This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Thing Not To Do Today: mump.

The season to be jolly is fast approaching, so this is no time for  mumping.

I'm using the word mump in its oldest sense of to be grouchy,  though according to my Collins dictionary the most up-to-date meaning is to be silent.

Now, although there are many good thing to be said about being silent, it's hard to be silent and jolly at the same time unless you're skipping down the road: in which case, watch out for trucks.

Mump also means to beg, but that's not very jolly, either.

It's not easy to write about mumping without mentioning the horrible disease mumps: but, as it's nearly the season tbj, I'll sail straight on to the district of Manchester called Mumps, which for all I know might be a very jolly place indeed.

Entertainingly, mumps is a problem experienced in filming when a person's face appears to stretch sideways as he or she gets closer to the camera.

Now that surely must automatically stretch your face into a jolly smile, mustn't it.

Thing Not To Do Today: mump. The word meaning to be grouchy or to grimace or to be silent probably comes from the shape of the mouth when sulking; the word meaning beg probably comes from the Dutch mompen, which means to cheat; mumps is to do with how sulky people look when their faces are swollen.

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