Etymology
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mutter (v.)

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.

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mutter (n.)

"a murmur or murmuring," 1630s, from mutter (v.).

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bon mot (n.)

"witticism, clever or witty saying," 1735, French, literally "good word," from bon "good" + mot "remark, short speech," literally "word" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *muttum, from Latin muttire "to mutter, mumble, murmur" (see mutter (v.)). The plural is bons mots.

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motto (n.)

1580s, "word or phrase on an emblem explaining or emphasizing its symbolic significance; phrase or short sentence inscribed on something used to indicate the tenor of that to which it is attached," from Italian motto "a saying, legend attached to a heraldic design," from Late Latin muttum "a grunt; a word," from Latin muttire "to mutter, mumble, murmur" (see mutter). Meaning "proverbial pithy maxim adopted by someone as a rule of conduct" is from 1796. Motto-kiss "candy wrapped in fancy paper having a motto or scrap of poetry enclosed with it" is from 1858.

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mot (n.)

"a brief and forcible or witty saying," 1813; earlier "a motto" (1580s, a sense now obsolete), from French mot (12c.) "remark, short speech," literally "word," cognate of Italian motto, from Medieval Latin muttum "a word," from Latin mutum "a grunt, a murmur" (see mutter). Also compare bon mot. Mot juste (1912) is French, literally "exact word," the precisely appropriate expression in some situation.

The mot juste is an expression which readers would like to buy of writers who use it, as one buys one's neighbour's bantam cock for the sake of hearing its voice no more. [Fowler]
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grumble (v.)

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.

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blather (v.)
1520s, blether, Scottish, probably from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse blaðra "mutter, wag the tongue," perhaps of imitative origin, or from Proto-Germanic *blodram "something inflated" (the source of bladder). Related: Blathered; blathering.
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lull (v.)
early 14c., lullen "to calm or hush to sleep," probably imitative of lu-lu sound used to lull a child to sleep (compare Swedish lulla "to hum a lullaby," German lullen "to rock," Sanskrit lolati "moves to and fro," Middle Dutch lollen "to mutter"). Figurative use from 1570s; specifically "to quiet (suspicion) so as to delude into a sense of security" is from c. 1600. Related: Lulled; lulling.
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mummer (n.)

"one who performs in a mumming, actor in a dumb show," early 15c., probably a fusion of Old French momeur "mummer" (from Old French momer "mask oneself," from momon "mask") and Middle English mommen "to mutter, be silent," which is the source of mum (interjection). "[S]pecifically, in England, one of a company of persons who go from house to house at Christmas performing a kind of play, the subject being generally St. George and the Dragon, with sundry whimsical adjuncts" [Century Dictionary].

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mumps (n.)

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."

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