= M =
mung /muhng/ vt.
[in 1960 at MIT, `Mash Until No
Good'; sometime after that the derivation from the recursive acronym `Mung Until No Good' became standard; but see munge]
1. To make changes to a file, esp. 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. In the wake of the spam epidemics of the
1990s, mung is now commonly used to describe the act of modifying
an email address in a sig block in a way that human beings can
readily reverse but that will fool an address harvester.
Example: johnNOSPAMsmith@isp.net. 4. The kind of beans the sprouts
of which are used in Chinese food. (That's their real name! Mung
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 U.S. army slang for the ersatz creamed chipped beef
better known as `SOS', and it seems quite likely that the word in
fact goes back to Scots-dialect munge.
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.