What Does Bum Around With Mean?

To Bum Around With Meaning

Definition: To pass time with others in an unproductive manner.

Origin of to Bum Around With

This expression first appeared in the 1900s, although the word bum is older than that. A bum is a vagrant or a person who travels aimlessly and does not work.

Therefore, to bum around means to travel without direction or purpose. To bum around with means to spend idle time with others.

Examples of to Bum Around With

define bum aroundIn the below dialogue, two friends are discussing their weekend plans.

Tina: Hey, Keanu. How’s it going?

Keanu: Not too bad. I wanted to ask if you have any plans for this weekend.

Tina: Not yet. How come?

Keanu: Some of my friends are coming into town this weekend. I wondered if you wanted to bum around with us.

Tina: Sure! Do you have any specific plans?

Keanu: No, we’ll probably just hang out and chat. Catch up. That sort of thing. I wanted to invite you because I think you’d really like them.

Tina: Okay. I’ll try to make it.

bumming around meaningIn this example, two friends are discussing their plans for tomorrow.

Jonah: Okay. It looks like the rain will force us to cancel the picnic. Maybe we can reserve a party room at a hotel and have the party there instead.

Tatiana: I don’t know, Jonah. This seems like a lot of work. We’ve been trying to plan this event for weeks now, and it keeps getting canceled over and over again. Maybe we should just give up.

Jonah: We can’t give up! All our hard work would be for nothing!

Tatiana: I’m sorry! I would rather just bum around with my boyfriend at home. I’m sick of trying and failing to make this event happen.

Jonah: Fine! I’ll do it without you!

More Examples

In this article excerpt, the newspaper uses the idiom to describe spending time idly with a coworker.

  • Years ago I used to travel to Minnesota to oversee a project, and after work I’d bum around with a coworker named Garry. –Forbes

The second excerpt uses the idiom to describe waiting in line for an iPhone with other people.

  • “Gizmodo.com wrote under the headline “Nerd Party,” “Do you wish you were hanging out in line at the 5th Ave Apple Store, but are stuck with a pesky job that won’t let you bum around with a bunch of nerds on a weekday?” –New York Times


People often use the expression bum around with as another way to say hang out with or spend time with. It emphasizes that not much action is happening during the time together.