follow Dictionary.com

8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

mugwump

[muhg-wuhmp] /ˈmʌgˌwʌmp/
noun
1.
a Republican who refused to support the party nominee, James G. Blaine, in the presidential campaign of 1884.
2.
a person who is unable to make up his or her mind on an issue, especially in politics; a person who is neutral on a controversial issue.
Origin
1830-1835
1830-35, Americanism; artificial 19th-cent. revival of Massachusett (E spelling) mugquomp, syncopated form of muggumquomp war leader (equivalent to Proto-Algonquian *memekw- perhaps, swift + *-a·pe·w man)
Related forms
mugwumpery, mugwumpism, noun
mugwumpian, adjective
mugwumpish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for mugwumpish

mugwump

/ˈmʌɡˌwʌmp/
noun
1.
(US) a neutral or independent person, esp in politics
Derived Forms
mugwumpery, mugwumpism, noun
mugwumpish, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Algonquian: great chief, from mogki great + -omp man
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for mugwumpish

mugwump

n.

1832, jocular for "great man, boss, important person," American English, from Algonquian (Natick) mugquomp "important person" (derived from mugumquomp "war leader"); used from 1884 of Republicans who refused to support James G. Blaine's presidential candidacy, hence "one who holds himself aloof from party politics."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for mugwump

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for mugwumpish

0
0
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for mugwumpish