mug

[muhg]
noun
1.
a drinking cup, usually cylindrical in shape, having a handle, and often of a heavy substance, as earthenware.
2.
the quantity it holds.
3.
Slang.
a.
the face.
b.
the mouth.
c.
an exaggerated facial expression; grimace, as in acting.
d.
a thug, ruffian, or other criminal.
4.
British Slang. a gullible person; dupe; fool.
verb (used with object), mugged, mugging.
5.
to assault or menace, especially with the intention of robbery.
6.
Slang. to photograph (a person), especially in compliance with an official or legal requirement.
verb (used without object), mugged, mugging.
7.
Slang. to grimace; exaggerate a facial expression, as in acting.

Origin:
1560–70; probably < Scandinavian; compare Swedish mugg, Norwegian, Danish mugge drinking cup; sense “face” apparently transferred from cups adorned with grotesque faces; sense “to assault” from earlier pugilistic slang “to strike in the face, fight”

burglarize, mug, rip off, rob, steal (see synonym study at rob).
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World English Dictionary
mug1 (mʌɡ)
 
n
1.  a drinking vessel with a handle, usually cylindrical and made of earthenware
2.  Also called: mugful the quantity held by a mug or its contents
 
[C16: probably from Scandinavian; compare Swedish mugg]

mug2 (mʌɡ)
 
n
1.  slang a person's face or mouth: get your ugly mug out of here!
2.  slang a grimace
3.  slang (Brit) a gullible person, esp one who is swindled easily
4.  a mug's game a worthless activity
 
vb , mugs, mugging, mugged
5.  informal (tr) to attack or rob (someone) violently
6.  slang (Brit) (intr) to pull faces or overact, esp in front of a camera
 
[C18: perhaps from mug1, since drinking vessels were sometimes modelled into the likeness of a face]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

mug
"drinking vessel," 1570, "bowl, pot, jug," perhaps from Scand. (cf. Swed. mugg "mug, jug," Norw. mugge "pitcher, open can for warm drinks"), or Low Ger. mokke, mukke "mug."

mug
"a person's face," 1708, possibly from mug (n.1), on notion of drinking mugs shaped like grotesque faces. Sense of "portrait or photograph in police records (e.g. mug shot, 1950) had emerged by 1887. Verb sense of "make exaggerated facial expressions" is from 1855, originally theatrical slang.

mug
"to beat up," 1818, originally "to strike the face" (in pugilism), from mug (n.2). The general meaning "attack" is first attested 1846, and "attack to rob" is from 1864 (mugger in this sense is from 1865). Perhaps influenced by thieves' slang mug "dupe, fool, sucker" (1851).
Related: Mugged; mugging.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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