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
- ‘He was an auld, doddering man, a maffling, feckless auld doit.’
- ‘Luckily Mrs. Tallis took no offence, and we maffled and talked on.’
- ‘I know not! It maffles and talks. But all I could make out is that Collop Monday falls on a Tuesday next year.’
- ‘With vehement signs and maffling cries he showed us he was come out from Hayil to seek me.’
- ‘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.’
Late Middle English: of uncertain origin; compare early modern Dutch maffelen ‘move the jaws’.
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