What does bumbaclot mean?

Bumbaclot is Jamaican slang equivalent to "douchebag" or "motherfucker," often used as an interjection to express disgust or dismay. It"s also spelled bumboclaat or bomboclaat, among other spellings.

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It"s an insulting vulgarity that literally refers to either menstrual pads or toilet paper.


The word bumbaclot is a form of the Jamaican English bumboclaat, a term for a sanitary napkin or bathroom wipes recorded since 1956. Bombo (or bumba) likely comes from West African words like the Fante bumbo, referring to the vulva but likely similar to the English bum, or “butt.” Clot (or claat) is cloth, in keeping with Jamaican English, which often drops a TH sound for a hard T (e.g., fit instead of fifth).

Together, then, bumboclaat is literally the cloth for the nether regions—either a menstrual cloth (rather than disposable pads) or a cloth for wiping your butt (in the days before widespread toilet paper). Bumbaclot has become a common rendering of the term in the Jamaican diaspora, such as in South London.

The use of bumbaclot as an insult is said to come from members of the Rasta religion in Jamaica. Based on the Old Testament of the Bible, some Rastafarians believe that sleeping with menstruating woman is sinful. The taboo nature of menstruation carried over into Jamaican popular culture, it goes, in the form of bumbaclot as a general term of abuse. Bloodclaat (“blood cloth”) and ras clot (“butt cloth”) are variants.


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By the mid-1970s, bumbaclot was being used by Jamaicans living in New York City to mean “bullshit.” Early examples of bumbaclot to mean “fucking” or “motherfucker” surfaced in the 1980s. It never entirely went mainstream, but it became briefly part of American gangland slang in the late 1980–90s to mean “motherfucker.”

Today, like many four-letter words (think fuck), bumbaclot can be a noun (what a bumbaclot), modifier (this bumbaclot store), verb (don’t you bumbaclot me), or exclamation (Bumbaclot! I fucked up my hand). When used with a possessive adjective (my bumbaclot), it means roughly “I’m fucked,” as in you’r probably a target of violence. Bumbaclot can also refer to your partner cheating on you. The term bumbaclot rude boy taken together basically means a Rasta wanker.

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In fall 2019, bumbaclot, under the spelling bomboclaat, went viral along the lines of sco pa tu mana, a nonsense phrase made popular by a Ghanaian rapper. Apparently not knowing its origins in Jamaican English, users posted bombclaat as a humorous expression of surprise, shock, and other emotions.