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3940DB in the OED

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  • RSRICHMOND@aol.com
    Jan 24, 2006
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      I looked up "muumuu" in the Oxford English Dictionary and was delighted to
      find that their second citation of the word is from Hula Moons:

      Helen being a woman, put on a yellow mumu, a cross between a flour sack and
      an old-fashioned nightie. Mumus were designed by the well-intentioned
      missionary ladies...as a covering for the Hawaiian women, in the early days when a few
      flowers sufficed for a garment. (1930; their first citation is from 1923.)

      The Hawaiian word is correctly spelled mu'umu'u, and pronounced with four
      syllables. It means "cuf-off", because it has no yoke and usually no sleeves.

      I was just in Hilo, where the Basically Books book store has a number of Don
      Blanding books for sale, including two copies of Stowaways in Paradise. I
      confess I was too busy pursuing my other Hawaiian interests there - looking for
      books on the language and on Hawaiian flora - with too little time to spend.

      Bob Richmond
      Knoxville TN and Gastonia NC

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