Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Mother.
  • intransitive verb To act or play in a pantomime.
  • intransitive verb To go merrymaking in a mask or disguise especially during a festival.
  • noun A strong beer originally brewed in Brunswick, Germany.
  • adjective Not verbalizing; silent.
  • interjection Used as a command to stop speaking.
  • idiom (mum's the word) Say nothing of the secret you know.
  • noun A chrysanthemum.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Silent.
  • To be silent; keep silence.
  • To mask; sport or make diversion in a mask: as, to go a mumming.
  • noun A strong ale popular in the seventeenth century and in use down to a later time.
  • noun A dialectal variant of ma'am for madam.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Silent; not speaking.
  • adjective keep this a secret; don't tell anybody.
  • interjection Be silent! Hush!
  • noun rare Silence.
  • noun A sort of strong beer, originally made in Brunswick, Germany.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A chrysanthemum.
  • noun chiefly UK, informal Mother.
  • noun dated A term of respect for an older woman.
  • noun A sort of strong beer, originally made in Brunswick, Germany.
  • adjective colloquial silent.
  • adjective colloquial secret.
  • interjection stop speaking!
  • verb to act in a pantomime or dumb show

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun secrecy
  • adjective failing to speak or communicate etc when expected to
  • noun of China
  • noun informal terms for a mother

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Short for mummy.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English mummen, from Old French momer, to wear a mask.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[German Mumme.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, perhaps imitative of closing one's lips.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

German Mummere, named after Christian Mumme, who first brewed it in 1492.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English mum or mom ("silent"), reminiscent of the sound made when gagged or with a hand over one's mouth. Perhaps related to German Mumme ("mask").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Alternative form of mam, or an abbreviation of mummy. Compare mom, mama.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Abbreviation of chrysanthemum.

Examples

  • We came back to mine for a while and mum didn't mind that she was here. she was actually really nice and asked her about her exams and things, it was good. .mum even invited her to stay for dinner!!! but she had to go home, her own parents were expecting her home .... i missed her as oon as she left.

    fragile-liar Diary Entry

  • Start preparing your script to respond to the ’strained’ greetings you will receive from mum & dad when you are next home nothing guarantees that a post WILL be read more than an imperative “Please don’t read this link mum& dad”, in any case superfluous since its content is divulged in subsequent responses – and you told us they recommended your blog to their friends!

    the superficial

  • The only thing I sometimes pinch off my mum is her turn of phrase.

    An interview with Helen Fielding by Ashton Applewhite

  • That's so weird, saying Ilona i mean ... my mum is the other Ilona that commented.

    Interview: Ilona Andrews

  • It was called posh at school cause my mum is a pom.

    Archive 2006-05-01

  • It was called posh at school cause my mum is a pom.

    the a to z of a lili

  • July 10th, 2009 4: 33 pm ET someone has found a huge skeleton in a closet, and it has a lot interesting things spilling out of its 'pockets, "mum" is the word ..

    Burris not running for a full Senate term

  • I write a bloomin 'videogame blog that aims to elevate the medium above the general level of “Hey, fuck you, my mum is a classy lady” Xbox live discourse which, I occasionally suspect, may be a noble yet Sisyphean effort.

    Archive 2008-12-01

  • I write a bloomin 'videogame blog that aims to elevate the medium above the general level of “Hey, fuck you, my mum is a classy lady” Xbox live discourse which, I occasionally suspect, may be a noble yet Sisyphean effort.

    Going Gonzo

  • Until now, Emma had decided to remain mum about where she was going to college.

    Emma Watson Begins Studies At Brown University

Comments

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  • Informal word for mother in the UK IE UK equivalent of mom.

    December 2, 2007

  • Now we know. WeirdNET's mother was Chinese. That explains a few things.

    December 2, 2007

  • It certainly does. Chinese is all Greek to me.

    December 2, 2007

  • Have you pair ever thought of forming a comedy double act?

    December 2, 2007

  • I'd have to break my contract with uselessness first. ;-)

    December 3, 2007

  • Citation on blue devils.

    September 12, 2008

  • A kind of strong sweet beer... supposed to have been first brewed by Christin Mumme of Brunswick in 1489. We are informed that the exclamation mum! mum! is used to express satisfaction with good liquor, and the expression of admiration might easily be taken as the name of the liquor which excited the feeling... In the same way it may be conjectured that the liqueur, mentioned by our older dramatists under the name of hum, took it s name from the hum which in this country was a recognized expression of approbation.

    Hensleigh Wedgwood, Dictionary of English Etymology, 1878

    February 4, 2009

  • Used as a term of respect, similar to "ma'am," though applicable to either men or women in certain Southern U.S. dialects (e.g. "Yes, mum").

    December 23, 2009

  • IrE; for AmE generally use mom instead.

    April 5, 2011

  • -- A History of Agriculture and Prices in England from the Year after the Oxford Parliament (1259) to the Commencement of the Continental War (1793), Arthur George Liddon Rogers, ed., 1887, p.749.

    January 30, 2013