up a stump/calculate

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Tue Dec 17 14:02:36 UTC 2002

>Does anyone know if 'up a stump' as an idiom and 'I calculate' in the
>sense of 'I suppose' are used in Appalachian speech?  The sources I
>have found (DARE and the Dictionary of American Regionalisms) suggest
>that both are chiefly Northern.  Additionally, the idiom usually
>means 'to be pregnant'.  Can it have a more general meaning of simply
>'to be in trouble'?

"Up a stump" -- similar to "stumped" -- has a general sense of "perplexed"
or so (MW3: "perplexed", "nonplussed") (RHUD: "at a loss", "embarrassed",
"perplexed"). I don't know that this is regionally restricted. I've never
encountered the "pregnant" sense but it seems euphemistic like "in trouble".

Seems like the Appalachian version would be "reckon" instead of "calculate".

Just my casual notions.

-- Doug Wilson

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