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See also: Mum
mum (plural mums)
- (UK, Ireland, Canada, New England, South Africa, India, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, informal) Mother.
- 1987, Kerry Cue, Hang On To Your Horses Doovers, page 5:
- From the Marvel Mixmaster to the Miracle Microwave, every time a new-fangled gadget has lobbed into the Aussie kitchen, Aussie mums have changed their cooking styles accordingly.
- 1993, Hilda Hollingsworth, Places of Greater Safety, Zenobia Press edition, page 278,
- 'Ooh Mum, Auntie don′t allow smokin’ - Pat′s eyes were round with awe as Mum struck a match.
- 2004, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Hansen, Irene Dunlap, Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul 2, page 336:
- Her mum says that she is deaf and only partially sighted, so I need to go and stand in front of her, so she can see the gift.
- 2006, Kathryn Lasky, Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book 11: To Be a King, page 88,
- “Mum! Mum!” he shouted out. The laughter stopped. Two bright, sparkling yellow eyes peeped from the hollow. Atop her head were the fluffy ear tufts that his mum was so proud of because they were fuller and lovelier than those of most Great Horned Owls. It was indeed his mum!
- 2011, Chyna, FAM: Rolling in a London Girl Gang, unnumbered page,
- He′s looking at my mum, at her swollen eyes, busted nose and bloodied lips. She′s mashed up something chronic, and the man who did this to her is my dad.
- (dated, colloquial) ma'am; a term of respect for an older woman.
- 1840, Charles Dickens, Master Humphrey's Clock, volume 1, published 1851, page 130:
- “Wy, mum,” said Mr. Weller, “I don′t think you′ll see a many sich, and that′s the truth. But if my son Samivel vould give me my vay, mum, and dis-pense with his—might I wenter to say the vurd?”
“What word Mr Weller?” said the housekeeper, blushing slightly.
“Petticuts, mum,” returned that gentleman, laying his had upon the garments of his grandson. “If my son Samivel vould only dis-pense vith these here, you′d see sich a alteration in his appearance, as the imagination can′t depicter!”
Mum is only capitalized when used as a proper noun:
- I don't think Mum will like you.
- I don't think my mum will like you.
- In New England, the word may still be spelt "mom", but it will have the pronunciation of "mum".
- See also Thesaurus:mother
mother (informal, familiar)
Abbreviation of chrysanthemum.
mum (plural mums)
- (chiefly US) A chrysanthemum.
- 1996, David Foster Wallace, “Democracy and Commerce at the US Open”, in Both Flesh And Not, Penguin, published 2013, page 139:
- I don't know whether that's true or whether New Yorkers are being enjoined from watering the mums in their window boxes or whatever, but I do know that there hasn't been one rain-delay in the whole tournament so far […] .
- (US, originally Texas) A decoration made originally of a real chrysanthemum but now usually an artificial (silk) flower combined with ribbons and marked with such indicators as the wearer's name, school name, the year, and so on; traditionally worn by girls at high school homecoming celebrations.
- (verb): mumm (archaic)
mum (not comparable)
- (colloquial) Silent.
- c. 1593 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Richard the Third: […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene vii]:
- The citizens are mum, and speak not a word.
- (colloquial) Secret.
- (obsolete) silence
- 1678, [Samuel Butler], “[The Third Part of Hudibras]”, in Hudibras. The Third and Last Part, London: […] Robert Horne, […], published 1679, →OCLC; republished in A[lfred] R[ayney] Waller, editor, Hudibras: Written in the Time of the Late Wars, Cambridge: University Press, 1905, →OCLC, canto II, page 277:
- Entrust it under solemn Vows / Of Mum and Silence, […]
- John Carter, Katie Carter, John Grummitt, Bonnie MacKenzie, Janell Masters, A Sociolinguistic Survey of the Mur Village Vernaculars (2012)