Archive for December 18th, 2022

December 18, 2022

Mumpsimus

Nucular

A mumpsimus [muhmp-suh-muhs] is a ‘traditional custom obstinately adhered to however unreasonable it may be,’ or ‘someone who obstinately clings to an error, bad habit or prejudice, even after the foible has been exposed and the person humiliated; also, any error, bad habit, or prejudice clung to in this fashion.’

The term originates in the story of a priest using the nonsense Latin word ‘mumpsimus’ instead of ‘sumpsimus’ (lit. ‘we have taken’) when giving mass, and refusing to be corrected on the matter. The word may refer to either the speaker or their habit.

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