- a device for mashing vegetables, fruit, etc.
- ☆ Slang a man who makes unwanted advances to women not acquainted with him, esp. in public places
- A kitchen utensil for mashing vegetables or fruit.
- Slang A man who habitually makes aggressive, unwelcome sexual advances to women.
- One who, or that which, mashes.
- (brewing) A machine for making mash.
Either by analogy with masher (“one who presses, softens”), or more likely from Romani masha (“a fascinator, an enticer”), mashdva (“fascination, enticement”). Originally used in theater, and recorded in US in 1870s. Either originally borrowed as masher, from masha, or from mash + -er. Leland writes of the etymology:
- It was introduced by the well-known gypsy family of actors, C., among whom Romany was habitually spoken. The word “masher” or “mash” means in that tongue to allure, delude, or entice. It was doubtless much aided in its popularity by its quasi-identity with the English word. But there can be no doubt as to the gypsy origin of “mash” as used on the stage. I am indebted for this information to the late well-known impresario [Albert Marshall] Palmer of New York, and I made a note of it years before the term had become at all popular.