Mumpsimus

I discovered a wonderful new (to me) word this weekend: Mumpsimus.  No, it’s not the Latin name for a common childhood disease. In some strange way, it sounds onomatopoetic to me, perhaps because it brings to mind a stodgy butler in an old English country estate. “Mumpsimus, would you please bring the afternoon sherry to the library?”

In a stretch, there could be some connection.  Mumpsimus refers to someone who sticks obstinately to their old ways, in spite of the clearest evidence that they are wrong.  Ah, we all know people like that.

And, as full disclosure, there is also sumpsimus, our butler’s polar opposite, who is obstinate or zealous about strict correctness.

T’would be an interesting battle between the two men.  I believe I’d put my money on brother Mumpsimus, because he sticks to his beliefs without any facts to back him up.

Ah, words. Aren’t they wonderful!

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