mummy (n.1)

late 14c., mummie, "medicinal substance prepared from mummy tissue," from Medieval Latin mumia, from Arabic mumiyah "embalmed body," from Persian mumiya "asphalt," from mum "wax." Sense of "dead human body embalmed and dried after the manner of the ancient Egyptians" is recorded in English from 1610s. Mummy wheat (1842), grown in Egypt and Ethiopia and once thought to be a distinct species, was said to have been cultivated from grains found in mummy-cases.

mummy (n.2)

1784, a childish alteration of mammy. Alternative form mumsy attested by 1876.

updated on March 21, 2019