What Does the Term “Mumbo Jumbo” Mean?

The term ‘mumbo jumbo’ may be heard often during conversations in the English language, but what does this term mean? We will take a look at the meaning of this phrase and how we can use it in a conversation. We will also look at the history of the term and where it first came from.

Mumbo Jumbo

Mumbo Jumbo Meaning

When someone uses the term ‘mumbo jumbo’ they are saying that something is nonsense. It can refer to something that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Origin of this idiom

The interesting idiom ‘mumbo jumbo’ first came from the 18th century and was believed to have been the name of an African idol. However, in the late 19th century the term adopted the meaning for which we use it today.

“Mumbo Jumbo” Examples

Examples in Statements

This is a statement which is being made by a teacher.

  • ‘This essay you have written is not good at all, it is just a load of mumbo jumbo.’

Here is a statement made in a magazine article.

  • ‘The event went without a hitch but the key speaker delivered a speech which was pure mumbo jumbo.’

Other examples:

  • It isn’t all mumbo jumbo as some people think.
  • The kid playing at the corner keep saying mumbo jumbo.
  • Don’t tell me that some people still buy into that antique mumbo jumbo.

Conversation Examples

The term ‘mumbo jumbo’ might be heard in a variety of different conversations. Here are some examples to show how it can be used in a conversation.

The first conversation example is taking place between a mother and son.

  • Person 1: “Why were you late home last night?”
  • Person 2: “Because I got lost.”
  • Person 1: “Don’t give me that mumbo jumbo, tell me the truth.”

Here is a conversation between a husband and wife.

  • Person 1: “I forgot to tell you what I heard the other day.”
  • Person 2: “What did you hear?”
  • Person 1: “I heard that Susan is moving to New Zealand.”
  • Person 2: “What a load of mumbo jumbo, she hasn’t got the money to do that.”

Other Ways to Say the Phrase

There are many other ways to express the meaning of the term ‘mumbo jumbo.’

Here are some examples of other things you could say which carry the same meaning.

  • A load of old tosh
  • Nonsense
  • Codswallop

Mumbo Jumbo Meaning | Picture

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