Last modified on 20 September 2014, at 08:45

mummy

EnglishEdit

An Egyptian mummy (embalmed corpse) at the Musée du Louvre, Paris
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PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Anglo-Norman mumie, from Middle French momie, from Medieval Latin mumia, from Arabic مومياء (mūmiyā'), from Persian مومیا (mumyā), from موم (mum, wax).

NounEdit

mummy (plural mummies)

  1. (uncountable, medicine, now historical) A substance used in medicine, prepared from mummified flesh. [from 14th c.]
    • 1978, Benjamin Walker, Encyclopedia of Metaphysical Medicine, Routledge 1978, p. 253:
      Yet another scatological medicament was obtained from mummy, the material derived from a dried or embalmed human corpse, the most valuable being that imported from Mizraim (ancient Egypt).
    • 2006, Philip Ball, The Devil's Doctor, Arrow 2007, p. 360:
      Nonetheless, his book advertises many Paracelsian remedies, including laudanum, mummy, antimony and mercury.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir T. Herbert to this entry?)
  2. (now rare) A pulp. [from 17th c.]
    • 1837, Mathew Carey, Vindiciae Hibernicae (page 116)
      You may beat them to a mummy, you may put them upon the rack, you may burn them on a gridiron, [] yet you will never remove them from that innate fidelity []
  3. An embalmed corpse wrapped in linen bandages for burial, especially as practised by the ancient Egyptians. [from 17th c.]
    • 1832, Royal Society (Great Britain), Abstracts of The Papers Printed in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, From 1800 to 1830 inclusive, Volume 1: 1800-1814, page 201,
      [] Mr. Pearson proceeds to give a particular description of the very perfect mummy of an Ibis, which forms the chief subject of the present paper.
    • 2008, Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen,, Mysteries Unwrapped: The Real Monsters, page 2,
      Many people believed in the curse of the mummy, and soon, the curse had become an accepted part of Tut′s legend.
  4. Any naturally preserved human or animal body. [from 18th c.]
  5. (obsolete, horticulture) A sort of wax used in grafting. [18th c.]
  6. (now rare) A brown pigment obtained from bitumen, also called mummy brown. [from 19th c.]
  7. Specifically, a reanimated embalmed human corpse, as a typical character in horror films. [from 20th c.]
    • 2007, S. T. Joshi, Icons of Horror and the Supernatural: An Encyclopedia of Our Worst Nightmares, Volume 1, page 376,
      For many, mummies fascinate more than repel. Our horrific connotations lie not so much with the mummy itself, but in associated fears. The mummy serves, of course, as a general reminder of our own mortality and our fear of death, but this alone is not enough to make it a monster.
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Related termsEdit

VerbEdit

mummy (third-person singular simple present mummies, present participle mummying, simple past and past participle mummied)

  1. (dated, transitive) To mummify.
See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Diminutive of mum, related to mom and mommy, from mother.

NounEdit

mummy (plural mummies)

  1. (chiefly UK, usually childish) A child's term for mother.
    • 1926, John Steinbeck, The Saturday Evening Post, Volume 198, page 9,
      “Oh, mummy, would you like the loveliest daughter-in-law in the world? Oh, mummy, I must marry Flora Dewsley. But I know I am not nearly good enough, mummy. She knows nothing of the world and its wickedness, and I — Well, mummy, at school, a fellow learns everything. And no man is perfect, is he, mummy? []
    • 1927, Harper's Magazine, Volume 155, page 188,
      Meeting mummy after this visit was not exactly easy.
    • 2003, Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin, 2010, unnumbered page,
      [] What′s your problem, you little shit? Proud of yourself, for ruining Mummy′s life?” I was careful to use the insipid falsetto the experts commend. “You′ve got Daddy snowed, but Mummy′s got your number. You're a little shit, aren′t you?″
    • 2004, Dennis Child, Psychology and the Teacher, Continuum International Publishing, page 91,
      [] We have to ask mummy if we can go to Rajah′s mummy′s house (Rajah′s mummy is the owner of the dog). We can if mummy says “yes”. []
    • 2009, Paul Harding, Tinkers, 2010, unnumbered page,
      Darla stared at her father and said, Mummy, Mummy, Mummy!
      Marjorie wheezed and said, Father. You. Are. Filthy!
      Joe said Daddy′s muddy! Daddy′s muddy!
      Darla stared at the darkened doorway where Howard stood, saying, Mummy, Mummy, Mummy, each time a little louder, each time a bit more shrilly, [] .
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