Catch Word #37 – Mum’s the word

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.

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Expressions included in the learning materialstellasecret

  • Mum’s the word
  • Shakespeare
  • Nothing to do with
  • Mum/mom
  • To throw a party
  • My lips are sealed
  • To keep it on the down low
  • To keep your mouth shut
  • To feel free to …

Sample transcript

Jessie: The reason we say mum’s the word when we say don’t tell anyone my secret is because if you close your mouth and you’re keeping a secret, imagine how you would sound if you were trying to talk while you’re closing your mouth,
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.”

 


english PodcastAudio/Learning Materials: Culips

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Posted in Catch Word.