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A Bunch of Mugs

Ahem, Matt:

The word "mug." It means so many things. Why does it mean a cup and a face and to get robbed? Where did that useful word come from?

-- Jeff, Escondido

Eight meanings, both nouns and verbs. And all come from one source: an old Scandinavian word meaning "drinking vessel." The word sat around meaning drinking vessel for a few hundred years until the British invented the Toby or character jug -- a drinking mug formed in the shape of a man's head with three-dimensional features. So, in the 1600s, "mug" took on the added meaning of "face." Because the jug faces were male, "mug" also came to mean an ordinary guy, or maybe a fool. By the mid-1800s, when cameras came in, "mugging" meant making a face. By the turn of the century, if you got punched in the face, you were "mugged." Can't wait to see what's next.

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Ahem, Matt:

The word "mug." It means so many things. Why does it mean a cup and a face and to get robbed? Where did that useful word come from?

-- Jeff, Escondido

Eight meanings, both nouns and verbs. And all come from one source: an old Scandinavian word meaning "drinking vessel." The word sat around meaning drinking vessel for a few hundred years until the British invented the Toby or character jug -- a drinking mug formed in the shape of a man's head with three-dimensional features. So, in the 1600s, "mug" took on the added meaning of "face." Because the jug faces were male, "mug" also came to mean an ordinary guy, or maybe a fool. By the mid-1800s, when cameras came in, "mugging" meant making a face. By the turn of the century, if you got punched in the face, you were "mugged." Can't wait to see what's next.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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