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mulligrubs n pl
Also mollygrooms, mollygrubs, muddigrubs, mullygrubs, mullygrumps; rarely sg mulligrub[OED 1599 →]
1 A condition of despondency or ill temper; a vague or imaginary unwellness. scattered, but esp South See Map
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- 1806 (1970) Webster Compendious Dict. 197, Mull′igrubs . . a twisting of the guts, sullenness. [DARE Ed: This entry was carried over from Webster’s English model.]
- 1834 Life Andrew Jackson 95 ME, They was sittin snug round their camp fires fillin their kittles and makin coffy when another kind of Coffy [=General Coffy] was a preparin which giv’d considerable of them the mulligrubs.
- 1838 Kettell Yankee Notions 96, All the bitter diseases that flesh is heir to,— . . megrims, mulligrubs, . . and all sorts of diabolical despondencies.
- 1898 Lloyd Country Life 131 AL, I had the mullygrubs and Sandy he had the botts.
- 1899 (1912) Green VA Folk-Speech 291, Mulligrubs. . . Ill temper, sulkiness; the sulks: as, to have the mulligrubs.
- 1909 DN 3.351 eAL, wGA, Mulligrubs. . . A fit of bad humor, the blues.
- 1913 Kephart Highlanders 297 sAppalachians, I knowed in reason she’d have the mullygrubs over them doin’s.
- 1944 PADS 2.25 cwNC, cwOH, Mollygrubs, to have. . . To be slightly unwell or upset; to have the blues. In N.C.: mullygrubs.
- Ibid30 eKY, Mullygrubs [ˈmʌlɪˈgrʌbz]. . . Despondency. “He’s in the mullygrubs this morning.” . . Common.
- 1950 WELS (Joking or fantastic names for imaginary diseases: “I guess he’s got the _____.”) 1 Inf, ceWI, Mollygrooms.
- 1962 Steinbeck Travels 197, We’d be lousy explorers. A few days out and we get the mullygrubs.
- 1965–70 DARE
- Qu. BB28, Joking names . . for imaginary diseases: “He must have the _____.”
- 39 Infs, chiefly Sth, Mulligrubs; GA72, Mollygrubs; NY205, He’s got a mulligrub;
- Qu. GG34a, To feel depressed or in a gloomy mood: “He has the _____today.”
- 21 Infs, scattered, but esp Sth, Mulligrubs; AL41, Mulligrubs, muddigrubs; [GA74, Hubbigrubs];
- Qu. BB5, A general feeling of discomfort or illness that isn’t any one place in particular
- Infs AR33, GA13, 33, 77, MA5, Mulligrubs; NC82, Got the mulligrubs; AL41, Muddigrubs; AL4, Mullygrumps;
- Qu. BB39, On a day when you don’t feel just right, though not actually sick . . “I’ll be all right tomorrow—I’m just feeling _____today.”
- Inf NC72, Got the mulligrubs;
- Qu. GG27b, To get somebody out of an unhappy mood . . “Don’t _____.”
- Infs GA77, OK9, Have the mulligrubs; GA67, Give way to the mulligrubs; [
- Qu. GG35b, [To sulk or pout:] “Because she couldn’t go, she’s been _____all day.”
- Inf NY1, Eating mulligrubs].
a Pain in the stomach or intestines; diarrhea.
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- 1806 [see 1 above].
- 1899 (1912) Green VA Folk-Speech 291, Mulligrubs. . . A pain in the intestines; colic.
- 1930 Shoemaker 1300 Words 40 cPA Mts (as of c1900), Mullygrumps—An attack of indigestion or stomach ache.
- 1966 DARE
- Qu. BB19, Joking names for looseness of the bowels
- Inf MS33, Mulligrubs.
- 1990 Cavender Folk Med. Lexicon 27 sAppalachians, Mullygrubs—[sometimes pronounced as “mollygrubs”] . . hunger pains or growling sounds made by the stomach when hungry.