy, ended as an embarrassing quickie" and "an unprecedented shot in the foot with no accomplishments".
Support ratings rose in the first year, after the country's economy showed signs of improvement after a long recession, and his image as an amiable bumbler won the hearts of the public.
Calista Flockhart (TV's Ally McBeal) is totally lost, while a fine actor like Stanley Tucci is completely miscast as Puck, looking more middle-aged bumbler than mischievous sprite.
The series, which is explicitly intended to make fun of the Clinton White House, features the charming minstrel show of President Lincoln, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation, as "a sex-crazed bumbler who has a young bimbo assistant and a frustrated wife," according to the Washington Post.