Mumblecore is a trendy term for ultra-low budget independent films by and about twentysomethings.  J. Hoberman writes in the Village Voice, August 14, 2007 about a festival of  “micro-indie New Talkies (a/k/a Generation DIY, a/k/a Cine Slackavetes, a/k/a MySpace Neo-Realism, a/k/a Mumblecore)”

According to Wikipedia, ‘The term “mumblecore” was coined by Eric Masunaga, a sound editor who has worked with [independent filmmaker Andrew] Bujalski. Masunaga coined the term one night at a bar during the 2005 South by Southwest Film Festival, but it was Bujalski who first used it in an interview with indieWIRE.[2] The directors of the films are sometimes referred to collectively as “mumblecorps,” as in press corps.’

Dennis Lim, writing in the New York Times, Aug. 19, 2007, said, “Specimens of the genre share a low-key naturalism, low-fi production values and a stream of low-volume chatter often perceived as ineloquence. Hence the name: mumblecore.”

Hoberman called “Mumblecore” “a name that might belong to one of Harry Potter’s friends.”

So “mumble” + “corps” rhymes with Dumbledore = mumblecore.

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3 Responses to Mumblecore

  1. This is the first instance I’m aware of in which corps has become core, but I just did a search and found that in 1951 Time used the punning headline “The Press: Core of the Corps.”

    Here’s the link:,9171,806134,00.html

    • lexiekahn says:

      Thanks for pointing out a great resource. Most newspaper and magazine databases go back only to about 1980, but the Time Magazine archive makes a great *corpus* for linguistic research.

  2. Pingback: cuerpo « Spanish-English Word Connections

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