- a Republican who refused to support the party ticket in 1884
- any independent, esp. in politics
Origin of mugwumpAlgonquian mugquomp, chief
- A person who acts independently or remains neutral, especially in politics.
- often Mugwump A Republican who bolted the party in 1884, refusing to support presidential candidate James G. Blaine.
Origin of mugwumpMassachusett mugguomp, mummugguomp war leader
Folk etymology reinterpreted it as referring to a person who sat on the fence with mug ("face") one one side and wump ("rump") on the other, which influenced political cartoons during the 1884 U.S. presidential election.