hist-brewing: Mum

PBLoomis at aol.com PBLoomis at aol.com
Tue Jun 6 05:30:14 PDT 2000

Two new threads from my Calendar of Forgotten English for Monday, June 5th:

 --  June 5th is St.Boniface's Day, and he is identified as "a patron of 
Anybody know why, or who the other patron [saints] of brewers are?

 --  From Hensleigh Wedgwood's _Dictionary_of_English_Etymology_(1878).
     "MUM -- A kind of strong, sweet beer ... supposed to have been first 
brewed by Christian Mumme of Brunswick in 1489.  But these eponymous 
derivations are always suspicious, and a rational origin of the name may be 
found in a different quarter.  We are informed that the exclamation mum! mum! 
is used to express satisfaction with good liquor, and the expression of 
admiration might easily be taken as the name of the liquor which excited the 
feeling ... In the same way, it may be conjectured that the liqueur, 
mentioned by our older dramatists under the name of 'hum,' took its name from 
the hum which in this country was a recognised expression of approbriation."
    Anybody know anything about this?  Like which "older [English] dramatists"
used 'hum' as the name of a beer?  Or any recipe for mum or hum?  I know he's
right about hum being a 'recognised expression of approbriation.'   Burns 
it in his "Address To A Haggis."
    In joy and service,

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