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[muhl-i-guh n]
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  1. Also called mulligan stew. a stew containing meat, vegetables, etc., especially one made of any available ingredients.
  2. Golf. a shot not counted against the score, permitted in unofficial play to a player whose previous shot was poor.

Origin of mulligan

First recorded in 1900–05; special use of proper name


[muhl-i-guh n]
  1. Gerald JosephGerryJeru, 1927–96, U.S. jazz saxophonist, bandleader, and composer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for mulligan


  1. US and Canadian a stew made from odds and ends of food

Word Origin

C20: perhaps from the surname


  1. Gerry, full name Gerald Joseph Mulligan. 1927–96, US jazz saxophonist, who pioneered the cool jazz style of the 1950s
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for mulligan



surname, from Gaelic Maolagan, Old Irish Maelecan, a double diminutive of mael "bald," hence "the little bald (or shaven) one," probably often a reference to a monk or disciple. As "stew made with whatever's available," 1904, hobo slang, probably from a proper name. The golf sense of "extra stroke after a poor shot" (1949) is sometimes said to be from the name of a Canadian golfer in the 1920s whose friends gave him an extra shot in gratitude for driving them over rough roads to their weekly foursome at St. Lambert Country Club near Montreal.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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