One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A light rubber-soled canvas shoe, as worn for sport in schools.‘their children were going to school in mutton dummies’
- ‘Each morning, pupils would attend assembly wearing their short trousers and mutton dummies on their feet’
- ‘I could live with the suit too big and the shirt too wide, but the mutton dummies bothered me: nobody else would have busted mutton dummies.’
- ‘The last thing he heard of Teddy was his mutton dummies on the stairs as he went to join the missus above.’
- ‘They are heavily into white sports socks, the tops of the ankles showing various team colours, wearing them in conjunction with a pair of trainers or mutton dummies.’
- ‘My Aunt Lily and a few neighbour women had bunched up and paid for a new pair of white mutton dummies.’
- ‘Once he got into his red car, I would sprint in my black mutton dummies trying to beat him to school.’
- ‘Your da will be freezing son with him having only those mutton dummies on his feet.’
- ‘I had been to the shop several times with my mother, usually at the start of the school year to buy cheap shoes and mutton dummies.’
2A person who is lacking sense or initiative.‘you're left staring like a mutton dummy’
- ‘She stood there like a mutton dummy.’
- ‘No sooner have I said that was the 'worst' official I have seen and in the next match I see another mutton dummy.’
1930s: origin unknown; possibly from mutton cloth ‘a type of cotton cloth used to wrap meat’ (from the resemblance to the material from which the shoes are made) + dummy with reference to the lack of noise they make.
In this article we explore how to impress employers with a spot-on CV.