mumbo jumbo

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Alternative forms[edit]


Probably from Mandinka maamajomboo ‎(mask; masked dancer). What might be possible as well is the occurrence of l-vocalization in the words "mumble" and "jumble".


  • IPA(key): /mʌmbəʊˈdʒʌmbəʊ/


mumbo jumbo ‎(uncountable)

  1. (historical) A deity or other supernatural being said to have been worshipped by certain West African peoples; an idol.
  2. (religion) Any object of superstition; religious words and/or actions which are seen as superstitious or fraudulent.
    Rev. Quack's healing services are little more than mumbo jumbo.
  3. Any confusing or meaningless speech; nonsense, gibberish.
    Football lingo is mumbo jumbo to me.
    There were a bunch of foreigners speaking their Mumbo Jumbo clustered ahead of me at Customs.