(MUHG-wump) - n., (pejorative) a person who acts independently or remains neutral, especially in politics; a person unable to make up their mind on an important issue; (US politics, usually capitalized) a Republican who refused to support the party nominee, James G. Blaine, in the presidential campaign of 1884.
First entered the American flavor of English in 1832, adopted from an Algonquin language, probably either Massechusett or Natick, mugquomp, great man, syncopated form of muggumquomp, war leader. At the time it was used complementary, but during the contentious presidential race of 1884, many Republicans refused to support Blaine and switched sides to support Grover Cleveland, who won in a close election. The New York Sun
snidely called them "little mugwumps," and the sense immediately switched to turncoat: in The Devil's Dictionary
, it's defined "In politics, one afflicted with self-respect and addicted to the vice of independence." I expect use of this term to go up in the months ahead, pointed at both pro-Saunders Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans.
Mar. 24th, 2017 | 07:51 am
(mun-DUN-guhs) - n., (obs.) tripe, offal; (arch.) a cheap, foul-smelling tobacco.
Adopted in the first sense in 1641 from Spanish mondongo, tripe/entrails, and extended to the tobacco the next century. And yes, this is the origin of Mundungus Fletcher from Harry Potter.
And that wraps up a week of M words. Will another theme week start up again Monday? -- stay tuned!
Mar. 22nd, 2017 | 07:39 am
(mid-l-ES-uhns) - n., the middle-age period of life, especially when considered a difficult time of self-doubt and readjustment.
Or, the mid-life crisis considered as a watershed equivalent to adolescence. Adjectival form is middlescent. Coined in 1965 as a portmanteau of middle + adolescence.
(from Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day, prettygoodword