Mocking

It’s strange that we live in a world in which I can write that the President of the United States mocked an alleged sexual-assault victim, and that’s not a lie.

Sadly of course, we do live in this bizarre world, and of course that’s exactly what the pig did. I don’t dwell on him too much though. Rather, I want to look at that word mock. Why do we use it as verb, but also as an adjective, meaning imitation (e.g. mock turtle, mockingbird)?

The word comes from the Old French mocquer, meaning to deride or jeer. This in turn may be derived the Vulgar Latin muccare, meaning to blow your nose, which was a derisive or dismissive gesture, from the Latin mucus. Bleuch.

Now it might also come from the Middle Low German mucken, meaning to grumble, but I prefer the mucus explanation.

The sense of imitation came about from the idea of derisive or parodic imitation. You know, like when Donald Trump mocks sexual-assault victims, and the disabled, and…

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