mug, you

mug, you
   ‘What do you mean, you mug?’ says a male American speaker to another man, in Mae West’s The Pleasure Man. In the Laurel and Hardy film Pack up your Troubles a sergeant addresses a group of soldiers as ‘you mugs’. A Salute to the Great McCarthy, by Barry Oakley, has an Australian football setting. The narrator hears the crowd jeering at him: ‘Wake up McCarthy! You mug!’ The word is roughly the equivalent of ‘fool’ or ‘dupe’, the idea behind it being that a mug is something into which you can pour almost anything. A simpleton can likewise be persuaded to believe almost anything.
   The existence of ‘mug’ in this slang sense led to the use of the last name ‘Muggins’ for similar purposes. ‘You Muggins’ is therefore still occasionally heard as a mild insult.

A dictionary of epithets and terms of address . . 2015.

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  • mug — [[t]mʌ̱g[/t]] mugs, mugging, mugged 1) N COUNT A mug is a large deep cup with straight sides and a handle, used for hot drinks. He spooned instant coffee into two of the mugs. N COUNT: usu N of n A mug of something is the amount of it contained… …   English dictionary

  • mug up on something — ˌmug sthˈup | ˌmug ˈup on sth derived (BrE, informal) to learn sth, especially in a short time for a particular purpose, for example an exam • You just need to mug up a few details. • He s frantically mugging up …   Useful english dictionary

  • mug — mug1 S3 [mʌg] n [Date: 1500 1600; Origin: Probably from a Scandinavian language] 1.) a tall cup used for drinking tea, coffee etc ▪ a coffee mug 2.) a large glass with a handle, used especially for drinking beer ▪ a beer mug 3.) …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • mug up — verb study intensively, as before an exam I had to bone up on my Latin verbs before the final exam • Syn: ↑cram, ↑grind away, ↑drum, ↑bone up, ↑swot, ↑get up, ↑swot up, ↑bone …   Useful english dictionary

  • mug — mug1 [ mʌg ] noun count * 1. ) a cup with straight sides and no SAUCER, used mainly for hot drinks: a coffee mug a ) a large glass with a handle used for drinking beer b ) the liquid in a mug or the amount that a mug contains: Nina had made mugs… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Mug (disambiguation) — A Mug is a large cup with a handle Mug may also refer to Mug Root Beer, a beverage brand A slang term for face A mug shot, a picture of a face The metric slug, a unit of mass Mug EP, by the band Creaming Jesus See also MUG (disambiguation)… …   Wikipedia

  • mug up — PHRASAL VERB If you mug up a subject or mug up on it, you study it quickly, so that you can remember the main facts about it. [BRIT, INFORMAL] [V P n (not pron)] ...visitors who want to mug up their knowledge in the shortest possible time... [V P …   English dictionary

  • mug — I UK [mʌɡ] / US noun [countable] Word forms mug : singular mug plural mugs * 1) a cup with straight sides and no saucer, used mainly for hot drinks a coffee mug a) a large glass with a handle used for drinking beer b) the liquid in a mug, or the… …   English dictionary

  • mug up — phrasal verb [intransitive/transitive] Word forms mug up : present tense I/you/we/they mug up he/she/it mugs up present participle mugging up past tense mugged up past participle mugged up British informal mug up (on) something to quickly learn… …   English dictionary

  • mug something up — (informal) she s mugging up the Highway Code: STUDY, read up, cram; informal bone up (on); Brit. informal swot; archaic con. → …   Useful english dictionary