Monday, 19 September 2011


An umbrella or parasol (also called a brolly, rainshade, sunshade, gamp or bumbershoot) is a canopy designed to protect against rain or sunlight. The term parasol usually refers to an item designed to protect from the sun; umbrella refers to a device more suited to protect from rain. Often the difference is the material; some parasols are not waterproof. Parasols are often meant to be fixed to one point and often used with patio tables or other outdoor furniture. Umbrellas are almost exclusively hand-held portable devices; however, parasols can also be hand-held.

The word umbrella comes from the Latin word umbra, meaning shade or shadow (the Latin word, in turn, derives from the Ancient Greek ómbros [όμβρος].) Brolly is a slang word for umbrella, used often in Britain, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and Kenya. Bumbershoot is a fanciful Americanism from the late 19th century.

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