mammock

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From mam (of obscure origin) +‎ -ock (diminutive suffix).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

mammock (plural mammocks)

  1. (obsolete outside dialects) A shapeless piece; a fragment.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 12, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, [], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount [], OCLC 946730821:
      The bird liveth by the scraps, and feedeth upon the leavings of that monster, who gently receiveth him into his mouth, and suffers him to pecke his jawes and teeth for such mamockes [transl. morceaux] of flesh as sticke betweene them [].
    • 1819, Walter Scott, Ivanhoe:
      "Then, by St. Thomas of Canterbury," replied Gurth, "we will have the castle, should we tear it down with our hands!" / "We have nothing else to tear it with," replied Wamba; "but mine are scarce fit to make mammocks of freestone and mortar."

Verb[edit]

mammock (third-person singular simple present mammocks, present participle mammocking, simple past and past participle mammocked)

  1. (obsolete outside dialects, chiefly North Carolina, transitive) To tear to pieces.
    • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, First Folio 1623:
      I saw him run after a gilded Butterfly, & when he caught it, he let it go againe, and after it againe, and ouer and ouer he comes, and vp againe: catcht it again: or whether his fall enrag'd him, or how 'twas, hee did so set his teeth, and teare it. Oh, I warrant how he mammockt it.

Usage notes[edit]

Related terms[edit]