One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
silent, quiet, mute, dumb, tight-lipped, close-mouthed, uncommunicative, unforthcoming, reticent, secretiveView synonyms
- ‘I mean, I don't want to have nothing to say when people engage me in conversation on the current topic to which I am totally indifferent; almost nobody I know wants to talk about anything else and it would be frustrating to have to remain mumchance for the next few weeks.’
- ‘Are they obliged to sit mumchance, and to be ordered about till they are the laughing-stock of young and old?’
- ‘Participating in discussion is graded as 8 / 10, highly excellent discussion is graded 10 / 10, attending but sitting mumchance is graded as 7/10 (this is what I did throughout college, and I want you to find your voices earlier than I did!’
Late 17th century: from Middle Low German mummenschanze, denoting a game of dice (also an early sense in English from the early 16th century to the mid 17th century).
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