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plum +‎ -y. In the sense of a voice, because of the supposed similarity to speaking with a plum in one's mouth.



plummy (comparative plummier, superlative plummiest)

  1. Of, pertaining to, containing, or characteristic of plums
  2. (informal) desirable; profitable; advantageous
    • 1876, George Eliot, chapter 16, in Daniel Deronda:
      The poets have made tragedies enough about signing one's self over to wickedness for the sake of getting something plummy; I shall write a tragedy of a fellow who signed himself over to be good, and was uncomfortable ever after.
  3. (of a voice) rich, mellow and carefully articulated, especially with an upper-class accent
    • 1948, Michael Glenne, Catherine Howard: The Story of Henry VIII's Fifth Queen[1], page 137:
      Then, feeling the fat hands caressing her reluctant bosom, listening dutifully to the rich, plummy voice, she realized finally what marriage to the King meant.
    • 1968, Harry John Mooney, ‎Thomas F. Staley, The Shapeless God: Essays on Modern Fiction[2], page 85:
      Ludovic's deferential voice ("after what's happened, Sir, don't you think it will be more suitable") suddenly turns from its plummy to the plebeian key ("to shut your bloody trap").
    • 2014 March 31, Roger Cohen, “The case for Scotland”, in The New York Times[3]:
      The fact that David Cameron, the conservative prime minister, is a plummy-voiced, Eton-educated, upper-class Brit from central casting has played into [Alex] Salmond's hands.
    • 2018 October 26, Ellen Barry and Amie Tsang, “London’s King of Retail Fashion, Brought Low by #MeToo”, in New York Times:
      But a plummy-voiced Labour peer, Baron Peter Hain, decided to defy the court order, invoking his parliamentary privilege to identify Mr. Green as the subject of the newspaper’s investigation.

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