mulligrubs

Jun. 30th, 2017 07:41 am
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[personal profile] prettygoodword
mulligrubs (MUHL-i-gruhbz) - n., a despondent, sullen, or ill-tempered mood; (obs.) a griping of the intenstines, colic.


When this first appeared, at the end of the sixteenth century, it was spelled mulliegrums, and it's speculated that it's possibly an alteration of megrims, headache (itself a mangling of French migraine). Regardless, the sullenness was the original meaning, with the colic somehow added later -- and then largely obsolesced. The mood survives in some British dialects, especially Australian, but deserves wider circulation.

---L.

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