One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounEnglish Regional, South-Western
A block of peat; a spade's depth in digging turf.
1with object To assume a demure, melancholy, or sanctimonious expression; to be silent and sullen; to sulk, mope. Also with object with it.
2Scottish. To grumble, complain peevishly. Now often in "to mump and moan".
3with object To utter indistinctly or inarticulately, as if with toothless gums; to mumble, mutter. Also with out.
1no object To beg, go about begging; to sponge upon.
2no object British slang. Of a police officer: to accept a small gift or bribe in return for services.
Late 18th century (in an earlier sense). Origin uncertain: perhaps alteration of lump, or perhaps specifically use of singular form corresponding to mumps<br>late 16th century (in an earlier sense). Apparently from an imitative base of Germanic origin. Compare Dutch mompen to mumble (rare, poetic), German † mumpfen to chew with a full mouth, Icelandic mumpa to cackle, to mutter, murmur, mumpra to eat greedily, to mumble, to distort the mouth, Norwegian regional mompe, mumpe to chew with a full mouth, stuff oneself<br>mid 17th century (in an earlier sense). Apparently from Dutch mompen to cheat, deceive, conceal, of uncertain origin; perhaps related to mompen to mumble, though the nature of the relationship is unclear.
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