Top Definition
Denotes an antebellum marriage ritual used by African-American slaves, who were often prevented from legally marrying.

With wide variations, the basic feature of the ritual was that the marriage union was solemnized by a young couple leaping together over a broom. This would be done in the context of a family gathering.

Widely practiced in the American South, the ritual may have an African origin, or it may have been adapted from a similar ancient Celtic fertility ritual.

"Jumping the broom" is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity as a tribute to the customs of American slaves.
"Since legal marriage between us seems impossible, let's go jump the broom!"
by Thomas Nickerson April 17, 2006
Common-law marriage. It consists of two respected friends or relatives holding the ends of a broom about 4 inches from the ground. The happy couple jump together while holding hands. Some traditions are - if the broom is held knee-high, maybe you should re-consider because it'll be a difficult or an impossible jump. If you jump in unison, it's good luck and means much happiness. You'll always have two people praying for you two. It's free. Ya might be intoxicated when your Partner suggests it. Divorce is free and easy....It's a Black thing. An old slave tradition among the gullah-geechee islands in coastal Georgia and South Carolina.
#1 "My Lady's so crazy, we had to jump a mop because the broom was yellow. See, she hates yellow..."

#2 "Her Auntee and her Daughter held the broom like one inch from the floor. We landed in step and that was eight yrs. ago."

#3 "Dude, you might as well go jump the broom!"
by wsx56 May 25, 2008
"Jumping the broom" is an informal marriage or "partnership." It comes from peasant or gypsy marriages before the idea of a "civil marriage" (going before a justice of the peace to vow marriage oaths) came about in Britain with the Marriage Act 1836 - as an alternative to a church marriage.

The concept started in France as <i>mariage sur le croix d'un epee</i> ("marriage on the cross of a sword") which a maudit anglais (Englishman) translated from a French book as "leaping over a broomstick." The original concept comes from ancient military weddings - when a soldier marries one of the women who hung around soldiers back in the day:
"A sword being laid down on the ground, the parties to be married joined hands, when the corporal or serjeant of the, company repeated these words: <b>Leap rogue, and jump whore, And then you are married for evermore.</b> Whereupon the happy couple jumped hand in hand over the sword, the drum beating a ruffle; and the parties were ever after considered as man and wife."
My old Cajun stepdad took me aside after I brought the girl I just proposed marriage to home to meet him and Mama, and asked "You can't just go jump the broom?", so I'm here to tell you this expression is for real and old farts like him were still using it.
My old Cajun stepdad took me aside after I brought the girl I just proposed marriage to home to meet him and Mama, and asked "You can't just go jump the broom?"
by Cajun Scientist November 27, 2015

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