UK dialectal (chiefly Cockney); rum (“strange, peculiar”) + go (“incident, occurrence”).
- Idiomatically, the stress is on the first word when pronouncing this phrase.
rum go (plural rum gos)
- (slang, idiomatic, Britain, Cockney) An odd affair; a surprising event; something confusing.
- Life's a rum go.
- 1836, Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, Chapter 35, Google Books
- ‘Here’s rayther a rum go, sir,’ replied Sam.
- ‘What?’ inquired Mr. Pickwick.
- ‘This here, Sir,’ rejoined Sam. ‘I’m wery much afeerd, sir, that the properiator o’ this here coach is a playin’ some imperence vith us.’
- 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island, Chapter 7, Google Books
- “Well, who's a better right?” growled the gamekeeper. “A pretty rum go if squire ain't to talk for Dr. Livesey, I should think.”
- 1955, C. S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew, Google Books
- “There they are, Strawberry - Fledge, I should say. This is a rum go.”
- 2003, Mary Poppins the musical
- 'Life's a rum go, Guv'nor, and that's the truth.'-Bert
- rum goo, rum start, rum 'un
a surprising event, a confusing experience