Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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MUMP, v.1, n., adj. Also mamp; mumph; and irreg. nump.

I. v. 1. tr., absol. or intr. with at, to twitch the lips in a succession of rapid movements, esp. characteristic of the nibbling of a rabbit, sheep or toothless person (Sc. 1818 Sawers, mamp; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; w. and s.Sc., Uls. 1963). Obs. exc. dial. in Eng. Cf. Moup, v.1, 1., Map, v.1 Ppl.adjs., mumping, nibbling; mumpit, in comb. mumpit breid, oatcakes crumbled in milk (Bnff.2 c.1930). Deriv. mumper, fig., a rabbit. Sc. 1748  Smollett Rod. Random xi.:
When he mumped or spoke they [his nose and chin] approached one another like a pair of nutcrackers.
Kcb. 1789  D. Davidson Seasons 25, 150:
Close to the fur' she [hare] lays her downy wyme, An' mumps the verdant blade wi' lonely fear. . . . The downy mumper eager to destroy.
Uls. 1804  J. Orr Poems (1936) 62:
Losh! how they rauner, rail, an' ripple Their nybers names, an' mumph an sipple!
Ags. 1815  G. Beattie Poems (1882) 171:
Thrice wi' her teethless chafts she mumpit.
Sc. 1819  Jacobite Relics (Hogg) I. 97:
He maun hame but stocking or shoe, To nump his neeps, his sybows, and leeks.
Edb. 1843  J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie i.:
A . . . wee cuddy . . . quietly mumping some green blades.
Sc. 1880  J. Nicol Poems & Songs 167:
Jack and Pat, and Owen and Sandy, Mumping and crumping away at the candy.
Clc. 1882  J. Walker Poems 63:
Set trapping-gins for luggy mumpers.
Per. 1904  R. Ford Hum. Sc.Stories (Ser. 2) 108:
An' tied to a'e tether the twa mumpit fairly.

2. tr. or with at. To utter in an inarticulate manner, to mumble, mutter (Sc. 1903 E.D.D.). Gen.(exc.I.)Sc. Obs. in Eng.; to mouth one's words affectedly when attempting artificially refined speech (Slk. 1825 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Abd. 1824  G. Smith Douglas 57:
I, wi' right an' reason on my side, Dare scarcely mump a word.
Rnf. 1835  D. Webster Rhymes 167:
For in my brains there's sic a vacum, I canna mump thy merits, Ma'com.
Abd. 1876  R. Dinnie Poems 55:
Is this the lass, whan wee and young, Wha mumpit at her mither tongue, But noo can French and English chat?

3. To grumble, to complain peevishly (Sc. 1818 Sawers, mamp; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Gen.(exc. I.)Sc.; to sulk, to mope around. Arch. in Eng.; to loaf around in a lackadaisical manner. Comb. mumpit-like, dazed, dull, stupefied (Sc. 1818 Sawers), which may however be due to conflation with mummed s.v. Mum, adj. Rnf. 1813  E. Picken Poems I. 188:
Whiles my plaint I mamp an' mummle.
Sc. 1825  Scott Betrothed xvii.:
These antiquated dames went mumping about with much affected indifference.
Edb. 1843  J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie iii.:
Mumping ower the fire at night.
Sc. 1883  Stevenson Letters (1901) I. 304:
It is better to enjoy a novel than to mump.
Ags. 1893  Arbroath Guide (30 Dec.) 3:
For a' that I was sittin' mumpin' there, like a stucco' an' no ane to say cheep to me.
Bwk. 1897  R. M. Calder Poems 225:
Let them mump an' grieve wha like it.
Ayr. 1920  D. Cuthbertson Poems of the West 57:
And John oft mumps about the house, or dauners doun the toun.
Sc. 1926  A. Muir Blue Bonnet vi.:
Hector . . . was silent . . . muckle McNab broke the silence. “We'll learn ye to mump”, he growled.
Bnff. 1962  Banffshire Advert. (1 March):
A'm seek fed up o' ye mumpin' at ma shuther onywye.

4. To talk in an indirect, allusive or suggestive manner, as by means of whispers, gestures or grimaces (Ayr. 1811 W. Aiton Agric. Ayr. 693, 1912 D. McNaught Kilmaurs 298; Bnff., Abd. 1963). Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 183:
I know your meaning, by your mumping. I know by your Motions and Gestures what you would be at, and what you design.
Lnk. a.1779  D. Graham Writings (1883) I. 246:
You thump, you mump, with face awray.
Abd. 1787  A. Shirrefs Jamie & Bess III. i.:
Ye may speak plainer, lass, gin ye incline, As, by your mumping, I maist guess your mind.
Sc. 1822  Scott F. Nigel xxxvii.:
The King . . . began to amble about the room mumping, laughing, and cracking jests.
Per. 1904  R. Ford Hum. Sc. Stories (Ser. 2) 27:
The lassie's impatience to ken whether his meaning corresponded wi' his mumpin' or no.
Abd. 1920  A. Robb MS.:
I wis mumpin sae, said she.

II. n. †1. An epithet for a toothless person. Sc. 1724  Ramsay T.-T. Misc. I. 104:
Ye lied, ye limmers cries auld mump, For I hae baith a tooth and stump.

2. A word, a whisper, a surmise (Ayr. 1811 W. Aiton Agric. Ayr. 693, 1903 E.D.D.; Bnff. 1963). Abd. 1824  G. Smith Douglas 56:
Ae mump o' Douglas wad raise sic a din, As you nor 1 wad never lay again.
Bnff. 1957  Bnff. Advertiser (21 Nov.):
“There's jist ae thing,” he went on. “Nae a word o' fit a've telt ye mun git ootside this caibin. Nae a mump.”

III. adj. Doleful, depressed, sullen (Bnff., Abd., Edb., Ayr., Slk. 1963). Phs. rather a variant of Mum. Mry. 1870  W. Tester Poems 171:
We'll sing, whaun we'd sit mump an' mute. “We're happiest whan we're fou.”

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"Mump v.1, n., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jan 2019 <>



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