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illustration Mumpsimus



Part of speech: noun

Origin: Latin, 16th century


A traditional custom or notion adhered to although shown to be unreasonable.


A person who obstinately adheres to unreasonable customs or notions.

Examples of Mumpsimus in a sentence

"David is a mountaineering mumpsimus, rejecting all modern equipment in favor of heavy, archaic gear that isn’t even waterproof."

"When he has a cold, my mumpsimus father insists on drinking whiskey with honey and lemon, rather than hydrating himself and resting."

About Mumpsimus

From the Latin “mumpsimus,” which was initially an error based on the Latin “sumpsimus,” meaning “I have taken.”

Did you Know?

The meaning of “mumpsimus” is built into the way the word was coined. According to Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus, the term was created when an old monk mispronounced the Latin word “sumpsimus” (“I have taken”) as “mumpsimus” while reciting the Eucharist, and then refused to be corrected and continued using the new word “mumpsimus” in place of the proper term. The definition of the word came from this refusal to accept correction when one is wrong, coupled with steadfast insistence on doing things the wrong way.

illustration Mumpsimus

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