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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 SouthSee 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].
mulligrubs 1 + varr (Qq. BB28, GG34a, BB5, BB39,     GG27b)

2 Spec:

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.

b Menstruation.

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  • 1966–67 DARE
    Qu. AA27, . . A woman’s menstruation
    Infs AL30, MS45, Mulligrubs.