Mum’s the Word: What Is the Meaning of the Popular Phrase “Mum’s the Word”?

Have you ever heard someone use the term ‘mum’s the word’ in a conversation and wondered what exactly they are referring to? We are going to take a look at the meaning behind this saying and how it can be used in a conversation. We will also look at where this term originally came from.

Mum’s the Word

Mum’s the Word Meaning

The term ‘mum’s the word’ means that the speaker will not give away a secret. The speaker is acknowledging the need to stay silent about a subject.

Origin of the idiomatic phrase

The useful idiomatic expression ‘mum’s the word’ first came from the word mummer which was an old fashioned type of mime. Mummers acted out a scene without using words and so the term was developed from this.

“Mum’s the Word” Examples

Examples in Statements

This is a statement being made by a person in the workplace.

  • ‘It’s Elaine’s birthday coming up so we will all club together and buy her a present, but she must not find out, mum’s the word.’

Here is a statement made by a father to his son.

  • ‘I’m going to the pub, your mother will never know, mum’s the word.’

Conversation Examples

If you are curious as to how the term ‘mums the word’ would work in a conversation, here are some examples to demonstrate its use.

The first conversation is between two brothers.

  • Person 1: ” I think we should buy mom a holiday for her birthday.”
  • Person 2: “That is a great idea but won’t she find out?”
  • Person 1: “No, mum’s the word, it’s just between us.”

This next conversation is happening between two work colleagues.

  • Person 1: “I think that I am going to go for the promotion.”
  • Person 2: “Isn’t Arthur going for it? He will try to outdo you.”
  • Person 1: “Not if he doesn’t know I am going for it.”
  • Person 2: “Ok, mum’s the word.”

Other Ways to Say the Phrase

There are other ways in which you can refer to the meaning of the term ‘mum’s the word.’

Here are some examples to show other ways in which you can say it.

  • Keep it on the down-low
  • Hush-hush

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