Mum’s the Word

I don’t have a ton on my mind tonight, other than pimento cheese and maybe turning in early to watch something on the Military Channel. Ya know. But – I get fixated on these weird expressions from time to time. They bounce around my head.  I roll them around on my tongue, generally in silence because I do have some concept of just how weird I am. I’ll catch myself at work, editing away while mouthing one of the two phrases over and over and over again. What’s that about? And why am I feeling so honest tonight? Eh, whatever. My embarrassment for your enjoyment.

Phrase 1: “Mum’s the Word.”
See my papa usta say this when I was little. Like Kaiser’s-age little. Granted, this is the same dad that let me drive the car, alone, when I was 9; the same dad that told me his dead Uncle Jimmy, that lost an arm in the war, haunted him when he was taking a shit; the same dad that made me (maaaaade me) watch  The Exorcist when I was 11. Yep. My papa. So he would say this shit to me, all the time, holding one finger against his nose, “Mum’s the word.” Now I got it, it meant that something was a secret. I still get it, but why do I find it necessary to repeat it, over and over, to myself? The world may never know.

Origin: Used by Shakespeare in Henry VI, Part 2: “Seal up your lips and give no words but mum.”

You know what? I’m gonna save the other phrase for another time. I’m tired and this blog is already well beyond my bizarro quota.  

Peace, love, and Oxford commas


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One response to “Mum’s the Word

  1. Pingback: Everything’s Jake « Misadventures of a Modern Mommy

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