Today’s Word: Gazump (Verb)
Definition 1: ‘John gazumped Martha’ = ‘John rejected the price for his house offered by Martha, a would-be buyer, despite having originally accepted her offer, because he decided to accept a subsequent higher offer.’
Usage 1: Often used in the passive: “I had been looking forward to moving to Kensington, but I was gazumped at the last moment.” This word presupposes a legal framework for house purchase, such as obtains in England, where the seller’s acceptance of the purchaser’s offer price is not binding on the seller until the ‘exchange of contracts’, usually 30 days before completion of the sale.
Suggested Usage: “I had arranged to help Andrea with her algebra homework, but that nerd Norman, who is always top in math, has gazumped me.” “We were in negotiation with a famous pianist to play at to our local musical festival next October, but now we’ve been gazumped by Carnegie Hall—he’s got an engagement there instead.”
Etymology: From Yiddish gezumph “overcharge.” It was adapted to real estate dealings in London in the 1970s, at a time of rapidly rising house prices.