If you want to tell someone to keep something a secret or promise to keep a secret for someone else you can use this expression: mum’s the word. At first it seems like a strange expression…mum is the word? Weird. But you will see it is not so complicated when we explain the possible origin of this expression and the meaning of mum.
Expressions included in the learning materials
- Mum’s the word
- Nothing to do with
- To throw a party
- My lips are sealed
- To keep it on the down low
- To keep your mouth shut
- To feel free to …
Maura: Mmmm mum mmm.
Jessie: Right. If your lips are closed you can’t make any words, all you can make is a kind of mmmum sound.
Maura: Right ,exactly. So you can’t tell the secret because your mouth is closed.
Jessie: And they think that the first time that was ever used was in a Shakespeare play.
Maura: Oh really?
Jessie: Yeah they said, “Seal up your lips and give no words but mum.”
Audio/Learning Materials: Culips