On Getting Mullered

BBC NEWS | The Reporters | Robert Peston

Then there’s the plight of all those overseas businesses that manufacture cars in the UK.
They’re being mullered by a massive contraction of available credit and a collapse in sales.

(My emphasis)
The premier journalist for these days of collapsing economies, Robert Peston, uses a phrase I’ve only heard in pubs and student haunts, where it means “badly damaged or drunk.” What a strange word it is too and, of uncertain, recent derivation; how odd for a BBC journalist to be using what is still considered an outsider, slang word. The peeps over at World Wide Words find an OED entry saying it was used earliest in UK prison slang in the 1950s to mean “badly beaten up”, with the OED editor Jonathan Green thinking it derived from the same root as “mulled”, as in wine, from some odd indo root meaning “die”. Elsewhere, I’ve seen the derivation as that coming from Gerd Muller, who played football for Germany in the 1970s (third-highest scoring striker of all time.) My feeling would be that the word will have been popularised by this, but was already in circulation amongst lags by that time.

Considering how recent the common usage is and the crucial “er” in the middle, I’d think it must come from a famous name of the era; the only two I can find easily are a chess-player and a radio physicist, so I doubt it was either of them. I’d suggest Franz Muller, an infamous murderer of the 1860s, who not only beat up a banker then threw him to his gruesome death from a moving train but then became even more famous for the strange cut-down beaver hat that he wore and left at the scene, which became oddly popular (Winston Churchill was the most famous wearer).

You are talking to Russian Theatregoer

I promised a mate I’d put this in, despite its mediocrity…

You are talking to Russian Theatregoer

Russian Theatregoer says:

update your blog you bastard!

Chalk on Glass =_= says:

doh. will do when I get a mo’

Russian Theatregoer says:

you’re severely inconveniencing me. I’ve got no-one to live my life through…

Chalk on Glass =_= says:

agh, I remember now – the last one I wrote got lost on monday when it crashed..

Russian Theatregoer says:

talking of life just saw someone getting mown down on St Giles

Chalk on Glass =_= says:

really. shit. dead? (Living your life through another’s death – very Cronenberg)

you are joking aren’t you?

Russian Theatregoer says:

probably not. she was whimpering ‘I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die’ which suggests that she was gonna live. seriously!

Chalk on Glass =_= says:

shit. Did you help?!? Or did you piss on her twitching body…. to sterilise the wounds, y’know…

Russian Theatregoer says:

no

the paramedics had just got there before me. I would have given her mouth to mouth

Russian Theatregoer says:

but she was a minger [not that it’s ever stopped me in the past]

Chalk on Glass =_= says:

but the paras held you back did they, until they’d finished…

Russian Theatregoer says:

yeah, then I fucked her as rigor mortis set in

Russian Theatregoer says:

how are you anyway?

Chalk on Glass =_= says:

‘I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die’

Chalk on Glass =_= says:

No my back’s completely fucked, and I’ve got a fuckload of freelance for tomorrow, and my mum’s coming to stay tonight… bad mix.

Russian Theatregoer says:

my back is always fukced!

Chalk on Glass =_= says:

really? that would be to do with the brown bags oddbins sells, right?

Russian Theatregoer says:

wha?!

Chalk on Glass =_= says:

erm… brown bags tend to contain whiskey.

Chalk on Glass =_= says:

Whiskey means tramping

Chalk on Glass =_= says:

Tramping means lying on sleeping rough

Russian Theatregoer says:

oh#

Chalk on Glass =_= says:

Sleeping rough = park bench

Chalk on Glass =_= says:

Park bench = modern stylish living

Chalk on Glass =_= says:

modern stylish living = hypochondria

Russian Theatregoer says:

hypochondria=terminal illness

Chalk on Glass =_= says:

‘I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die’