bump on the road


Can we refer to ‘speed bump’ as just a ‘bump’ on the road? Do native speakers’ of English say it in full- ‘speed bump’ or just ‘a bump’?

Thanks in advance.

I would say ‘speed bump’ because there are also accidental bumps in roads.

  1. Do you mean accidental bumps as being the surface of the road not levelled?

  2. What about ‘speed breaker’? Is it commonly used among native speakers’?

1-- Yes
2-- Never heard it. ‘Washboard’ sometimes, but that also refers to a kind of accidental surface.

I think Rushi is Indian. There are quite a few English words used in India that most native speakers have never heard. speed breaker might be one of them. i divider [/i]is another.

bump in the road sounds more natural to me. Have to check it with the native speakers though.


I have heard of the terms speed bump and speed hump – I believe they both have the same meaning and that is: a raised area across a road that is put there or built in, with the purpose to make traffic go slower.

Thanks all. I’m aware of speed bump and speed hump. But how come I was told that the word ‘speed breaker’ was mentioned by a non native speaker (NNS) who learned the word from a NNS UK graduate?

Daemon, I’m actually a proud Malaysian. :-)[/s]


The one I know with feeling because they are all up and down the road where I live is ‘speed hump’. There is a colourful expression that is also used and that is a ‘sleeping policeman’. Incidentally they don’t make drivers go more slowly or at least those drivers who wouldn’t drive too fast anyway and the ‘boy racers’ love them because they enjoy bouncing from one to the other using them as launch pads.


Yes, Alan. I am aware of the speed hump. I had an education on it a couple of years ago when a pedant took exception to the use of “speed bump” for what she insisted were “speed humps.” Apparently, there actually is a slight difference usually.