mumbo jumbo


Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms, Wikipedia.

mum·bo jum·bo

or mum·bo-jum·bo (mŭm′bō-jŭm′bō)
n. pl. mum·bo jum·bos or mum·bo-jum·bos
1. Unintelligible or incomprehensible language; gibberish.
2. Language or ritualistic activity intended to confuse.
3. A complicated or obscure ritual.
4. An object believed to have supernatural powers; a fetish.

[From Mumbo-Jumbo, masked dancer described in 18th-century European accounts of the Mandinka, probably from Mandinka maamajomboo, masked dancer with prophetic powers : maama, term of address for a masked dancer + jomboo, ceremony of opening or first use.]

mumbo jumbo

(ˈmʌmbəʊ)
n, pl mumbo jumbos
1. (Alternative Belief Systems) foolish religious reverence, ritual, or incantation
2. (Linguistics) meaningless or unnecessarily complicated language
3. (Alternative Belief Systems) an object of superstitious awe or reverence
[C18: probably from Mandingo mama dyumbo, name of a tribal god]

mum•bo jum•bo

(ˈmʌm boʊ ˈdʒʌm boʊ)

n., pl. mumbo jum•bos.
1. meaningless incantation or ritual.
2. senseless or pretentious language, usu. designed to obscure or confuse.
3. an object of superstitious awe or reverence.
[1738; first used in reference to a masked figure among the Malinke of West Africa]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.mumbo jumbo - language or ritual causing, or intending to cause, confusion
gibber, gibberish - unintelligible talking

mumbo jumbo

noun
1. gibberish, nonsense, jargon, humbug, cant, Greek (informal), claptrap (informal), gobbledegook (informal), rigmarole, double talk It's all full of psychoanalytic mumbo jumbo.
2. superstition, magic, ritual, hocus-pocus He dabbled in all sorts of mumbo jumbo.

mumbo jumbo

noun
1. Unintelligible or nonsensical talk or language:
2. Esoteric, formulaic, and often incomprehensible speech relating to the occult:
Translations
Geschwurbel

mumbo jumbo

[ˈmʌmbəʊˈdʒʌmbəʊ] N (= nonsense) → galimatías m inv

mumbo jumbo

[ˌmʌmbəʊˈdʒʌmbəʊ] nbaragouin m, charabia m

mumbo jumbo

n (= empty ritual, superstition)Hokuspokus m; (= gibberish)Kauderwelsch nt; (= idol)Abgott m

mumbo jumbo

[ˌmʌmbəʊˈdʒʌmbəʊ] n (pej) → sfilza di paroloni
References in classic literature ?
He never dreamed of disputing their pretensions, but did homage to the miserable Mumbo jumbo they paraded.
CONCRETE LANGUAGE: Intercultural Communication in Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior and Ishmael Reed's Mumbo Jumbo.
Some of the movie does bog down in supernatural mumbo jumbo.
Now, that sounds like a great deal of technological mumbo jumbo, but Hoover's assures me that IRF's products (including MOSFETs, diodes, and rectifiers) enable more efficient operation in consumer appliances, automobiles, computers, communication devices, lighting systems, and military equipment.
He took the players for a session at a hotel and I must admit I'm not a great believer and a few of the players thought it was mumbo jumbo.
Among the New Age mumbo jumbo and talk of angels, meditation and shamanism, Harris gives some practical advice about how to spot someone who will drain the life out of you rather than participate in a healthy give-and-take relationship.
The chapter examines the different meanings of the yin-yang signs that appear in Reed's Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down and Mumbo Jumbo as one of the metaphors for Neo-HooDooism.
SMBG protects the buyer or seller by guaranteeing that she will walk her client through the complicated and technical legal mumbo jumbo associated with buying or selling a home.
And Richard Hardack's "Swing to the White, Back to the Black: Writing and Sourcery in Ishmael Reed's Mumbo Jumbo," reprinted from Arizona Quarterly, makes a strong and provocative argument that Reed owes more allegiance to the American Renaissance (Emerson in particular) than to the Harlem Renaissance, despite his own claims.
Voila, you've scaled Whitney, without the flock and a mess of administrative mumbo jumbo.
Legal & Accounting 101: Getting Through the Mumbo Jumbo
Karen quips back: "Spare me the mumbo jumbo about heart and feelings.