mugwumps

mugwump

[muhg-wuhmp]
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:
1830–35, 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)

mugwumpery, mugwumpism, noun
mugwumpian, adjective
mugwumpish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mugwump (ˈmʌɡˌwʌmp)
 
n
(US) a neutral or independent person, esp in politics
 
[C19: from Algonquian: great chief, from mogki great + -omp man]
 
'mugwumpery
 
n
 
'mugwumpism
 
n
 
'mugwumpish
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

mugwump
1832, jocular for "great man, boss," Amer.Eng., from Algonquian (Natick) mugquomp "important person" (derived from mugumquomp "war leader"); used since 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
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