One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A linen cap, especially one worn by older women or children.
- ‘We have long since lost the vision of grand dames and ladies of less elderly degree in their grey cloaks and mutches, or the black silk shawls of many generations’ wear, leading by the hand boys and girls carrying little stools upon which to settle during the sermon.’
- ‘There the narrow space allotted to spectators was thronged with hot faces under beavers, mutches, and sun-bonnets.’
- ‘The young girls wore linen mutches.’
- ‘Women often carried special boxes in which to keep their mutches, which they would put on before reaching church or the homes of friends they might be visiting.’
Late Middle English (denoting a nightcap): from Middle Dutch mutse, from medieval Latin almucia ‘amice’.
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