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Mull

To make a mull of a job is to fail to do it properly. The failure of a peg-top to spin is called a mull, hence also any blunder or failure. (Scotch, mull, dust, or a contraction of muddle.) The people of Madras are called “Mulls,” because they are in a less advanced state of civilisation than the other two presidencies, in consequence of which they are held by them in low estimation. (Anglo-Saxon, myl, dust.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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