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[muhng] /mʌŋ/ Slang.
something disgusting or offensive, especially filth or muck.
verb (used with object)
to make dirty (often followed by up).
to spoil, ruin, or destroy (often followed by up).
  1. to make incremental changes to (a file, system, etc.), eventually ruining or destroying the original.
  2. to modify (an email address) in an easily reversible way, to avoid spam.
Origin of mung
1945-50; of uncertain origin
Can be confused
mung, munge. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for mung


verb (transitive)
(computing, slang) to process (computer data)
Word Origin
C20: m(ash) u(ntil) n(o) g(ood)
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
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Slang definitions & phrases for mung



Anything nasty; filth; glop: Jones noticed the mung on Lydon's never-brushed teeth/ Fold the table down, and generations of crud and mung appear (1960s+ Students)


  1. (also mung up) To spoil; botch (1960s+ Students)
  2. To make changes, often undesirable ones, in a file (1980s+ Computer)
  3. To destroy: The system munged my whole day's work (1980s+ Computer)

[origin unknown]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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mung in Technology

/muhng/ (MIT, 1960) Mash Until No Good.
Sometime after that the derivation from the recursive acronym "Mung Until No Good" became standard. 1. To make changes to a file, especially large-scale and irrevocable changes.
See BLT.
2. To destroy, usually accidentally, occasionally maliciously. The system only mungs things maliciously; this is a consequence of Finagle's Law.
See scribble, mangle, trash, nuke.
Reports from Usenet suggest that the pronunciation /muhnj/ is now usual in speech, but the spelling "mung" is still common in program comments (compare the widespread confusion over the proper spelling of kluge).
3. The kind of beans of which the sprouts are used in Chinese food. (That's their real name! Mung beans! Really!)
Like many early hacker terms, this one seems to have originated at TMRC; it was already in use there in 1958. Peter Samson (compiler of the original TMRC lexicon) thinks it may originally have been onomatopoeic for the sound of a relay spring (contact) being twanged. However, it is known that during the World Wars, "mung" was army slang for the ersatz creamed chipped beef better known as "SOS".
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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