Roald Dahl is in the news as British foreign secretary Boris Johnson calls Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a “mutton-headed, old mugwump.” The press had a field day with it, trying to figure out what in the world he meant!
- Mugwump and Boris Johnson: What meaning did he intend? – BBC News
- What is a mugwump? An insult that only Boris Johnson would use – The Guardian
- What is a Mugwump? Boris Johnson’s baffling attack on Jeremy Corbyn – The Independent
When questioned, Johnson said he thought the word was from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: “I think Willy Wonka says it either to the parents of Violet Beauregarde or Augustus Gloop.” Of course, true Dahl fans know that isn’t quite the case! The word actually appears in the book’s sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. And in The Twits, Dahl used a form of the word as the name of Muggle-wump the Monkey.