One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Speak indistinctly; mumble.
mutter, murmur, speak indistinctly, talk under one's breath, speak sotto voce, talk to oneselfView synonyms
- ‘It keepeth and preserveth the head from whirling, the eyes from dazzling, the tongue from lisping, the mouth from maffling, the teeth from chattering, and the throat from rattling.’
- ‘With vehement signs and maffling cries he showed us he was come out from Hayil to seek me.’
- ‘He was an auld, doddering man, a maffling, feckless auld doit.’
- ‘I know not! It maffles and talks. But all I could make out is that Collop Monday falls on a Tuesday next year.’
- ‘Luckily Mrs. Tallis took no offence, and we maffled and talked on.’
Late Middle English: of uncertain origin; compare early modern Dutch maffelen ‘move the jaws’.
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