Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Word Wednesday: "Mungo"

Here's a weird tidbit for you:

The word mungo can mean "low quality wool" or "mongoose" and is the first person singular present indicative of the Italian word "to milk." (Put that phrase in your pipe and smoke it!) It has another slang meaning though; it means "dumpster diver." While this seems of little significance, it has shed light on one of the great questions in my life. I always wondered why the roguish character Mungojerry in "Cats" was called Mungojerry. It seems like a meaningless name. Now I understand. He is a wandering cat, a slightly bad cat, and surely isn't too high and mighty to do a little dumpster diving of his own.

Whether or not Tim Rice actually intended this hidden meaning in Mungojerry's name I don't think I shall every know. That is beside the point. The mystery has been solved


The Lonely Alchemist

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