Monday, January 02, 2006


Who uses it: Philadelphians
What it means: People (men, mostly) who dress up as clowns for Philadelphia's annual New Year's Day parade. The word "mummer" seems to come from the German, but no one knows for sure what it means. Read all about them here.
How you can use it: When conversing with Philadelphians. "Sorry about your football team, but hey, at least you have mummers."

First of all, I want to say: YakTrax rule. I walked uphill through an ice fall this morning, and didn't even slip. Thanks, Jen and Lek!

Second, I am sad to see the holiday season end. I've had an especially happy Christmas and New Year's. Before I take Chris down to Portland -- which will officially end the season for me -- I join Ebenezer Scrooge in his vow:
I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.

Happy new year!


James Lincoln Warren said...

FWIW, "mummer" is ultimately derived from the German mummen, to mutter, by way of France, mommeur. Mummer in the sense of a performer in a pantomime goes back at least to the very early sixteenth century, and the noun mummery for a play without words goes back to the late fifteenth.

The English often use, or used to use, the word as a synonym for mime.

Peggy & Scott said...

Remember Mummenschanz? I'm guessing the name is related. I had forgotten about them until we got The Muppet Show Season One on DVD. WEIRD, but the boys seem to like them.