From Middle English mash, from Old English mæsc, masc, max, from Proto-Germanic *maiskaz, *maiskō, from Proto-Indo-European *meyǵ-, *meyḱ-. Akin to German Meisch, Maische, (compare meischen, maischen), Swedish mäsk ("mash"), and to Old English miscian ("to mix"). See mix.
From Middle English mashen, maschen, meshen, from Old English *māsċan, *mǣsċan, from Proto-Germanic *maiskijaną. Cognate with German maischen. Compare also Middle Low German meskewert, mēschewert.
Either by analogy with mash, or more likely from Romani masha ("a fascinator, an enticer"), mashdva. Originally used in theater, and recorded in US in 1870s. Either originally used as mash, or a backformation from masher, from masha. Leland writes of the etymology:
: It was introduced by the well-known gypsy family of actors, C., among whom Romany was habitually spoken. The word “masher” or “mash” means in that tongue to allure, delude, or entice. It was doubtless much aided in its popularity by its quasi-identity with the English word. But there can be no doubt as to the gypsy origin of “mash” as used on the stage. I am indebted for this information to the late well-known impresario [Albert Marshall] Palmer of New York, and I made a note of it years before the term had become at all popular.
Mostly , but also for imitative reasons, compare the gun-names mop and broom; intentionally chosen around 2000 due to its homonymy and obscurity for legal reasons.
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