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Mitten

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The Pardoner’s mitten. Whoever put this mitten on would be sure to thrive in all things.

“He that his hondë put in this metayn,

He shal have multiplying of his grayn,

Whan he hath sowen, be it whete or otes,

So that ye offre pans [pence] or ellës grootes.”


Chaucer: Prologue to The Pardoneres Tale.

To give one the mitten. To reject a sweetheart; to jilt. (Latin, mitto, to send [about your business], whence dismissal; to get your dismissal.) Some say, it is to get the mitten instead of the hand.


“There is a young lady I have set my heart on, though whether she is going to give meʹhern, or give me the mitten, I ainʹt quite satisfied.”—Sam Slick: Human Nature, p. 90.


“I donʹt believe but what that Hammond girl’s given him the mitten, else he wouldnʹt a come. I wouldnʹt play second fiddle for any fellow.”—M. E. Wilkins: A Tardy Thanksgiving (American).

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Mistress Roper
Mistress of the Night (The)
Mistress of the World
Mita
Mitaine
Mite
Mithra or Mithras
Mithridate
Mitre
Mitre Tavern (The)
Mitten
Mittimus (Latin)
Mitton
Mixon
Mizentop, maintop, foretop
Mjölnir (pron. youl-ner)
Mnemosynē
Moabite Stone (The)
Moakkibat
Moat
Mob