black-bumper adj [From the practice of painting car bumpers black; see quot 1956] chiefly PA Cf hook-and-eye adj
Belonging to a Mennonite sect that allows the use of cars and other motor-driven vehicles; hence absol and in comb black-bumper Mennonite a member of this sect. Note: The use of Amish in quot 1968 is inaccurate.
1956 PA Dutchman 8.1.48 sePA, [Footnote:] Among Conservative Mennonite groups in Lancaster County [are] the Wislerites, the Wengerites, and the Staufferites. . . Some of the Wislerites are known locally as “Black Bumper Mennonites” or simply “Black Bumpers”, because they can own and drive automobiles if the “flashy” chrome bumpers are painted over with black. 1966 Hutchinson News (KS) 21 Apr 15/7 sePA, Most deviates who leave, join one of the sects that are akin to the old order, such as the “beachy” or automobile Amish . . , or the “black bumper” Mennonites, who permit autos as long as the chrome is painted black. 1967 DARE Tape PA30, Then in that group you also have the black-bumper church, . . black-bumper Mennonite church. . . The black-bumper is—if you want to use the term—off-fall of the original team or horse-and-wagon Mennonite. Some years ago . . there was a group decided that they wished to use machines or automobiles and farm-tractors and more modern equipment of this nature. . . One of the rules or one of the wishes of the ministers at that time would be that they paint their bumpers black so they could be spotted. If a black-bumper was going to drive in to an ungodly place of some sort, . . another member of the church would see him park his car there. They’d be able to recognize the car because it had no chrome on it. 1968 DARE FW Addit OH81, [Inf] belongs to conservative Mennonites. . . Knows black-bumper Amish as well as old order. 1976 Wigginton I Wish 189 sePA, I’m sort of a split personality to a degree, because it happened that my father was the only one of his family that did not join the progressive group, the Black Bumper group. All the others in my father’s family were Black Bumpers.