Silent or untalkative: "Usually they were mumchance villains, but the excitement about the discovery made them chatter" (T. H. White).
[From Early Modern English mumchaunce as in to play mumchaunce, to stay silent, from mumchaunce, a kind of dice game played in silence, from Middle Low German mummenschanze (Middle Low German mummen, a dice game played in silence during Carnival, ultimately from Middle French mommon, from mommer, to play dice in a mask during Carnival, from Old French momer, to masquerade, mum; see mum2 + Middle Low German schanze, throw of dice, from Middle French chance, from Old French, throw of dice, chance; see chance) and its cognate forms Middle Dutch mommecanse and early Modern German Momschanz.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
silent; struck dumb
[C16 (masquerade, dumb show): from Middle Low German mummenschanze masked serenade; from mummen (see mummer) + schanze chance]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
mumchance- To be mumchance is to be dumbstruck and silent.
See also related terms for silent.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.