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Mulligrubs and Mulligrubbing

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Betsy in Murray, Kentucky, reports that a friend was baffled when Betsy told her Quit your mulligrubbing. She was advising her friend to stop complaining. Since the 16th century, mulligrub meant “a state of depression,” or “a bad mood,” and to have the mulligrubs meant “to suffer a stomach ache” or “have an intestinal upset.” These words may be etymologically related to megrim, an old word for “migraine.” The Dictionary of Southern Appalachian English (Bookshop|Amazon) notes that mulligrub is used as a verb as well, meaning “to complain for no good reason” or “to be slightly unwell.” This is part of a complete episode.

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