Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Today I found this interesting word while browsing the internet. I wasn't quite sure what it meant. At first I thought it was possibly something to do with the disease "mumps". But, of course that would have been too easy.

Mumpsimus is an odd word which, in simple terms, means the erroneous use of language or expression.

Here's the official dictionary description of the word:

mump·si·mus  –noun, plural -mus·es for 2.

1. adherence to or persistence in an erroneous use of language, memorization, practice, belief, etc., out of habit or obstinacy ( opposed to sumpsimus).
2. a person who persists in a mistaken expression or practice ( opposed to sumpsimus).
1520–30;  from a story, which perhaps originated with Erasmus, of an illiterate priest who said mumpsimus  rather than sūmpsimus  (1st plural perfect indicative of Latin sūmere  to pick up; see consume) while reciting the liturgy, and refused to change the word when corrected.
So, what do you think of this word? Can you use it in a sentence? 

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, what an odd word indeed. totally sounds made up lol. But lets try this out for a sentence:

    The cashier was unable to understand the customer's mumpsimus dialect.

    Lol wow, what a word...



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...