mumbo jumbo

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n mumbo jumbo language or ritual causing, or intending to cause, confusion
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Mumbo Jumbo Among the Mandingos of the western Sudan, a bugbear by means of which the women are terrified and disciplined by societies of the men, one of whom assumes a masquerade for the purpose; hence, loosely, any Negro idol, fetish, or bugaboo. "The miserable Mumbo Jumbo they paraded."
    • Mumbo Jumbo An object of superstitious homage and fear.
    • Mumbo Jumbo Incomprehensible or senseless language, usually intended to avoid answering plainly, confuse a listener, or obscure an issue.
    • Mumbo Jumbo Language so arcane or obscure as to be unintelligible to the listener.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Perh. fr. the native name of an African god

Usage

In literature:

Mumbo Jumbo is a god of the black coast, to which people go for ivory and gold.
"Lavengro The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest" by George Borrow
He never dreamed of disputing their pretensions, but did homage to the miserable Mumbo jumbo they paraded.
"Little Dorrit" by Charles Dickens
The grand question and hope, however, is: Will not this Feast of the Tuileries Mumbo-Jumbo be a sign perhaps that the Guillotine is to abate?
"The French Revolution" by Thomas Carlyle
There's no mumbo jumbo about it, in my opinion.
"The Grey Room" by Eden Phillpotts
Whistle to the cockatoos, and mock the hairy-faced baboon; Worship mighty Mumbo Jumbo in the mountains of the moon.
"The Daisy Chain" by Charlotte Yonge
In such cases, the interposition of Mumbo Jumbo is called in and is always decisive.
"Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. II" by Francis Augustus Cox
Defend the Thugs, and say something for Mumbo Jumbo.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 58, August, 1862" by Various
His hatred of mumbo-jumbo and priestcraft was but a part of his steady love of freedom and sincerity.
"Isopel Berners The History of certain doings in a Staffordshire Dingle, July, 1825" by George Borrow
Mr. Mumbo Jumbo Mulligan as natural as life and twice as handsome.
"The White Christmas and other Merry Christmas Plays" by Walter Ben Hare
Is it possible that you neglect Mumbo-Jumbo?
"The Napoleon of Notting Hill" by Gilbert K. Chesterton
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In poetry:

Some deem that others there be,
And to them humbly bend the knee;
To Mumbo Jumbo and to Joss,
To Bud and Allah - but the Boss
Is mine . . . While there are suns and seas
MY timeless God shall dwell in these.
"Rosy-Kins" by Robert W Service

In news:

Quackery and Mumbo-Jumbo in the US Military.
During 2011, or at least the first week of it, I'll be embracing youth attitudes and ideas, including their Luciferian fixation on technological mumbo jumbo.
Safety Management Without the Mumbo Jumbo .
Just published is "Safety Management Without the Mumbo Jumbo ," a book about how to manage safety.
Economic Consequences Of JPMorgan's Technocratic Mumbo Jumbo .
Politics / News Chicago Tribune: Marshall Home's Legal Mumbo-Jumbo Continues.
Doctors eager to try 'mystical mumbo jumbo .
Economic Consequences Of JPMorgan's Technocratic Mumbo Jumbo.
Doctors eager to try 'mystical mumbo jumbo.
Another would eliminate the bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo that can make it difficult for taxpayers to know just how well schools are performing.
EAST LANSING (AP) — Decoding scientific "mumbo jumbo " and learning how to turn complex technical terms into plain English is the subject of a new online course at Michigan State University.
Decoding scientific "mumbo jumbo " and learning how to turn complex technical terms into plain English is the subject of a new online course at Michigan State University.
Doctors eager to try ' mystical mumbo jumbo.
To hell with the technical mumbo-jumbo.
English will soon become the language of choice for health insurance companies, replacing their traditional dialect of legalese, mumbo-jumbo and fine print.
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