From Middle English mash, from Old English mǣsċ-, māsċ-, māx-, from Proto-Germanic *maiskaz, *maiskō (“mixture, mash”), from Proto-Indo-European *meyǵ-, *meyḱ- (“to mix”). Akin to German Meisch, Maische (“mash”), (compare meischen, maischen (“to mash, wash”)), Swedish mäsk (“mash”), and to Old English miscian (“to mix”). See mix.
- (uncountable) A mass of mixed ingredients reduced to a soft pulpy state by beating or pressure; a mass of anything in a soft pulpy state.
- (brewing) Ground or bruised malt, or meal of rye, wheat, corn, or other grain (or a mixture of malt and meal) steeped and stirred in hot water for making the wort.
- (mostly UK) Mashed potatoes.
- A mixture of meal or bran and water fed to animals.
- (obsolete) A mess; trouble.
- 1609–1612, Francis Beaumont, John Fletcher, “The Captaine”, in Comedies and Tragedies […], London: […] Humphrey Robinson, […], and for Humphrey Moseley […], published 1647, →OCLC, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
- For your vows and oaths, Or I doubt mainly, I shall be i' the mash " too
From Middle English mashen, maschen, meshen, from Old English *māsċan, *mǣsċan, from Proto-Germanic *maiskijaną. Cognate with German maischen. Compare also Middle Low German meskewert, mēschewert (“beerwort”).
- (transitive) To convert into a mash; to reduce to a soft pulpy state by beating or pressure
- We had fun mashing apples in a mill.
- The potatoes need to be mashed.
- (transitive) In brewing, to convert (for example malt, or malt and meal) into the mash which makes wort.
- (transitive, intransitive) To press down hard (on).
- to mash on a bicycle pedal
- (transitive, Southern US, informal) To press. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
- (transitive, UK, chiefly Northern England) To prepare a cup of tea in a teapot; to brew (tea).
- (intransitive, archaic) To act violently.
- (transitive, informal, gaming) To press (a button) rapidly and repeatedly.
- (to reduce to a paste): pomate (obsolete)
mash (plural mashes)
Either by analogy with mash (“to press, to soften”), or more likely from Romani masha (“a fascinator, an enticer”), mashdva (“fascination, enticement”). Originally used in theater, and recorded in US in 1870s. Either originally used as mash, or a backformation from masher, from masha. Leland writes of the etymology:
- It was introduced by the well-known gypsy family of actors, C., among whom Romany was habitually spoken. The word “masher” or “mash” means in that tongue to allure, delude, or entice. It was doubtless much aided in its popularity by its quasi-identity with the English word. But there can be no doubt as to the gypsy origin of “mash” as used on the stage. I am indebted for this information to the late well-known impresario [Albert Marshall] Palmer of New York, and I made a note of it years before the term had become at all popular.
mash (plural mashes)
- (obsolete) An infatuation, a crush, a fancy.
- (obsolete) A dandy, a masher.
- (obsolete) The object of one’s affections (regardless of sex).
mash (plural mashes)
- (countable, MLE, slang) A gun.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:firearm
- 2016, “Skeng Man”, Various performers of 67 (lyrics):
- This mash works but I don't know about yours […] Better hope your mash don't jam, bare ping ping like a BB […] I see a boy run with his mash, I see a boy run with his jooka […] Don't talk about mashes, we've lost about ten I know about cookers
- 2020 July 2, “Stop Check”, Td of TPL (lyrics):
- Rise that heater, tap that mash
They don't come outside their flats
Decamp, decamp, aim this toolie at your hat
They piss us off on Snap, so we rise up and load them straps
- 2021 October 19, “Exciting Freestyle”, 🇮🇪 #D15 Trigz (lyrics):
- Close man’s eyes, make them look Chinese
Or do it like tits when the mash gets squeezed
When we squeeze that mash,
tell your boy don’t dash
Me I just want cash
But if they want war let’s leave it at dat
- ^ Mash Note at World Wide Words
- ^ The City in Slang, by Irving L. Allen, p. 195
- ^ The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology, as cited at The Grammarphobia Blog: Mash notes, March 16, 2007
- ^ Charles Godfrey Leland in The Gypsies, p. 109, footnote 108; and preface to his poem “The Masher”, where he credits the etymology to [Albert Marshall] Palmer, a Broadway producer.
- ^ Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang
- ^ Preface to poem “The Masher”, in his Songs of the Sea and Lays of the Land, p. 243 (full text)
- Alternative form of