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Mumpers

Beggars, Leland calls it a gipsy word. In Norwich, Christmas waits used to be called “Mumpers.” In Lincolnshire, “Boxing-day” is called Mumping-day (q.v.). To mump is to beg. Beggars are called the “Mumping Society.”

“A parcel of wretches hopping about by the assistance of their crutches, like so many Lincoln's Inn Fields mumpers, drawing into a body to attack [infest or beset] the coach of some charitable lord.” —Ned Ward: The London Spy, part v.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Mumpers from Infoplease:

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