Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sat Jun 1 05:03:35 UTC 2002

Here is the total text of my e-mail request to a highly respected local
geek/savant for consultation:

<<Do you recognize the word "amush"? Maybe it's some kind of jargon. Google
gets ~400 hits; some are errors for "ambush", some are apparently giving a
salutation or something in Hebrew, others I don't know.>>

Note that I provided no quotation or context.

My consultant responds:

<<The first thing I thought upon reading your question was "amush ?=?
amuck". ... Well, a MUSH is similar to a MUCK... Multi-User Shared
Hallucination vs. [Multi-User] Created Kingdom ([both] likely backronymic).
... many of the first hits I turned up on Google were for AuroraMUSH or
something hosted under their domain,>>

It seems that both MUSH and MUCK refer to virtual environments largely used
for role-playing games. I guess "muck" is semantically similar to "mush"
... wait, maybe there's a "MUD" too? Yes, it looks like there is, the
ancestor probably: Google estimates ~66,000 hits for "mud multi-user":
apparently "MUD" = "multi-user dungeon" or "multi-user dimension", dating
from *really* ancient times (ca. 1980, *well* before my consultant's birth):

Amusing, although of questionable relevance to Michael Quinion's question.
In 21st-century geography, I believe Pennsylvania and Yorkshire are
adjacent/congruent, and both closely related to Christmas Island (the
notional location of ""). Perhaps the age of the user of the
mystery expression might be of interest.

-- Doug Wilson

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