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MUMMERSET [A blend of mummer, one who mutters and murmurs, or takes part in a mime, and SOMERSET], also Mummersetshire. An imaginary rustic county of England and its dialect: ‘Nowadays you can't be sure if they are eggs, even when somebody on television says they are in B.B.C. Mummerset’ ( C. Mackenzie, Paper Lives, 1966). This form of stage WEST COUNTRY is drawled and emphasizes retroflex /r/ (‘Arrr, that'll be roit, zurr’). It replaces /s/ with /z/, /f/ with /v/ (‘We ain't zeen 'im zince last Vroiday’), and uses special forms of be (‘We be happy yere, bain't we?’). Comedians sometimes add pseudo-dialect words to the brew. See BURR.
Mummerset an imitation rustic West Country accent used by actors, from the name of an imaginary or idealized rustic county in the West of England. The name probably comes from mummer, on the pattern of Somerset.
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