"ponder, turn over in one's mind," 1873, perhaps from a figurative use of mull (v.) "grind to powder" (which survived into 19c. in dialect), from Middle English mullyn, mollen "grind to powder, soften by pulverizing," also "to fondle or pet" (late 14c.), from Old French moillier and directly from Medieval Latin molliare,mulliare, from Latin molere "to grind," from PIE root *mele- "to crush, grind."
Of uncertain connection to the mull (v.) defined in Webster's (1879) as "to work steadily without accomplishing much," and the earlier identical word in athletics meaning "to botch, muff" (1862). Related: Mulled; mulling.
"sweeten, spice, and heat (a drink)," c. 1600, of unknown origin. Perhaps from Dutch mol, a kind of white, sweet beer, or from Flemish molle a kind of beer, and related to words for "to soften." Related: Mulled; mulling.
in architecture, "a vertical column between the lights of a window or screen," 1560s, metathesis of Middle English moyniel (early 14c.), from Anglo-French moinel, noun use of moienel (adj.) "middle," from Old French meien "intermediate, mean" (see mean (adj.)). Related: Mullioned.
edible type of spiny-finned fish, late 14c., molet, from Anglo-French molett (late 14c.), Old French mulet "red mullet" and directly from Medieval Latin muletus, from Latin muletus, moletus, from mullus "red mullet," from Greek myllos, name of a Pontic fish, which perhaps is related to melos "black" (see melano-), but "As there is no further specification of the fish ... all explanations are up in the air" [Beekes]
"hairstyle short the sides and long in back," 1996, perhaps from mullet-head "stupid, dull person" (1857). Mullet-head also was a name of a type of North American freshwater fish with a large, flat head (1866) with a reputation for stupidity. The term in reference to the haircut seems to have emerged into pop culture with the Beastie Boys song "Mullet Head."
#1 on the side and don't touch the back
#6 on the top and don't cut it wack, Jack
[Beastie Boys, "Mullet Head"]
As a surname, Mullet is attested from late 13c., thought to be a diminutive of Old French mul "mule." Compare also mallet-headed, in reference to the flat tops of chisels meant to be struck with a mallet.
surname, from Gaelic Maolagan, Old Irish Maelecan, a double diminutive of mael "bald," hence "the little bald (or shaven) one," probably often a reference to a monk or disciple. As "stew made with whatever's available" (1904) it is hobo slang, probably from the proper name. The golf sense of "extra stroke after a poor shot" (1949) is sometimes said to be from the name of a Canadian golfer in the 1920s whose friends gave him an extra shot in gratitude for driving them over rough roads to their weekly foursome at St. Lambert Country Club near Montreal.
"fit of the blues," also "colic, intestinal pain," 1590s, mulliegrums, a fanciful formation.