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Mummer in a parade


From a conflation of "mummer"; one that keeps silent, from mum, ultimately of imitative origin, and Old French momeor, from mommer ‎(to wear a mask), from momon ‎(mask). Compare German Mumme ‎(mask), 16th Century German mummen ‎(to disguise oneself), Middle Dutch mommen, mummen ‎(to go about in a mask, to disguise), Middle Low Saxon mommen ‎(to wear a mask, to disguise), Dutch mom ‎(mask) and to mask as well as Spanish momo ‎(grimace).

Perhaps both of the conflated terms are from the same ultimate root, as note Middle Low Saxon mummen ‎(to speak indistinctly, to disguise oneself), Dutch mommen ‎(to speak indistinctly), German mummen ‎(to speak indistinctly), mump ‎(to grimace, to mumble).



mummer ‎(plural mummers)

  1. A person who dons a disguising costume, as for a parade or a festival.
  2. An actor in a pantomime; one who communicates entirely through gesture and facial expression.


  • (actor in a pantomime): mime

Related terms[edit]