early 14c., momelen, "to eat in a slow, ineffective manner" (perhaps "to talk with one's mouth full"), probably frequentative of the interjection mum. The -b- is from 15c., unetymological. Meaning "to speak indistinctly in low tones" is from mid-14c. Transitive sense of "to utter in a low, inarticulate voice" is from mid-15c. Related: Mumbled; mumbler; mumbling.
boys' knife-throwing game, 1650s, originally mumble-the-peg (1620s), of unknown signification and origin. The usual story is that it is so called because "The last player to complete the series is compelled to draw out of the ground with his teeth a peg which the others have driven in with a certain number of blows with the handle of the knife" [Century Dictionary]; see mumble (v.) in the original sense "eat in a slow, inefficient manner."
1580s, "complain in a low voice;" 1590s, "make a low, rumbling sound," from French grommeler "mutter between the teeth" or directly from Middle Dutch grommelen "murmur, mutter, grunt," from grommen "to rumble, growl." Imitative, or perhaps akin to grim (adj.). With unetymological -b- as in mumble. Related: Grumbled; grumbling.
type of contagious disease characterized by inflammation of the glands, c. 1600, from plural of mump "a grimace" (1590s), originally a verb, "to whine or mutter like a beggar" (1580s), from Dutch mompen "to cheat, deceive," originally probably "to mumble, whine" and of imitative origin (compare mum (interj.), mumble). The infectious disease probably was so called in reference to swelling of the salivary glands of the face and/or to painful difficulty swallowing. Mumps also was used from 17c. to mean "a fit of melancholy, sullenness, silent displeasure."
They were so called by critics who saw in them heretics pretending to humble piety, from lollen "to mumble or doze." In transferred use it became the generic late Middle English term for groups suspected of heresy, especially followers of John Wyclif. Related: Lollardism (the modern word); Lollardy (the old one).
early 14c., moteren "to mumble, utter words in a low tone with compressed lips," from a common PIE imitative *mut- "to grunt, mutter" (source also of Old Norse muðla "to murmur," Latin muttire "to mutter," Old High German mutilon "to murmur, mutter; to drizzle"), with frequentative suffix -er. Related: Muttered; muttering.
late 14c., "small ape or monkey," from Old French marmoset "grotesque figurine; fool, jester" (late 13c.), perhaps a variant of marmote "long-tailed monkey, ape," then, as a term of endearment, "little child." It is said to be from marmonner, marmotter "to mutter, mumble," which is probably of imitative origin. Some French authorities suggest a derivation of marmoset from marmor "marble," as if "little marble figurine." The English word was applied from early 17c. specifically to a type of small squirrel-like South American monkey.