This is the full read-only archive of the "Ask the Wordwizard" section of the original Wordwizard site. The responses to the questions originate from Jonathon Green, the compiler of the Cassell Dictionary of Slang and numerous other dictionaries.
As far as I know 'mugs away' means, the loser(s) starts throwing in the new game. The term 'mug' is simply an adoption of the common (UK) slang word mug, meaning a fool, a simpleton and especially a gullible 'punter' who is most likely to fall prey to a confidence trickster.ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Jonathon Green