- mummy: English has two words mummy. The one meaning ‘mother’ , although not recorded in print until comparatively recently, is one of a range of colloquial ‘mother’-words, such as mama and mammy, that go back ultimately to the syllable ma, imitative of a suckling baby (see MAMMAL and MOTHER), and was probably common in dialect speech much earlier. The 19th century saw its adoption into the general language.
The abbreviation mum  has a parallel history. The Egyptian mummy  comes ultimately from Arabic mūmiyā ‘embalmed body’, a derivative of mūm ‘embalming wax’, but when it first arrived in English (via medieval Latin mumia and Old French mumie) it was used for a ‘medicinal ointment prepared from mummified bodies’ (‘Take myrrh, sarcocol [a gum-resin], and mummy … and lay it on the nucha [spinal cord]’, Lanfranc’s Science of Cirurgie, c. 1400).
The word’s original sense ‘embalmed body’ did not emerge in English until the early 17th century.
=> mama, mammy
- mummy (n.1)
- c. 1400, "medicine prepared from mummy tissue," from Medieval Latin mumia, from Arabic mumiyah "embalmed body," from Persian mumiya "asphalt," from mum "wax." Sense of "embalmed body" first recorded in English 1610s. Mummy wheat (1842) was said to be cultivated from grains found in mummy-cases.
- mummy (n.2)
- 1784, childish alteration of mammy. Alternative form mumsy attested by 1876.
- 1. Mummy says I can play out in the garden.
- 2. "Please stay and read to me, mummy," he beseeched.
- 3. I want my mummy.
- 4. Mummy, I'm tired!
- 5. I'd gladly swap places with mummy any day.
[ mummy 造句 ]