Mugwump definition

mŭgwŭmp
A Republican who bolted the party in 1884, refusing to support presidential candidate James G. Blaine.
noun
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A person who acts independently or remains neutral, especially in politics.
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Any independent, esp. in politics.
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A Republican who refused to support the party ticket in 1884
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(US) An independent neutral politician, especially in reference to the 1884 U.S. presidential election.
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(colloquial) An aloof or inconsequential person.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
mugwump
Plural:
mugwumps

Origin of mugwump

  • Massachusett mugguomp, mummugguomp war leader

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • 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.

    From Wiktionary

  • From an Algonquian term, probably Massachusett mugquomp (“important (male) person").

    From Wiktionary